Thursday, 29 May 2014

Desert Dwellers - Nomadic Ecstatic 'The Wandering Sadhu Re-Mixes' Vol 2

Desert Dwellers

Nomadic Ecstatic:
The Wandering Re-mixes Vol 2

Black Swan Sounds

27th May 2014

Only a month ago with the release of Nomadic Ecstatic Vol 1 I mentioned that some listeners may construe this release as more of the same re-worked. Re-mix releases can at times never reach the heights of an original you really like and with the song or track firmly ingrained in your mind the bar is set high. This applies more so where there is a length of time between the original and the re-mix for me. In some cases I hear a re-mix first and that becomes the bar to beat as such. As a firm fan of the Desert Dwellers releases I feel myself anticipating a let down with re-mix releases. However, I consistently find myself pleasantly surprised with the overall output and always pluck a few gems out and 'Nomadic Ecstatic 2' proved to be no exception.

From the moment I pressed go and began to listen to Beatfarmer's (a producer I've only recently started to explore) take of 'Kumbh Mela' the dubby string chords of the sitar and tribal murmurs lead into similarly dubby bass notes and sparse tribal percussion, which collectively form an Eastern dub reggae vibe and I began to suspect I'd like this release.

Next up is Suduaya's re-mix of the title track 'A Wandering Sadhu' I've heard a couple of intriguing ambient tracks by Suduaya but on further exploration hit psy-trance and retreated. Obviously some producers have more than one string to their bow and going by this Suduaya is one of those producers. The vocals sit nicely on melodic synth chords which have the feel of a trance breakdown. However, as the bass kicks in we travel into an interesting loop which switches into a lush melodic section and then an ambient drone before circling back to where we started. Highly recommended.

This is followed by Itom Lab's (who yet again I've only really scratched the surface with their output) re-mix of 'The Embrace of Samadhi'. Fusing a marching (but not driving bassline) with a acidic breaks feel evenly balanced with ambient tones and vocals, throw in some Gregorian monk chants and a touch of bamboo flute and this is a pleasant and reasonably refreshing take on the original.

Now I find myself back to the title track and this time the duties fall on Eastern Sun. Who I came across at the same time as the Desert Dwellers on (funnily enough) a re-mix album of the Laya Projects. The intro lays melodic strings over teasing dnb style drum flicks but as the track drops a reggae stance is revealed this continues for a couple of minutes before the low frequency bass is injected and rejoined by the melodic strings and vocal. Overall a suitable alternative and useful tool if you're looking to employ the track in a different set.

Last but not least is a re-work of 'Shiva Naturaj' by someone I'm more familiar with, world music multi-instrumentalist Jeff Stott. I really like what Jeff has done here although he's employed some low frequency bass, along with some beautiful melodic bell tones. He's released it and drawn it back in all the right places. Subtley, allowing the vocal to carry you into a mantra like daydream. I like this version so much, that it could prove to be my favourite version of them all.

To summarise if you're a fan of the Desert Dwellers I advise you not to dismiss these re-mixes and similarly if you're new to their music or you've randomly come across this review. If Eastern spiritual music fused with electronic Western sounds appeals why not press play? If it's not to your taste you can always press stop.

Review by Woodzee.



psyamb said...

Desert Dwellers are one of my favorite groups at the moment. I find their dubby ethno tunes fit across a number of genres I mix including the yoga blog (yoga audio temple) I sometimes post to. Class act all the way.

woodzee said...

I couldn't agree more.

woodzee said...
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