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...& So It Goes

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Album Review

Number three for Kaya Project, And So It Goes features once again guitarist Seb Taylor and wordless singer/keyboardist Natasha Chamberlain laying down their delicate ethnic-chillout vibe, surrounded by a deep-running cast of guest musicians and singers. Of particular note are the vocal contributions of Irina Mikhailova and Randolph Matthews, the latter adding a nice "African reggae" vibe to "Zema Lasu," an understated highlight. Some tracks ("Obsidian Beats" jumps to mind) are dancefloor friendly, but most of the album unfolds in listening (as opposed to dancing) mode. The duo lines up worldbeat influences, from klezmer clarinet to Arabic violins, Indian percussion, and a lot more. Things tend to get a bit overcrowded at times, and the album runs long at over 78 minutes, but it sure does the job when it comes to taking you someplace else, grooving. Strangely, though each track takes a slightly different approach, the listener comes out of And So It Goes with a feeling of over-homogeneity. This may be due to Taylor's omnipresent guitar playing, or simply the fact that in the course of 80 minutes, the music remains extremely faithful to its world-electro ideals. In any case, it's a fine if expansive effort, with "Always Waiting" and "Zema Lasu" standing out among the songs, and "Jamming with Marco," "Saranghi Breaks," and "Awaken" being instrumental highlights. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Customer Reviews

...And So It Goes

STYLE Lush global fusion instrumentals and stirring international songs. The third album from Kaya Project deepens the multinational sound tapestry and instrumental juxtaposition that has been a hallmark of much of Natasha Chamberlain and Seb Taylor's music. Male and female vocals in various languages lead a number of tracks - not sampled - full songs performed with a passion and feeling that sample montaging often fails to deliver. Other vocal performances are wordless - wavering Asian utternaces, gentle oohs and aahs and Middle Eastern soaring. Indeed this whole album has a more organic feel than before, more acoustic instruments; guitar, slide guitar, flute, clarinet, classical Indian violin and Arabic mowals fused with tribal percussion, breakbeats and Gypsy jazz. The clear twangs of wires, the soft thuds of hands on drum skins, heady flute breaths, jangling shakers, expressive piano and clarinet lines - all are subtly buoyed up on almost transparent electronic structres. The effect is well picked up in the cover art - warm and expressive, transportational and engrossing. MOOD ... And So It Goes strays somewhat further from its chilled roots than Walking Through and Elixir. The borders are more confidently blurred, the different genres more deftly interwoven. The project has come a long way from the early days of the chilled worldbeat when ethnic wavs were cut and pasted into electronic soundscapes as exotic flavouring - Kaya Project have built up a sound that feels genuinely global in scope, that feels authentic and natural. Tribal drum beats underpin Romany violin, orchestral elements walk side by side with ethnic recordings, Indian singers are accompanied by flamenco guitar, tablas carry slide guitar and harmonica - the atmosphere is like a world festival, shared cultures, common vision, joy of music. ARTWORK A rather sumptuous digipack holds this disc. Four matt panels open out into a broad panoramic spread. On the front cover and running across to the rear a painting with the bold look of indigenous art shows a row of twisting trees against a yellow orange red sky, huge leaves trail as a border along the top; the tightly coiled roots of the trees curling into the earth as a lower border. A faint track list appears on the back cover. Opening out to the first level - a flat beige ground holds a long list of thanks from Seb and from Interchill, track by track writing credits and cover shots of the two previous Kaya Project albums. A further turn of a panel and the disc is revealed along with performance credits and website details. A final outfolding exposes a rich branch and leaf design in similar style to the outer image. Very vivid earthy hues, strongly textured and confidently lined. OVERALL Following on from the highly successful Elixir - for the third time Kaya Project deliver their evocative music via Interchill Records. This has been a creatively fertile period for Seb Taylor clearly, the release of the Hibernation debut Some Things Never Change (a different sonic identity focussed more heavily on electronic sound and deeply chilled glitch) only weeks back. Here with Natasha Chamberlain on vocals, keyboards and flute, the attention is on a more live sound with acoustic instruments including Seb's guitar well employed and mostly dominating the mix. WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM Straying across so many boundaries it's hard to keep up ... And So It Goes will likely appeal to fans coming in from the downbeat club scene enjoying global sound, but so too fans of Deep Forest, Real World, Afro Celts and other worldbeat acts will find plenty here to enjoy.

...& So It Goes, Kaya Project
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