If you enjoy World Fusion, then you will like Galactic
Agents' Human Contact. This is probably one of the more musically eclectic
albums I've listened to in a while. Native American, Hindu 'Bollywood',
African, Asian, Middle Eastern- they're all in this one, plus a few blends that
have no category.
The mood is trancy and danceable throughout the disc. It
clocks in at just under an hour, so you get your money's worth. The over mix is
complex without being overwhelming, and the levels are not overboosted, so the
listening experience was pleasant.
The album kicks off with the Native American colored
"Earth Passport Denied" with a wailing chant and electronica
background. Next, the Indian flavored "Mullumbimby Bazaar" picks up the
beat. On the big speakers, this one was a favorite. Along with the sitar and
the singer, the song blends didgeridoo and synths.
Cedar flute and Native American drumming leads in the next
cut- "Anasazi Exodus". "Afro Tech" uses animal sounds as
part of its trancy rhythm track, accented with chants and synths.
"Electric Zikr" brings us to the Middle East, with
Rai chants, hand drums, and strings. The more stately rhythms here would lend
themselves well to a Middle Eastern dance class. The blend of electronics with
live instruments is well done here.
"Brown Eagle's Daughter" is Mongolian in
expression, with the singer and the Chinese flute melody (which I have heard
elsewhere, but which is used here to great effect). It is probably the most
elegant piece on the album. The vocal electronic atmospherics that come in at
about 2 minutes into the song give it an air of vastness, which makes the flute
solo even more poignant.
We go from the boonies to nearly urban in "Glastonbury
Festival"- with abstract tonal rhythms on a drifting vocal background.
This is the most electronic of the pieces, but still quite well done. I am
still trying to place the fiddle melody, cleverly buried in the middle.
The rhythm picks up again with "Kailash Baba",
with its swirling electronic vocals and what sounds like a Sufi chant somewhere
off in the distance. Are those whirling dervishes? Could be!
"Future Dreamtime" has a distinctly Asian on top
of Australian feel, with Middle Eastern samples floating on top of a didgeridoo
drone. It seems suspended in space-time, and is a perfect chiller to all the
dance rhythms that went before it. It does eventually break into a rhythm, but
it remains as stately as the beginning.
The final cut on the album, "Buddha of Compassion"
sends the listener off with a Buddhist prayer (in English) topping more
eclectic drumming and dance rhythms. In spite of the drums, the piece has a
serene feel to it, a fitting end to an excellent musical odyssey.
While I recognized a lot of the source material in the
album, I do give Galactic Agents credit for putting it together in an
interesting manner. For chillout, trance, and electronica fans, this will be a
decent addition to your collection.
Reviewed by Lorie Johnson for