The Shaman's Heart II

from by Byron Metcalf



Sonic Curiosity:

This release from 2012 features 71 minutes of tribal ambience. Metcalf plays buffalo drums, ceremonial toms, frame drums, clay pot, medicine rattles, ambient percussion, voice, wind spirit, and huasca breaths. Joining him is Steve Roach (on didgeridoo, ocarinas, analog and digital synthesizers, analog modular system, looping, and co-composition).
A variety of rhythmics is given a harmonic flow by textural electronics.

Do not expect the percussion to be frenzied dancebeat stuff. Here, the beats are languid and metered to approximate a heartbeat and the consequential pulse. The central tempos remain steadfast, while auxiliary percussives (rattles and softer drums) gently embellish those core patterns with undulant rhythms which vary over the passage of time (or as the music progresses). Escalation of the rhythms generates tension as the body follows the artificial template set forth by the music, just as a decrease in the tempos guides the listener into a more sedate attitude.

The electronics are wholly textural. Atmospheric waves pulsate softly and produce a very organic milieu for the tapestry of beats. Not much happens with this electronic presence, its regularity serves to accentuate the subtle changes that occur amid the rhythmic structure.

The didgeridoo lends a haunting fog to the mix, lifting the soundscape from a basic ambient territory and depositing the listener in a realm of holistic tribal airs.

These compositions are designed to segregate the listener from the material world and put them in tune with their own physiological system. The rhythms create a connection with a person's pulse-rate, providing a doorway to a psychic appraisal of one's own anatomical processes. The tuneage does undergo a steady evolution, moving through various temperaments, although those alterations may be difficult for a casual observer to notice. They do exist, however, resulting in a fluid progression (enhanced by ancillary tempos) from a resting state through diverse levels of relaxation. A few of these cunning changes are reasonably pronounced, such as with the introduction of vocal drones and grunts in one passage, or when the beats vanish for the music's final stage, marking not so much a cessation as a transcendence to focusing on the ethereal wave which lies beneath everything. -Matt Howarth


from The Shaman's Heart II, released April 24, 2012


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Projekt Records Portland, Oregon

Projekt is America's premier independent label specializing in passionately intense introspective music across a variety of genres (ambient, ethereal, electronic,darkwave, goth, dreampop & more). Projekt is home to a diverse roster including Steve Roach, Voltaire, Erik Wollo, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Forrest Fang, Mark Seelig, Lycia and others. ... more


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