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    Evan Ziporyn – Gamelan Galak Tika

    Gamelan Galak Tika is a nice merger of traditional Balinese-style percussion with two Western instruments: “Amok!” for gamelan, double bass and sampler and “Tire Fire” for gamelan and electric guitars. Gamelan Galak Tika (“Galak” means wild, fierce or passionate, but when combined with “Tika” it merely puns on Battlestar Galactica) is a seven-person ensemble based at MIT who managed to learn this complex music by rote…no peaking at a score, ever. In “Amok!” the “sampler eats up the whole ensemble and spits it out again.” “Listen, for example, to the start of part two, where the sampler tranposes the gamelan’s gong to different pitches. As the beats expand and contract, this single-note time-keeping instrument becomes a melody instrument, a virtual forest of gongs. It is as if a single gong were hung in a hall of digital mirrors. Soon afterward, the sampler introduces nine-note chord clusters, as though all of the keys of a Balinese metallophone were played at once. In these and many other ways, the sampler lets Ziporyn construct ‘an impossible musical landscape.'”–Marc Perlman

    During “Tire Fire,” the guitars ease in with an array of simple, sparse strums that are refreshingly “off” sounding from the relentless, shrill percussion drive. Fortunately, the guitars never do rock out too hard or drown out the gamelan instruments, even though things do start sounding pretty peppy and kinda “regular” in the last coupla minutes. Like I said before, it’s a nice merger impeccably played by a quite capable cast, unlike the loads of transnational corporate behemoths who are trying to quickly –and exponentially–merge themselves into God. Damn.

    Label: New World Records Catalog Number: 80565-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 2 Total Time: Unknown Country: United States Released: 2000 More: Discogs, MySpace, Official, Twitter, Wikipedia

    Text ©2003 Arcane Candy

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