Season of Souls

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Using a variety of different ethnic singers, Tulku demonstrates the similarities of these strains of folk music. Leader Jim Wilson is the composer of these themes, plays synthesizer and electric keyboards, and is helped by a changing rotation of musicians through music that is derived from Persian, Australian, Egyptian, Eastern and Native American Indian, and Mayan sources. This is world or perhaps new age music, with a smattering of improvisation accenting textures of processed sound with natural elements and siderial female vocals added. Three pieces are very similar to Jon Hassell's voodoo priestess contingent. "Fields of Offering," "The Falcon," and the title track all have that ethereal quality: the first with ancient Egyptian text sung in native phrasings and English, the second a spellbinding praise to a higher power, the third a love of god anthem. In many cases a rock beat is prevalent. "Heart of Heaven, Heart of Earth" has an invocation by Don Alexandro, a seventh generation Mayan medicine man from Guatemala, floating above the 4/4 beat. A hip-hop rhythm centers "Tipari," with Tim Reynolds' slide guitar adding contrast. "Meena Devi" brings American rock and spacy drone together. The most compelling track, "Spiral Dance," is a wraithlike swirl, and "Cold Mountain Meltdown" is once again rockish, but in a space ethnic synthesized fashion. The Native American chanting of group vocals and percussion of "Life Eternal," and the Aboriginal bent of "The Fire That Speaks" with didgeridoo, bullroarer, and wolfhound howls with a rock beat and pained vocals, makes for a unique sound. This is a most intriguing recording, one where in many instances the undertow of sounds is much more compelling than what's on top.

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