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Ex Canix - Shaman CD (album) cover

SHAMAN

Ex Canix

 

Krautrock

4.00 | 3 ratings

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patrickq
4 stars Shaman is a percussion-heavy trip which does a good job of evoking 1970s Krautrock via digital recording.

Between its inscrutable cover painting and its non-western stylings, Shaman is easy to regard as an otherworldly journey. A brief itinerary: things get a little odd after the semi-structured, rhythmic feel of the first three instrumentals ("Juice"→"Nights 'n' Days"→"Meeting at CO"). The fourth track, "When the World Breaks," is more songlike, with English lyrics atop a Sonic backdrop like something Beck would've come up with. The only vocal song on the album is followed by the first experimental cut, "Void." With the polyrhythmic and somewhat cryptic "Tribunus Ultra," the album returns to the style of the first three tracks; but the experimentalism resumes with the atmospheric, non-rhythmic, and perhaps microtonal "Nebel." The first half-minute of "Raga Muffin" leads nicely out of "Nebel," after which some light percussion enters and remains for much of the next seven hypnotic minutes. Shaman closes with "Out of the Can," which is a but more energetic and jazzy than the tracks which precede it, but is nonetheless laid-back for its first two minutes. After this a manic guitar fades in and solos, followed by some drumkit improv which continues alongside frantic synthesizers until it all ends with little warning.

Shaman is an enjoyable voyage. It's progressive without many of the hallmarks of progressive music: only one song exceeds five minutes (the 7:20 "Raga Muffin"); there is little pretentiousness or pomposity; and the playing is decidedly non-virtuosic.

I'd recommend this album to fans of contemporary "Krautrock" and, given that many of its passages are minimalist and/or atmospheric, to those interested in electronic-progressive or psychedelic music as well. Thanks to TCat for turning me on to this group!

patrickq | 4/5 |

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