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Natural Rhythms

Ancient Future

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Album Review

They may be based out of Kentfield, CA, but their music truly spans the globe. Eastern tempos and nature themes combine evocatively this time on Ancient Future's album Natural Rhythms. It's a very frog-enhanced CD, with the little amphibians chirping melodically on a multitude of selections — "Frogorian Dance," "Frogorian Trance," "Frog Orient Chance," and "Magic Rain." "Frogorian Dance definitely joins the top list of contenders for all-time most unusual fusion, with its vocals provided by Balinese rice paddy frogs, and additional percussion from tablas, tinklik, and even Budweiser beer can tabs. (Their album notes at MP3.com point out that this was recorded in 1979, long before the Bud frog ads came out. They've re-released it on MP3.com in 2001, for the benefit of new fans.) It's quaintly charming, fluidly graceful, and world fusion fans will welcome its return. While "Hummingbird" is a lovely composition, tempo wise, it is mostly more languid and mellow than rhythms that would reflect the rapidfire wing beats of the actual bird. Its name derives from hummingbirds being nearby during its composition, rather than an attempt to create a hummingbird-paced song. "Waves" is another gently mellow number as well. Then "Eleventh Heaven" is so titled because it is composed in Chartal Ki Sawari, an 11-beat cycle from North India. This selection also incorporates elements of jazz and rock, both to good effect. In all, it's another skillful and harmonious album — definitely recommended!

Biography

Formed: 1978

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ancient Future were formed in 1978 by guitarist Matthew Montfort. The band's inviting melodies, exotic instruments, and ethnic textures...
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Natural Rhythms, Ancient Future
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