Steven Brown / Benjamin Lew

Douzieme Journee: Le Verbe, La Parure, l'Amour

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Douzieme Journee: Le Verbe, La Parure, l'Amour Review

by Brian Olewnick

Originally released in Japan on the Belgian Crammed Discs label and subsequently re-issued on Made to Measure, Douzieme Journee treads that odd ground combining ambient music with roots in Eno and various so-called world musics, here concentrating on those found in Northern Africa and the Mid-East. This confluence seems to have been in the air at the time as witness similar efforts from Hector Zazou and the Penguin Café Orchestra. Lew and ex- Tuxedomoon member Brown, ably assisted by label mainstay Marc Hollander, fashion cinematic sound-pictures heavy on rich drones and invigorated by generally Arabic rhythms. Worlds collide, but do so in a gentle, dreamy manner such that the abuttal of ringing synthesizer and handheld drum sounds illogically natural. Lew would go on to refine this approach leading up to his superb Nebka, but all the groundwork has been laid herein, making this a worthwhile pick-up for listeners of ethno-ambient music that still retains some bite and otherworldliness.

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