Eckart Seeber


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Whether you describe Eckart Seeber's instrumental music as worldbeat, new age, or electronica -- arguably, it's all of those things -- Ecklectica is an appropriate title for this CD. Ecklectica is, in fact, eclectic, and during the course of this album, the Austrian composer/producer incorporates Asian, African, Celtic, and Latin elements. The music is electronic in nature -- Seeber programs all of the synthesizers and keyboards himself -- but listeners are exposed to samples of traditional instruments that range from Tibetan bells to South American flutes to African drums. One also hears samples of the shakuhachi, a bamboo flute that is best known in Japan but was actually invented in China. All of the material is essentially instrumental, although Seeber provides samples of wordless background vocals. Because many of the pieces are tranquil, Ecklectica is likely to fare well among new age audiences. But the more up-tempo, dance-oriented selections -- which include "Intrada" and "Caliente" -- could easily appeal to club hounds. Meanwhile, "Oracle Speaks" manages to successfully combine a hip-hop beat with both new age and Spanish elements. For many years, those who were critical of synthesizers insisted that electronic music was inherently cold. But Ecklectica is far from cold -- Seeber's music has a lot of charm, and while this CD isn't perfect, it's a pleasant release that both worldbeat and new age enthusiasts should be aware of.

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