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Australian Voyage

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Album Review

Australian Voyage is the remastering of the original 1995 release by Sirocco, with a much larger emphasis on the "voyage" than on the "Australian." The music has a small amount of Australian influence, but spends more effort and time exploring the multiculturalism of the country and beyond, using the Australian elements primarily as a starting point. The music is broken into four movements, with specific tones and moods. The "Desert" movement incorporates Sunrise and Shadows, using the didjeridu and an electric guitar for the majority of the sounds, leaving a relatively bare surface with only a bit of ornamentation. "City to City" includes Carnivale, Anemurium Necropolis, and Zorla, making use of more Middle Eastern elements (oud and qanun being the most notable) to evoke some of the sensualism and multiculturalism of the cities. The "Mountain" suite includes Vigil, Foothills, Mountain, and Processional, and uses a bit of an oriental format incorporating the cheng and some flute work into the sounds. The final suite, "Port of Call," is perhaps the most distinctly Australian section of the album, making use of more traditional instruments for the continent, as well as a number of older European instruments, evoking the immigrant transition from England to Australia with psalteries, crumhorns, and the like, as well as a number of bagpipes. Through all of the movements, there's something of a progressive rock bent to the sound, pushed by the combination of keyboards and guitars. At the end of the album, the circle is completed with the use of some didjeridus and clapsticks, bringing the listener back to the beginning of his/her "voyage." Overall, it's not a bad album at all. The title is mildly deceiving, but the end result is an entirely worthwhile listen regardless.

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