Deep, pensive and cinematic
Andrew Patterson | "Wine Country", CA USA | 10/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title "The Conference Of The Birds" definitely doesn't give any clues as to the nature of the music, but in the end it all makes sense, sort of the way that the insights and memories of past psychedelic trips do---mysteriously, but with the unmistakable flavor of authenticity.I stumbled upon it while scouring Emusic.com for any and all good (by my special standards) ambient music they had. I don't know who Captain Kowatchi is, but he has a fine imagination. This album builds and swells and meanders through numerous unique musical visio-vistas, nearly all having a pleasantly mysterious desert/tribal feeling to them, perhaps conceived with a North American tribal feel in mind, perhaps not (since I downloaded it from emusic.com I have no accompanying notes and have no idea where the artist is coming from other than what the music tells me). There are also occasional rhythmic aspects calling reggae and Afro-dub styles to mind, but these are well integrated, as are all the style elements at work here, and never dominate at all. This is one of those albums that cannot be fairly categorized (usually a mark of high quality in my world). Maybe it's organic ethno-ambient tribal dub chill abstract experimental slowtrance... It's worth noting for you also that the tempos throughout this stirring piece of work all stay slow (as is the rule with "true" ambient in my opinion); you won't find galloping triple-digit bpm excursions disturbing the focus here. This is a deep, slow and meaningful---dare I say shamanic---journey through an imaginary desert planetscape, seen through the eyes of the Captain's all-knowing birds. Strap in and enjoy the ride."