Australia: Sound of the Earth
by Darren Bergstein, Muze
More a gathering of kindred spirits than a three-way collaboration, this evocative and fairly breathtaking recording holds its rightful place in fully bringing to virgin Western ears the sounds of Australia, specifically the time-bending timbres of the didjeridu and the ancient aboriginal spirit catcher, an sort of minimalist 'harp' that is whirled over the head and is said to "act as a receptor for unseen spirits." Judging by the otherworldly grooves of the didj and Roach's attendant cloak of synths, these earthsounds might in fact originate out of numerous lands before time. The opening "Red Dust and Sweat" flaunts nearly ten minutes of sublime digital dream over the vituperative grunts of Hudson and company's tree-hown soundpipes – it's difficult to resist the sensation that you've stepped back into the very bowels of the primordial soup from which we've all came, bringing back those 'first sounds' as evidence. On "Atmosphere for Dreaming," Roach and Hopkins set the participant off on clouds of delicate synths amid the fluttering of migrating moths, carrying the aboriginal signature on their wings. Listen first, and then remember if you had too much to dream last night...