Loop Guru

Duniya

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AllMusic Review by

Following the success of singles "Mrbet," "Paradigm Shuffle," and "Sus-san-tics," Loop Guru's beat maestro Jamuud and bassist/guitarist Salman Gita crafted this full-length debut of global-minded ambient techno for the North-South label. Dance music, by nature, has a precariously transient quality. As hard as Loop Guru tries on Duniya to achieve something eternal, spicing up fairly pedestrian rhythms with a potpourri of world music flavors is simply not enough. Replacing synthesizers that buzz, bleep, and jolt the dancefloor are the ethnic tones of sitars, kora, tabla, and gamelan instruments that drift in and out of the mix. Though this exotic array defines the album at its surface, closer attention reveals them to be calculated and inconsequential. This is dance music (techno, ambient, trance, take your pick) and should be judged as such. By those standards, Duniya falls short. The hip-hop breakbeats of "Jungle A" and "The Fine Line Between Passion and Fear" seem lazy and by design, while "Aphrodite's Shoe" dilutes the sound of Jamaican dub. With exotic samples in place, Loop Guru rides these rhythms as if on autopilot, occasionally teasing with a sonic payoff it fails the deliver. Eclipsing everything that precedes it with its staggering length, album closer "The Third Chamber (Pt. 4)" clocks in at over 20 minutes. There's very little activity amidst the song's tranquil waters as a sleepy pulse lulls the album to some indefinite conclusion. Like the music before it, it's the sound of a mystical, distant shore that never quite comes into focus.

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