Monday, November 21, 2016

Robert Miles & Trilok Gurtu-Miles Gurtu (2004)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 21, 2016

Still chillin' and still groovin'.....and still sailing along through the remaining 'R' entries in my music collection. The same iconic electronic producer who brought you the 'dream dance' hit "Children" back in 1995 teams up with Indian composer and percussionist Trilok Gurtu on this thirteen-track collaborative effort that bears their last names. Quite the exotic instrumental music-listening journey listeners will find this to be, with the common denominator at nearly every destination being a distinctively trippy drum n' bass arrangement that perplexes yet captivates the audio senses. The intentional scatterbrained rhythm of the opening cut, "Golden Dust", serves as an early indicator of the road that lies ahead for you and your ears, with an early highlight for me personally being "Soul Driven", largely due to the eerie chords and the alluring stringed accompaniment that accents the music, appearing prominently as the track progresses towards the end. After the trio of snippets that tease and tantalize—"Wearing Masks", "Tragedy: Comedy" (the sharp electronic sound effects mixed in with the electronic guitar and violin create a dramatic instrumental display here) and "Omen"—the music really begins to come alive with the heavy bass line, funky rhythm and the static blips and squeaks featured on "Loom"—spacey and groovy, all at the same time. A tribal drum accompaniment—presumably by courtesy of the guest percussionist Yrilok Gurtu—adds an ethnic, ceremonial vibe to both "Languages Of Conscious Thought" and the follow-up cut, "Without A Doubt" which is, as the title even says, without doubt one of the best Miles-Gurtu pieces produced on this album. The combination of jazzy street sounds and the eerie, spaced-out monotonous ambient drones and the chilling bells makes me think about some suspenseful, climatic moment in a thrilling movie of some sort. "Small World" is an eclectic music festival that completely toys and jests with the audio senses, shifting back and forth from an upbeat jazz fusion to a more dramatic, orchestral arrangement (I can definitely sense the Robert Miles influence there), while the senses get played around with in a different manner on "Inductive", with its electronic glitz and swirly ambiance switching to an intense, funky dub arrangement midway through. Casual listeners may have to search some before finding a comfortable sync and settling in during these unsettling forty-two minutes; Robert Miles fans and electronic music lovers alike should feel right at home:

1. Golden Rust
2. Soul Driven
3. Wearing Masks
4. Tragedy: Comedy
5. Omen
6. Loom
7. Languages Of Conscious Thought
8. Without A Doubt
9. Small World
10. Small World (Reprise)
11. Inductive
12. The Picture
13. Xenon

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