Azigza — Kriya
(Lionharp, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01Combining influences from around the world can be a dangerous enterprise for musicians. There will always be some who call foul at the “appropriation” of sounds from other cultures, preferring their World Music “pure” and true to its roots. Certainly for every success like Peter Gabriel or Afro Celt Sound System, there’s a failure like Rusted Root, who for all their sincerity (for all I know) come across as dilettante dabblers. Of course this idea of fusing different cultures goes back to Santana and the Beatles and other pioneers of the late 60s, but with a few exceptions, it’s never caught on in America, at least with a wide audience. The first time I saw Azigza in 1999, I figured them for another interesting failure, though their connection with the Gong crowd (due to the appearance of Gilli Smith) gave them a little something to set them apart. But from those shaky beginnings has grown something truly wonderful. Their meshing of Mahavishnu, King Crimson, and space rock with the musics of Eastern Europe, India, Africa, and the Middle East has coalesced into something uniquely theirs, and Kriya is pretty much brilliant from start to finish. I’m reminded of the potential shown by Sky Cries Mary, who came from similar places, but never quite gelled. Azigza’s success is due in large part to the technical prowess of the musicians, which is tempered by the good taste to know when atmosphere (courtesy of found sounds and voices) is more important than energy.
Related artist(s): Azigza
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more