Music for the Gods (Fahnstock Expedition)

Released 1990 on Ryko
Reviewed by Alexis, 10/07/2001ce

I may be off slightly on some of the details, because I only have a dub of this album, although a good friend of mine has had it for 5 or 6 years. This is an album of Gamelan music, I think originally recorded in the 40's, but I don't quite remember. For those of you familiar with the 2nd Pop Group lp (for how much longer ....)There is one song (can't remember which) which begins with some chanting . This is similar to one of the tracks on this album. I could talk out of my ass about how this music was used for inducing trance-like states for religious purposes, and while that sounds right, I won't. I just don't remember enough about what I read. The recording was made in Bali.
This music however is absolutely haunting and ethereal, like someone ringing different sized bells, but with some kind of song structure. THere's also some basic percussion. This is some of the TRIPPIEST music I have ever heard. It meanders through time changes and different percussive rhythms without managing to break my trance trance. I don't even know what a gamelan looks like (it didn't occur to me to do a search until just now either), or how they're played, but they sound amazing.
I have seen several records of Gamelan music, but have never picked them up, so I don't know if this cd is representative, or if it's exceptional in any way.
The one flaw with this cd however is with the chanting track that I mentioned before. Every other track on the cd is instrumental, and that one really sticks out. in of itself it is absolutely fascinating and hypnotic, but it is very disruptive to the flow of the cd.

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