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Floating Flower - Floatingflower 2 CD (album) cover

FLOATINGFLOWER 2

Floating Flower

 

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

2.95 | 3 ratings

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Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
3 stars Bubbling Earth

This is a side project by Acid Mothers Temple guitarist Kawabata Makoto that seeks to embrace the gentle parts of the Indian raga sound. There is a focus on some Tibetan maybe Nepalese folk sensibilities here, but no matter how you slice this baby, it is bound to make you feel chilled and just like the name of the band suggests: Floating.

A three man band here, although with a hefty woman in charge of the vocalisations, Floating Flower is just about the most relaxing band you'll ever come across. I guess this is the sort of kick that most other people get out of a band like Iona, - though I must confess being slightly more enamoured by this lot. Breezy, shimmering, chill-out ragadelic folk mantras beautifully conveyed through sparse and to the point instrumentations, leaving the listener in a state of bliss and harmony. Oh yes, this one is for all you long haired folks out there, although I would like to think that many others could enjoy this stuff - perhaps even adore it like yours truly. There is a gentleness to these pieces that wraps around your body like an affectionate snake of fog. It's music of clouds and structure-less sky creatures flapping about on the big blue movie screen above.

What I like most about this release is its frugal approach - the way it paints a thousand pictures of windswept skies with but a humble guitar, tabla and those ethereal lingering female vocalisations. I am deliberately using the term vocalisations here, because that is essentially what they are: Beautiful wistful yearning singing that fills up the airwaves like a huge feminine presence. It acts as the main instrument, and whether it flies around in high altitudes or seldomly scraping the deeper and generally more menacing vocal chords, it is indeed what steers this airy castle-boat of sound. Much to my surprise the guitar is not that big of a deal. It strums along like a folky vagabond with a few chords up his sleeves - strumming slowly and rhythmically away - not in any hurry to get any where, just perpetuating a wooden acoustic foundation. Then comes the thing that makes my heart sink into the ground and turns my skin outside-in - cripples my speech patterns and stays with me long after this album has run its course. Here I am talking about the tabla. Crystal clear and high in the mix, it slushes its way into the very heart of this recording. People who have trouble understanding why this instrument is considered to be holy in India; you should check out his album. It's very rare that I get goose-bumps from the rhythm section, but on here those splashing textures from that tabla literally sends chills down my spine.

Apart from those obvious instruments, you do get treated to some violin and e-guitar, which both add a windy and effervescent characteristic to the pieces.

If it weren't for the underdeveloped nature of this thing, I would have rated it higher - maybe even as a masterpiece, had the different potentials been reached, but as it is, - this album gets a bit too repetitive for its own good. However, throw it on the stereo a hot humid afternoon and listen to it for a good 20 minutes, and the universe suddenly starts speaking to you, and the earth begins to bubble up through that tabla. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |

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