Samsara Sound System

Ritual of Carousel

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"Ancestral Persian melodies fuse with the pulsing rhythms of Brooklyn and Japan. Music maps emerge from the Great Void. Vedic chants guide us to the shore. Tears are shed and laughter fills the air. A new beginning is upon us -- Rejoice!" OK, so the liner notes are just a bit over the top, but then, so is the music -- in a good way, that is. Persian melodies (or something) do indeed fuse with the pulsing rhythms of Brooklyn and Japan -- if by "rhythms of Brooklyn and Japan" you mean dark, faintly menacing dubwise grooves that owe as much to kabuki drumming as they do to Bill Laswell and the Wordsound posse. "Elephant and Flea" combines multi-layered percussion with what sounds a bit like a bamboo flute, tinkly piano, and shakers; "Chai Massala" is a densely polyrhythmic blend of tabla, other percussion, and some kind of North African-sounding hammered string instrument. The album's highlight track is the cool and funky "Olive Pyramids," which opens the program; its low point is the overlong and rather boring "Dhin, Tha," which closes it. In between is a lot of wonderful and sometimes befuddling worldbeat dub fusion. The world needs more experiments like this.

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