Robert Miles

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Miles_Gurtu Review

by Thom Jurek

This collaboration between electronic music whiz Robert Miles and percussionist Trilok Gurtu is its own curiosity piece. Full of lush, meandering soundscapes that employ everything from chilled-out jungle vistas to breakbeat and trip hop, from groove and creative jazz to the deep layering of traditional and popular Indian melodies from that country's classical, folk, and Bollywood traditions. Yet this set is hardly a mishmash: each of the record's 13 tracks are compositions as well as collaborations. Dynamics, textures, melodies, themes, and variations are all closely tailored for maximum effect. And while it feels much more like a Miles outing-- given the propensity of keyboards and samplers -- it is Gurtu's organic percussion that shoots through everything and provides a base form which all things grow into endless night stratosphere, and a territory of homecoming and eternal return. Musical changes reflect not so much frenetic mood swings as the undulating space where harmony, melody, nuance (as provided by everything from various keyboards and samplers and sounds, to strings to guitars to percussion instruments too numerous too mention) and rhythm compel each other toward interior spaces, where nothing is obvious, and more so than not where ideas are implied rather than stated blatantly, and where impression and expression entwine around one another in a loose, yet stunningly beautiful tension. This is a record of electronics and rhythm that can be listened to indefinitely: it offers startling moments and seductive paths through a garden of both unearthly sound and unwieldy sound. Moving, provocative, and strange.

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