All of Higher Octave Music's various imprints share the common desire to blend a deep sense of global spirituality with a powerful mix of music, both mainsteam and exotic. Cyberoctave is the label's trance-dance division, and Medicine Drum -- the brainchild of percussionist and electronic producer Chris Dekker (an Australian who made his mark in London clubs) and keyboardist Alex Newman -- falls perfectly into the realm where groove and machinery seduce foot, mind and soul. Prepare to be hypnotized but also tribally excited from the get go, as the nine minute opening title track blends an Indian flavored flute with thumping grooves, organic percussion and urgent vocalizing. If you didn't know that this was made in England, you might think you're listening to an extended rain dance with techno effects. The film score like "Seralem" blends the passionate exotica of "Irina Mikhailova"'s voice, a mournful violin and an hypnotic drone sound. "Katakall" displays the duo's ability to blend technology with nature sounds while "Serpents Tale" is an ambient, futuristic experience that approximates an entry into the challenge of deep space (with a sexy female vocal as companion). "Haiku" mixes similar ideas with a mystical Eastern vibe. It's more about vibe and atmosphere than melody, but those who are game will enjoy the innovative journey.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran