TYA

Akwaba

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AllMusic Review by

TYA is the stage name of one Maertin Scherl, a German keyboardist and programmer with an affinity for the music of aboriginal Australia and access to samples of singers like the Bulgarian Voices, Sarband, and Trinovox. And yes, the rational response to that information would be to say, "Oh good, another German electronica artist with Third World pretensions." But if you hold your perfectly reasonable suspicions in abeyance for about 15 minutes, Scherl may well win you over with his nicely developed melodies, subdued but funky beats, and complex sonic textures. (Maybe not so much with the ocean and forest sounds, which are supposed to evoke a knee-jerk purchasing reaction in right-thinking people everywhere.) What makes this music so attractive is Scherl's two-pronged strategy of bringing the beats right up to the front, and finding good singers to sample and using the samples well. Notice, for example, the combination of African and European voices on "Coming Home" and the dubwise treatment he applies to the gorgeous choral singers on "Mama." Whether or not you buy into the utopian visions of global oneness that give rise to music like this, the music itself is quite special.

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