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Album Review

Shoalhaven Rise features a trio of performers improvising on exotic ethnic instruments. Riley Lee is on the shakuhachi and the ocarina; Michael Askill is on various percussion instruments; and Michael Atherton is on a variety of string, wind, and percussion instruments, including the didgeridoo. Daniel Askill is a guest performer on the bass and Arthur Boys — whose artwork inspired the trio — is on the waterphone and performs spoken word. This set wanders from space music to world fusion to ambient to experimental avant-garde. At times the soundscape approaches dissonance but does not go there. The artists play off each other and to each other. The eclectic instruments create equally eclectic atmospheres. They weave around and through each other and form playful soundscapes and dramatic sound worlds. The funky basslines echo smooth jazz riffs and the acoustic guitar gives a folk music feel. Despite the wandering styles, this album is very cohesive and not uneven. It is a unique disc and comparisons are not readily apparent.

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Shoalhaven Rise, Riley Lee, Michael Askill, Michael Atherton
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