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Gunesh Ensemble - Вижу Землю / Looking at the Earth CD (album) cover


Gunesh Ensemble

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars Leaded by one the finest prog drummer ever (Rishad Shafi) Gunesh Ensemble is maybe the greatest band from ex-URSS. They are exactly from Turkmenistan and in a nutshell they are a central asian sounding progressive horn rock/fusion group or maybe better a little orchestra. But Gunesh are better than that may imply. Looking at the Earth is their second album and surely the most progressive and best one. The album is a perfect mix of so many defferents ingrendients coming from western and oriental music: trippy Caucasus mountain music, Muslim prayer calls, psychedelia, hot fusion, Vietnamese traditional music, etc.. The unexpectedly beautiful arrangements appeared,and polirhythmic compositions with odd measure were further developed thematically. This is surely a must have for every prog lovers, maybe 5 stars is little bit too much, but if we contestualize it in the geographical area and in the history period we can justify the maximum vote
Report this review (#301478)
Posted Friday, October 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
5 stars Going through the tons of albums I have from Turkmenistan (ha!), I think i've found a favorite! The GUNESH ENSEMBLE (sometimes found only as Гунеш (GUNESH) was a highly eclectic and energetic group led by drummer Rishard Shafi. They were masters of jazz-fusion mixed with all things Central Asian folk including haunting chants and exotic instruments. Of course they even had a Vietnamese singer! After their first album of mostly folk material they really stepped it up and created something truly unique and unbelievable.

Вижу Землю (Looking At Earth) in an unearthly amalgation of musical majesticness. The album begins with a whispering wind and some temple bells before Russian dialogue ushers in some seriously deranged funkiness and energetic percussion and horns with some strange electronic 'talking.' The jazz-fusion doesn't waste any time getting warmed up. You know you're in for a very wild ride with this one. The album continues to surprise with abrupt changes but quite capable of sustaining a beautiful melody in the form of song or chant. The interplay of 10 plus instruments may be going on at any given moment. Absent are any influences from Western bands. All sounds original and isolated like it was all created in a remote area that still hasn't made contact with the Western world. However parts do remind me of Italian avant-proggers Area and the last cut sounds like a traditional Vietnamese song meets the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

If you like eclectic world fusion then you will love this. Must hear to believe.This album had only one vinyl release in 1981 and is probably impossible to find but fear not. Rishad Shafi released the first two albums on CD titled "Rishad Shafi Presents Gunesh."

Report this review (#1081381)
Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 | Review Permalink

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