Friday, February 11, 2011

CD Review: Banco de Gaia's 'Songs From The Silk Road'

Songs From The Silk Road
Disco Gecko

Banco de Gaia (aka Toby Marks) is a seasoned electronic DJ/remixologist with a flair for the sounds of the Middle East and Central Asia. The songs may be inspired by the East, but the music speaks volumes of different influences. The groovy, Engima-like song, "Tempra", is a fine composition with angelic, female vocals resembling a top song in a New Age music category. Moreover, the blurby electronica and percussive beats of "Sheesha" and house-type beats of "Glove Puppet" embody a purely electronic overtone with only slight resemblance to anything from the Middle East. Instead, Songs From The Silk Road is a musical journey more closely aligned with the trip-hop, downtempo, electronica-laden beats of world beat with less of an emphasis on the 'world' part. Still, the largely instrumental compositions are nothing to ignore, as the musical arrangements and remixes are top-notch. Semantics aside, Banco de Gaia is definitely a worthwhile contributor to global electronica and his latest releases proves it. ~ Matthew Forss

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