Bob Holroyd :: A Different Space
[six degrees]   review from dimm  

If you're just getting acquainted with asian-fusion but find the labyrinthine soundscapes of Talvin and Karsh too busy for your brain, then try Holroyd's third EP A Different Space. It has all the Enigma-new-age energy you'd want to make you feel comfortable while pushing the boundaries of mixology a little bit at a time to ease you into it ...kinda like K-Y.

Holroyd unimpeachably confuses musical traditions of Africa, India, and Europe to truly create a different space on this cd. Combining acid jazz, African, Indian and operatic vocals with horns, keyboards, guitars, drums and electro-synth pulses, A Different Space is unlike anything I've heard before.

The cd kicks off with the energetic "Drumming Up A Storm" which feels more like something you'd hear at a Carnival party south of the American equator... Celtic flutes take the journey down a more mellow road recalling an Indo-European lineage in "A Promise To Return."

North Africa follows in "Passing Through" as we cross the Nile Delta into ancient lands east, with time for reflection on "Dark Waters," a beautiful ambient respite before the pow-wow all-nighter of "African Drug [original tribal mix]."

The cd starts to waver a bit, new-age sensibilities start to creep in, but still far above any dreck churned out by the genre's luminaries... "The Sheer Weight Of Memory" almost seems to be reminding us of where this all came from: Passion.

Passion indeed, this space is smoldering with all variations: hot and fast, slow and cool. One to revisit and juxtapose with his next effort: Without Within.

ethnotechno rating: 4 out of 5
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  1. Drumming Up A Storm (pick)
  2. Journeyman
  3. A Promise To Return
  4. Passing Through
  5. Dark Waters (pick)
  6. African Drug [original tribal mix] (pick)
  7. Something Understood
  8. Open
  9. The Sheer Weight Of Memory
  10. Adrift in Kerala
  11. Earthwatching (pick)
  12. A Different Space (pick)