|All Artists: James Asher|
Title: Feet in the Soil
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: New Earth Records
Release Date: 4/2/2002
Genres: New Age, Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Feet in the Soil
Genres: New Age, Pop
Drawing on inspiration from African drumming and Aboriginal chants, Asher has created a dynamic hybrid of danceable energies centered in the earth. Feet in the Soil's rhythms are bold and evocative, an exotic blend of trad... more »
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Drawing on inspiration from African drumming and Aboriginal chants, Asher has created a dynamic hybrid of danceable energies centered in the earth. Feet in the Soil's rhythms are bold and evocative, an exotic blend of traditional and world music influences guaranteed to get you up out of your seat.
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Unusual instruments and drumming, each piece finely crafted
DaveL | 06/27/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pemulwuy. Aborigine parents taught their children through songs and dances that described major events, ancestors, and leaders. One such leader of the Bidjigal, was Rainbow Warrior. In 1797, after many were killed and the-people were forced from their home lands, settlers were killed at Parramatta. In the fighting, their guerrilla leader Pemulwuy was wounded. He escaped and lead resistence against the British for five more years. The voices of this piece are the players in Pemulwuy's legend. Pemulwuy and his people are didgeridu, djembe, darabuk and the voices of the women, all speaking the ancient rhythms. The heavy modern sound of the bass guitar and the driving metalic percusive sounds are heard as their oppressors. They play off each other, both fighting for room to exist in the aural space. The tempo is very upbeat, with mid-range hand drums and varied percussion overlayed by the didg' voices. The added interplay of the bass and percussion, a woman's native words, and great rhythms round it out. After the high whistles of the tribe's support, what remains is bangs and raps on a hollow, shakey drum that fades as Pemulwuy's people continue into the distance. Ijeilu. It starts as a likable, jangly mix. Built on multiple percussive beats and a deep reverberent presence, the native men's chorus sings and speaks between synthed vibe/zylophone and guitar riffs. The repeating chorus is followed by now-continuous drums and vibes, then a guitar lyric, into a neat mix of all nearly at once. Pulled back to drums, then up again with guitar and overlays of faraway flute. Ijeilu is the statement of the people, though `Ijeilu' is elusive. Using our imagination, we hear the separation. We hear our tribe, our voices and our ancestor's voices in our music. They are the metalic intruders, taking our hearts. Return to Egypt. At seven minutes plus this tableau is masterful. Literaly a sizzling start, then hand drums, one with the beat, another in sycopated back rhythm, the clear flute voice! , trilling up, inciting the clapping of the crowd, back again with flute, drums. Framing this in your mind, with a little push, connects you to the setting of the players and their stage. Into a theater atmosphere with a big organ, offset by a single voice crying its melody. Bells and wavering synth voices, flute, drums still pounding thru, keeping the energies up. Return to Egypt is done in a grand scale. Guitar and flute, back with strong clapping, back into the theater, missing little in the aural spectrum, building and extending on and on until, poof. A muted cymbal, a few bars of flute speaking, repeating it, saying it different ways, making sure it is heard. Tantango. Another jumpin tune. A driving energizing sensation induced by extensive drums, layered live bass, multiple synth voices with live and synthed wood block. All tweaked up by a perky electric vibe/zylophone, a -different- synth voice, lots of syncopated riffs and extensions, lots of little improvs. The synth, drums, wood blocks, merrily rumble up and along, rolling toward immediate fullfulment. Send in the Drums. This is the one. Its riffs and sections jolt that jump-up-and-dance urge. There is some amount of African influence that mixes it up, probably Asher's hired `talent' again. The didg' is still a big influence. Some great work. This is one you crank up on those occasions. Big drums, mated with the range of players, didg', the simple things, oooh this is a great piece, the drums take over from the didg', lots of rattles, ... a triangle, the didg', oooh those drums, does that pull it right out of you, or what? The didg's repeating chorus, the drums' syncopated message returning with the didg` voice, `wheaeaachhh, wheaeaachhh' jumping, fading, jumping. Earthsong is made of mellow flute and a drifting, soothing melody with percussion backgrounds and interludes. Soft synth strings into mello flute then add another harmonious store of strings. Again these are stories spoken thru time. Beyond the immediate expression,! Flute speaks well, reminding us. Add a broader background, still the flute. Then stronger, closer, more precise, more complementary, a warm soundfeeling, then the strings, low and sweet. Twists and turns bring the base sound, a violin, a flute; the players. Add the percussion, reintroduce all the players in concert. Long phrases told by all the voices. Hear their stories. Red Rhythm Dragon is red, sun, hot, elaborate, theater, and great didgeridoo. Setting it up for this piece, the percussion overlays itself into a pleasing complex, expanding the expressions that drive through this experience. The nonstop didg' drones to keep company with the entourage of drums. It unfolds with hot hands on hot drums, rattles and tick tick tock, tick tock tick. There is a sense of the scale, of the number of surrounding players. It fulfills, it gratifies. There is a true foreground, middle and background. The music, the players, the dancers, are all here to present themselves. They represent themselves. They are here to remember. Cooking it up is contemporary guitars, jazy, syncopated vocals, a fast forward into the current time zone. It says `hey' this is fun, whatayasay! The men's voices are sampled as a multiply punctuated chorus, they sometimes come back in various phrases, all unintelligable. What are they saying? The beat is good, all of it, going on and on. Those middle drums, guitar and high pitched percussions, a wide blast of a man's voice from inside the synth, an interjection by some maniac, more sampled repeating chorus, great flaptapping on the drums, more voices, women's, men's, more sampled `heh, heh, heh, heh', off on the matched drums again, a broadband `ohhhhh', `ohhhhh', as we are leaving. Heathaze has an odd title and an odd compelling synth with a phased harmony that sets up two sounds per beat, that enables the processed sounds/reverb to use either 'beat' for syncopated backbeats and sub melodies, including 'Pong' samples. Got that? Very modern, totaly overtaken by the fore! ign aural universe. Yet it starts to buzz, to pick you up as it goes along it's way. Ocean of Dreams The phrases of women's voices, flute, a mellow vibraphone, it starts. Quite dreamy. An expressive presence of the flute is taken over by women's voices and the sounds of waves crashing, building to ocean drumming. Serious voices chant with drums and waves. The torent of watery collisions make white noise augmented by droning voice. Accompanying drums and shakes join to maintain themselves beyond the watery reach. Pemulwuy Returns is the end piece, but a return from the hereafter, or reliving by the players, it is not clear. Didgeridu, djembe, darabuk and beat*melody do return, now obviously jubilent. The invaders bass, triangle and metalic tapping beats are present, contributing to a more upbeat interplay. Synth intro wrapped around drum beats and didg' keep it staked up with high frequency advances. You can feel the connection to the past in the low bass melody as it jumps in with the synthorgan intertwined with drums and didg'. Together they form an organic reach out into the present, the beating reminder of the past."
Makes you wanna move your feet...
A. Ort | Youngstown, Ohio | 09/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Apparently a master percussionist, Mr. Asher uses some more basic (e.g. a variety of drums and percussion) and less heard instruments (e.g. the didgeridoo) to amazing effect. It is driving and moving and exhilarating. I heard this one first in a pair of headphones at a Discovery Channel Store and was captivated and couldn't help being moved along by the beat. I suppose it taps into something 'primal', kind of like drum circles at concerts and such, when a bunch of folks get together and just start playing away on some drums until a rhythm is created and you start to dance. This album is a lot like that only it is much refined. But it is great, whether to help you on a drive or simply to take you away for a while.As noted on the album, even Pete Townsend of The Who thinks Asher's music is great."
Stefanie Freele | Healdsburg, CA USA | 11/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great upbeat CD. Perfect for the rainy day housecleaning blues - or a time when you need motivation. Gets the house moving!"