This tape is something of an enigma. Martin Silverwolf is credited with writing the music of The Wheel (as well as painting the picture on the cover), but Native American drum music is not usually ascribed to an individual composer. Also the effusive liner notes give no real information about the composer. The music is actually played by Drew Kristel And The Not Always North American Drum Core, and purists should take note of this humorous group name, for this is not strictly Native American music, but rather a pastiche of pan-cultural styles. Native American drums and rattles are spiced up with African talking drums, berimbau, electronic percussion, some synthesizer, flutes, bird songs, some rather odd vocalizing, and on the final cut, "Plant People," are dispensed with entirely in favor of a koto and shakuhachi duet. One wonders if the whole tape is not rather tongue-in-cheek, but either way The Wheel does spin the listener through an interesting variety of moods, rhythms and soundscapes, and a spirited excursion it is. It is a 90-minute extended-play tape.
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