On their debut, Tarik and Julie Banzi accomplish a seamless world music fusion, taking in Arabic, South Indian (carnatic), Spanish -- as in sephardic and flamenco, the Andalusian music whose roots are in North Africa -- and a touch of jazz, with the intriguing extra of having water-based percussion on several tracks, such as "Song of the Water" and "Martil," giving a light, liquid quality to the pieces. They're helped by having a wonderful vocalist in Ranjani Krishnan, who can easily move from the Indian tonalities of "Maitreen" to the sephardic song, sung in Ladino, of "A la Uno Yo Naci." On the former, the mix of Tarik's oud and Julie's guitar creates the sliding microtones of carnatic music -- no mean feat. But they're both accomplished musicians, and Tarik is given full rein on "White Shadows," an improvised solo that's well worth the space. While so much of this isn't easy music, with complex themes in compound time signatures, they bring it to life beautifully. "The Nineteen" takes them into jazz with a decidedly unusual but appealing sound and "Rhythmic Rain" is an endlessly inventive solo on the darbuka, or clay drum. The only misstep is using distorted electric guitar on "Illumination." Not only does it ruin the mood of the entire record, it's unnecessary and utterly out of place an a disc with an acoustic sound. But if you program that out, you've got something quite wonderful.
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AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson