Samasara Sound System :: Ritual of Carousel
[baboon]   review from derek  

Samsara is the cyclical nature of humanity, governed, as taught by Buddhism, by Mara, lord of illusions (or Maya, depending on the folklore). Nirvana is the way out, but after hearing this Sound System, you may not want to escape. The brainchild of Brooklyn's Professor Shehab and led by master santur (a three - octave wooden - hammered dulcimer with 72 strings) player Alan Kushan, their proclamation of "Middle Eastern ambient - dub" (arabiant) is fitting, but I'd rather call it William - Gibson - and - Frank - Herbert - writing - Stanley - Kubrick - esque - cinema - while - Bill - Laswell - drowns - the - Hindu - pantheon - in - bass - bass - bass - and - 1001 - nights - becomes - every - day - as - we - fade - away - into - deep - dark - obscurity™.

That is, it's a damn amazing record.

Ritual of Carousel is a kaleidoscopic voyage through a crackhouse wonderland. Well, let's be fair, crack is bad for you. Let's make that an Amsterdamian café, though Rotterdam has the best goods, along with Vancouver. You get the point: this disc is smokin', smoked out, smoked, flame broiled and boiled with the blood of a collective of Brooklynites bent on smoking you out, smoking your shit and leaving in a cloud. Forget Professor Shehab, this is Professor Cheeba Cheeba, and you don't have to smoke anything to get it. You just have to know how to groove. Those without rhythm need not apply.

Ritual follows the fine line of thought post - millennium globalistas have been trekking: turn up the bass, play your ass off, and invite friends - lots of friends - because community is stronger than the puny orchestra in your mind. The opening "Olive Pyramids" is a whirlwind of santur, Kushan's echoed vocals and a bassline so righteous the big Hey - Zeus man would pull the three out his flesh to nail the four. "Zarathustra" spoke Nietzsche and these cats get metaphysical, the rolling percussion line wrapped in an underwater rhythm explodes in aural brilliance. It gets deep, yet all the while anyone listening is gladly wrapped into Ritual's fleshy subterfuge and submitted to an eternity of purgatory dancing on hot coals while whisking away the clouds in their head. Persia, Arab, Dub... fuck it, this is Earth at its finest and all the gods and demons are singing along. Samsara runs cycles to set you free, and this Sonic Gospel of the new prophets tired of waiting for the G - man to come down are calling Her by their own device.

ethnotechno rating: 4 out of 5
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  1. olive pyramids (pick)
  2. elephant and flea
  3. scarlet memories
  4. zarathustra (pick)
  5. safron dreams
  6. zot
  7. serpent waves
  8. i who am thy
  9. chai massala (pick)
  10. sho - ka
  11. gatha
  12. dhin,tha