Bob Holroyd :: Without Within
[six degrees]   review from biz  

Bob's one of those guys whose work you relate to on so many different levels, yet you can't quite place what it is that he does into a specific category...and that's just fine with me. You listen to a Holroyd disc and you know you're gonna be privy to alot of cool stuff. The Bloomington Independent says, "British composer Bob Holroyd combines ambient atmospherics with rhythmic intensity for a musical dream-journey around the globe."

Yeah, that sounds about right.

His fourth full length release, Without Within kicks off with "Looking Back" which is precisely what Holroyd does best. Look back to ancient traditions for future inspirations, in this case using voices of Koi San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert. Holroyd noted, "Their culture is thousands of years old, they're very different from us, but the essential similiarities in our lives can't be denied."

Track 2 seem familiar? A tribute to the Real World pioneering genius of Peter Gabriel. This cover of "Games Without Frontiers" features American cult multi-instrumentalist Happy Rhodes singing over the funky refrain originally done by Kate Bush.

Those of you who've spent some time with us at ethnotechno.com should also recognize "Re-Awakening the Spirits" which was previously remixed on "African Travels". (I'm ready for the Vol. II by the way...anyone @ Six Degrees listening?!) "The Spaces in Between" is a classic example of ambient chillout. The synth bassline gurgles like something from 80s pop icon Howard Jones. Also featured on the track are horns by Kevin Robinson who's worked with Steve Winwood and Incognito. Miles Davis would be proud.

Further ambience flows "At the Waters Edge," and then meanders back to Africa with the Township Mix of "Rafiki" which is giddy with the uplifting beats of Soweto's horns, voices, and choruses. Its mood is transformed nearly 180' later on in the CD's Sidewalk Mix.

Concluding with a jangly pots and pans percussion of "When the Rain Came" celebrating the renewal of life with Madagascar style chants, Without Within is an undeniable measure of growth from an amazing musician.

ethnotechno rating: 5 out of 5
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  1. Looking Back (pick)
  2. Games Without Frontiers (pick)
  3. Re-awakening the Spirits
  4. The Spaces In- between (pick)
  5. At The Waters Edge
  6. Rafiki (Township mix) (pick)
  7. Dreams of Olduvai
  8. Without Within (pick)
  9. Confluence
  10. Rafiki (Sidewalk mix)
  11. When The Rains Came