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In the early '90s, a New York-based Latin music columnist explained why he hated the term world music; he felt that it lumped too many different styles of music together. But the term does, in fact, serve a useful purpose -- especially when it comes to a group as eclectic and far-reaching as Voyage (which shouldn't be confused with the late-'70s disco act that had a hit with "Souvenirs"). On Kelimdance, this Voyage draws on a wide variety of influences -- everything from Indian, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern music to Spanish flamenco. And when a CD looks to so many different parts of the world for inspiration, the term world music is quite practical. You could describe Voyage as an "Indian/Middle Eastern/African/Latin/Asian band," but that is more awkward than simply describing Kelimdance as world music. Voyage's performances are built around three percussionists: Sascha Gotowtschikow, Charly Böck, and Roman Seehon, and the listener never knows from one minute to the next what instrument is going to be played. On Kelimdance, listeners are exposed to everything from the ney (an Arabic flute) to Indian tabla drums to Spanish flamenco guitar. Voyage takes a lot of liberties. "Rumba Catalan," for example, is essentially Spanish gypsy flamenco, but one of the instruments used on this tune is the Peruvian cajon -- which is prominent in Andean music but seldom used by flamenco artists. "Tablat Barhum" is very Arabic sounding but uses Indian tabla drums; while tablas play a prominent role in traditional Indian music, they are seldom heard in Arabic settings. As unpredictable as Kelimdance is, the material never sounds forced or unnatural. Voyage knows exactly what it is doing on this lively, risk-taking CD.

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