Posts Tagged ‘Akara’

12 Echoes CDs of the Month Tonight

December 4, 2013

WE LOOK BACK AT ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH PICKS FROM 2013

November: Moby - Innocents

November: Moby – Innocents

Every month on Echoes we pick out the CD of the Month. It’s the album we think best represents the sound of Echoes and simply, the best album in that sound.  This year has been a great one for CD of the Month  selections, so I thought we’d do an entire show looking back at those albums. We’ll be going from our current December pick, David Helpling & Jon Jenkins’ Found, all the way back to our January pick, The Ambient Zone-Just Music Café Volume 4.

January: The Ambient Zone - Just Music Cafe Volume 4

January: The Ambient Zone – Just Music Cafe Volume 4

They aren’t necessarily the best albums of the year, but they were all the best album of their respective months and I would be surprised if they all weren’t in our year end top 25.  It can be hard picking the albums. The selections are either slim or abundant.  This year fell on the abundant side as we had our best stretch of Echoes CD of the Month picks in a while.  As we head toward the end of the year and best of lists, I thought I’d look back at our twelve picks.  Maybe these are albums you voted for in the Best of Echoes 2013 poll going on right now at echoes.org.

Prepare for the show with reviews and tracks from all the CDs

March: Ludovico Einaudi - In A Time Lapse

March: Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse

January: The Ambient Zone – Just Music Café Volume 4
February: Ulrich Schnauss – A Long Way to Fall
March: Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse
April: Òlafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter
May: Rhian Sheehan – Stories from Elsewhere
June: Rachel Zeffira – The Deserters
July: Olivier Libaux – Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
August: Melorman – Waves
September: Darshan Ambient – Little Things
October: Akara – The World Beyond
November: Moby – Innocents
December: David Helpling & Jon Jenkins – Found

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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Akara Enters the World of Echoes Top 25 for October

October 30, 2013

WorldsBeyondThe band who creates music from The World Beyond, tops the world of the Echoes Top 25 for OctoberAkara’s The World Beyond was the Echoes CD of the Month and I’m increasingly impressed by the sophistication and meticulous detail of this CD, all the while edited to some throbbing grooves. I would love to hear this on a big stage.

HumanRight behind Akara are old Echoes faves, Bombay Dub Orchestra.  Their third full album, Tales from the Grand Bazaar may be their best yet.  It’s going to be a bonus Echoes CD of the Month selection for November. Right behind that are some other longtime Echoes faves, Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning and Wendy Goodwin who have another beautiful CD of pastoral instruments touched by celtic green and illuminated by ambient light, Winterfold.  This is another album I like more with every listen.

Our forthcoming CD of the Month for November is already at #4, Moby’s Innocents.  And at five, it’s Juliette Commagere’s electronic song cycle, Human, an album of smoldering chilled beauty.

See the rest of the Echoes Top 25 for October here.

ECHOES TOP 25 FOR OCTOBER 2013

  1. Akara – The World Beyond (Merkaba Music) iTunes
  2. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  3. Jeff Johnson Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin Winterfold (Ark Records) iTunes
  4. MobyInnocents (Mute – Universal) iTunes
  5. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  6. Agnes ObelAventine (Pias America) iTUnes
  7. Bryan CarriganBelow Zero (Peonies Music) iTUnes
  8. Tom Griesgraber and Bert LamsUnnamed Lands (Inner Knot)
  9. Pure Bathing CultureMoon Tides (Partisan Records) iTUnes
  10. DarksidePsychic (Matador Records) iTUnes
  11. Mree Winterwell (Mree Music) iTunes
  12. Pieter NootenHaven (Rocket Girl) iTunes
  13. Anoushka ShankarTraces of You (Deutsche Grammophon) iTunes
  14. Darshan AmbientLittle Things (Lotuspike) iTunes
  15. v/aOxycanta III (Ultimae Records) iTunes
  16. EklipseElectric Air (The End) iTunes
  17. Ane BrunSongs 2003-2013 (Balloon Ranger Recordings) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  18. UnaThe Laughing Man (Una) iTUnes
  19. MelormanWaves (Sun Sea Sky Productions) iTunes
  20. ShambhuDreaming of Now (Acoustic Shine) iTunes
  21. Olivier LibauxUncovered Queens of the Stone Age (Music for Music Lovers) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  22. Ulrich Schauss and Mark PetersTomorrow is Another Day (Bureau B) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  23. Emiliana TorriniTookah (Rough Trade Us) iTunes
  24. Sounds from the Ground – Tribes (Upstream Records) iTunes
  25. Julia HolterLoud City Song (Domino) iTunes
    John Diliberto (((echoes)))WorldsBeyondSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  This month,  CD of the Month Club members will be getting Akara’s The World Beyond.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and hear what you’ve been missing.
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Akara – Music from Other Worlds.

