The Gilded Serpent presents...
Review of Americanistan CD

by Yasmela

The music group Americanistan, based in Eugene, Oregon, is well known to audiences throughout the Northwest. The group has been steadily building a following throughout Oregon and Washington and has just released its first major CD - "Mosaic".

Mosaic is well-recorded and contains a variety of short-to-medium length rhythmical pieces.

Some outstanding selections on Mosaic include Delilah's Tune, which is a very nice piece, and Zamana. There are also some trance-style pieces, including the Moroccan Trance Fusion in 6/8. I particularly enjoyed the 7/8 rhythm of Rania's Seven. Americanistan plays well together and its strength emanates through its authentic interpretation of these classic Middle-Eastern tunes.

I was not as impressed with the group's improvisational work, but dancers who are looking for steady, secure, rhythmical backup for improvisational and interpretive dances may be delighted.

Track 2!
The two drum solos are uninspiring, and I am not a fan of vocals that meander in a vague, chanting fashion. The harmonium is a prevalent instrument throughout the CD and can be a little monotonous, but that seems to be its purpose.

Mosaic does fill a niche. The songs remind me of some of the wonderful, mystical, improvisational music I heard during the late 60's and 70's. Mosaic hearkens back to a freer, simpler era. The music is very danceable and is tailor-made for improvisational dancers, or for dancers who want less emphasis on precise, frenetic tempo changes and prefer to "just dance." This CD will certainly be a welcome addition to a Tribal dancer's music library.

A note for the next issue..that cover has got to go! I could barely read the song titles and I would like more information about the musicians and the instruments used on each song. Perhaps, keep the cover and make the inside simpler? I felt like I was lost in a tie-dye haze. However, the music IS a Mosaic.

For puchase and more information see:
The Americanistan Website

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