Uakti

Trilobyte

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AllMusic Review by

Trilobyte, Uakti's fourth album, takes its name from a song off of the album Mapa. It has a very full sound to it, aided, as was Uakti's previous album I Ching by the presence of Philip Glass and his conductor Kurt Munkacsi and by Glass' engineer, Michael Reisman. Another first is that the track listings identify the instruments played on them. Thus, listeners can tell that the lovely instrument on "The Secret of 17 Nuts" is not a xylophone but a glass marimba (one of the group's favorite instruments) and that the sound of running water on the atmospheric "Music for an Ancient Greek Temple" is Uakti's own invention, the aqualung. Unfortunately, it is not obvious what some of the instruments are from their names (for example, the trilobyte itself, which may or may not be a new species of fiddle or a kind of flute). Although it inhabits the same sound universe as its predecessors, Trilobyte represents a serious step up in professionalism. The composers are more diverse on this album than previous outings, including one track co-written by Uakti's mentor, Milton Nascimento. There are no long, self-indulgent shapeless pieces, and no sudden shifts or reversals in the middle of tracks. The production values are high and the rough edges are smoothed down. In some ways this is a good thing, but at the same time, more than a hint of blandness has entered into the proceedings.

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