September 4, 2013

“There are other worlds they have not told you about.  They wish to speak to you.” -Sun Ra

Hear Akara Interviewed On Echoes Tonight

WorldsBeyondThe band called Akara has returned from another trip to other dimensions with a new CD The World Beyond.  Their previous CD, Extradimensional Ethnography, was an Echoes CD of the Month in 2011. Akara is a recording project from Joshua Penman who thinks that he’s glimpsed an alternate dimension with music that he’s brought back to this side, including lyrics written by the “luminous beings.”

“Akara to me is the songs of a luminous race of interdimensional beings,” claims Penman,  “these beings from the other side of the veil of reality singing to us in their language, their songs, their dreams, their prayers, their rituals. ”

If Afro Celt Sound System had brought Philip Glass and Dead Can Dance into their trans-global orbit, it might have sounded like Akara. It’s a fantasy meeting of orchestral, electronic and world-music elements with a couple of wrinkles tossed in that are strictly from the imagination of Joshua Penman, including the imaginary language sung by Femke Weidema.  Akara wants you to believe that their music actually comes from another world and  Penman posits the idea that there is another dimension that he  has tapped into, that was here before us and maybe even begat us.

3243905517-1“I will say that I’ve had in my life mystical experiences where I’ve had feelings of connections to entities outside of myself,’ reveals Penman.  “And you know, at a certain level this is talking about the numinous and this is talking about something that’s very difficult to quantify and touch.  But I feel in this music that there’s a way that I can catch onto a certain kind of melody, a certain kind of set of words that don’t necessarily feel like they belong to me.  There’s things that I make with this that clearly belong to me and clearly belong to my training; and then there’s some aspects of it that I feel work in a certain way that I feel is beyond my own creative designs.”

Unlike Sun Ra, who lived in his otherworldliness, Penman leaves some wiggle room between belief and metaphor.

“I would say it’s somewhere between the two, mostly a metaphor but not 100%,” he says

Akara has a new album called The World Beyond.  We spoke with Akara in 2011 about their Echoes CD of the Month, Extradimensional Ethnography.  We return to that entertaining interview and some beautiful music, wherever it’s from, when we revisit our interview with Akara tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Little_Things_CoverSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Darshan Ambient’s Little Things 10 days before its released.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

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Music from Another Dimension: Akara.

October 31, 2011

The global orchestration of Akara’s
Extradimensional Ethnography
is the Echoes CD of the Month for November

Hear Akara interviewed this weekend 12/4-6 on Echoes

If Afro Celt Sound System had brought Philip Glass and Dead Can Dance into their trans-global orbit, it might have sounded like Akara. It’s a fantasy meeting of orchestral, electronic and world-music elements with a couple of wrinkles tossed in that are strictly from the imagination of Joshua Penman.

But this isn’t just music, it’s a conceptual project. Music can take you to another world, whether it be the dystopian regions of Nine Inch Nails or the fantasy realms of Yes. Akara wants you to believe that their music actually comes from another world.  Penman posits the idea that there is another dimension that he  has tapped into, that was here before us and maybe even begat us.  Extradimensional Ethnography presents the music of that other dimension, and the lyrics on the album are attributed to the “Luminous beings” from the other side.

Here’s what he writes on the website:

You awoke. You were there, among the luminous beings. You did not know how you had arrived, or what language they were speaking, but you understood they meant no harm and they wished to sing you a story.
It was important.

Wherever the music comes from, it’s an exotic and intoxicating sound that nods to the world fusion of Afro Celt Sound System and the supralingua vocalese of Lisa Gerrard. But Penman, the brain trust behind the project, has his own take on the global electronica formula: he brings in orchestras, live ethnic instruments and a compelling sense of melody.

Femke Weidema is the vehicle for the lyrics of the “luminous beings.” She sings in a fragile soprano, usually multi-tracked, that emerges through the ether like a voice calling from the spirit world.  Like Gerrard, she makes her wordless vocalese sound like an actual language, while at the same time filling more of an instrumental than lyrical role.

It may not emanate from another world,  but Akara creates a global orchestral music of the furthest imagination, one that propels you with surging rhythms and melodies that caress like the gentlest hands.  Ethnic elements are uprooted: the Indian mandolin could very well be a middle eastern oud; the flutes sound more eastern than western; the strings could often be mistaken for a sarangi or erhu; and the percussion flows east and west between dance marches and shifting bendir beats. Only the electronics always sound electronic, with gurgling saw-tooth buzzes and stutters.

It’s the use of classical orchestral elements, that really sets this project apart.  Joshua Penman has spent a lot of his young career composing orchestral works and he’s brought that experience into Akara with organic, elegant horn and string arrangements.  The orchestral midsection of “Dissolving the Veil,” could fit perfectly on a classical concert stage.

But the stage for Akara is definitely between your ears where they construct: a ritual temple of prayer and dance, contemplation and ecstasy. Akara’s Extradimensional Ethnography is our CD of the Month for November.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Hear Akara’s  Extradimensional Ethnography featured on Echoes Monday October 3

You get great CDs like Akara’s  Extradimensional Ethnography by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.

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Hear Akara interviewed tonight (11/29/2011) on Echoes


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