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Embryo Ni Hau album cover
3.23 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. After Small Coming Good Coming (9:08)
2. North of the Chinese Wall (4:43)
3. Haikus (7:08)
4. Deep in the Night (Tiefe Nacht) (3:41)
5. Raft (8:35)
6. Onyeni Melek / Shengjazz (5:48)
7. Sehen / Sikahbines in Shan Dong (9:57)
8. Dhurga (5:14)
9. Hungry Horse (Hungriges Pferd) (2:34)
10. 7 x 7 (5:31)
11. 11/5 (3:27)
12. Sai che (6:30)

Total Time 72:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Burchard / vibes, percussion, marimbas, cymbals
- Paramashivam Pilai / vocals, tavil
- Chuck Henderson / soprano saxophone
- Chris Lachotta / bass
- Geoff Goodman / mando-cello, guitar
- Xizhi Nie / ehru, muyü, sheng, gaohu
- Yulyus Golombeck / oud
- Albert Kuvezin / vocals
- Chris Lachotta / bass
- Lothar Stahl / percussion, marimba
- Jens Pollbeide / flute, bass
- Roman Bunka / sitar, oud
- Sascha Alexandrov / bassoon
- Jamal Mohmand / harmonium, vocals
- Yusuf Eshaq / tabla
- Paramashivam Pilai / tavil
- Chris Karrer / oud
- Mostafa Raafat / nai
- Hermann Breuer / trombone
- Peter Michael Hamel / keyboards

Releases information

CD (Indigo 3062-2) Aufn. 1992-'96

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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EMBRYO Ni Hau ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

EMBRYO Ni Hau reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Chinkrock

This is my first venture into latter day Embryo, and truth be told, I was a little wary about this acquisition. Chinese fusion? I must be crazy...

Well part of me is a little bonkers, and whether or not that colours my views on music or not, I leave entirely up to someone else. Well you certainly don't need to be mad to enjoy this music. Ni Hau is through and through a highly melodic album. The real part of the genius though, is how these melodies are crafted. Main man Christian Burchard, whom I've always had a huge sweet spot for, has for this 1996 recording assembled all kinds of exotic percussionists and endemic Eastern instrumentalists. This isn't just Chinese infusions we get here, there's also oud, tabla, tavil, nai, harmonium, marimba and the list literally goes on and on.

Chinese musician Xizhi Nie is in charge of baffling instruments such as ehru, muyü, sheng and gaohu. Now I have absolutely no idea what these instruments look like, but I'm guessing that these must be the ones responsible for the musical phrasings that take me straight to the heartland of the panda.

All in all Ni Hau is a real get together of incredible musicians from across the world. Burchard's even managed to shanghai fellow German compatriots Roman Bunker on sitar and oud, who also played with the group on their seminal We Keep On, Chris Carrer on oud, as well as legendary synth and electronics wizard Peter Michael Hamel off of experimental act Between. So basically what we have here is some kind of Krautrock super-group coming together in order to make music deeply inspired by the cultures of China and Mongolia. There's still an ounce of fusion in here though masked incredibly well behind that easterly silk veil.

A track like Sehen/Sikahbines in Shan Dong brings in one Chuck Henderson and his soprano sax, which he plays like a frantic snakecharmer with a cobra in his trousers. Suddenly we get real tangible "jazz-rocking" textures - Burchard starts a whirlwind on the cymbals - the viola develops a snarling feel - the bass gets right up in your face, while the rest of the band joins in to create a tantalising slice of ethnic fusion that entices you for nearly 10 minutes. To the top of the yellow mountains and back.

As with most of Embryo's output since the ethnic powerhouse album of Reise, Ni Hau is fuelled by rhythmic instruments. Burchard, in particular, has an ingenious way of playing that comes off so fluently, that it'll have a dudette like Ruth Underwood running for the bushes. It's uncanny just how much umphh and zing you get from his marimbas. Coupled together with a precise, and at the same time, constantly shifting tidal wave of galloping percussion features, this album mimics the ever beautiful shades of the far east in rhyme and reason, even if one leg at all times seems to be heavily planted in the Embryo past. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but Embryo's key feature was always that unique way around rhythms and melody. On Ni Hau this feature feels forever multiplied in a gorgeously vast oceanic landscape, where majestic water buffaloes peacefully roam the mosaic beauty of the rice field terraces. 3.5 stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars EMBRYO always seemed to be interested in adding that ethnic vibe to their music and eventually their music would become full on World Music. We're talking Indian, African and Oriental mostly and the latter is on display here on this 1996 release. Up to 20 musicians are featured here as we get 12 tracks over 72 plus minutes. Christian Burchard and Roman Bunka are listed here but almost all of the names I don't recognize. Some call this Chinese Fusion and the band had been working with Chinese musicians for 6 years at this point. Man so many strange sounding instruments here but this is highly melodic. "Ni Hau" means "You good" in Chinese, it's like is saying hello to one another. I am not surprised Christian is into Chinese music considering his expertise in vibes, marimbas and percussions.

World Music has never been an interest to me but there are always exceptions it's just this isn't one of them(haha). I would refer you to Guldbamsen's excellent and detailed review for an idea of what is going on here. The album opens with this Indian talking quickly. We get so much percussion sounds and stringed sounds especially on this album. Too long for my tastes as well but overall it's hard not to be impressed at how legit this is. One of the band members is from China and an expert of sorts on Chinese instruments and music.

3 stars is all this is worth to your truly but if your into those Oriental sounds along with some Indian modes you need to check this out.

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