Al Gromer Khan

Space Hotel

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From the perplexing poem in the liner notes by the "unknown dervish" to the intoxicating circular pulsating rhythms, Al Gromer Khan's Space Hotel, with its paisley of Indian instruments and keyboards, offers a hypnotic, metaphysical experience. These seven Dervish dances, plus one, are based on the graceful twirling rituals of the Sufis. The first track, as thick as perfumed incense, almost slurs the mind. The thirteen-minute "Dance the Hadra" offers a circular dance beat -- stately, sensuous, and uplifting -- against throaty-horn drones, vocal "aums," and accents of sitar strings. "The Wayfarer" dance languidly embraces the cosmic "gong" while clapping seems to demand an alert mind. "Vilayat's Song" features the worldly voice of Vilayat Hussain amid crystalline drones and sparkling bells. Our Unknown Dervish is "honored" with an unsettling yet redemptive anthem; angelic voices echo, then a throaty drone adds ominous undercurrents to sensuous drumbeats. The multi-talented spacemusic composer plays keyboards, sitar, and surbahar; Saam Schlamminger plays percussion; and Gilles Zimmerman plays viola da gamba.

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