Fusing world music with a variety of more modern electronic styles, Naked Rhythm showcase a unique stylistic blend on their full-length debut, Frequency. Having found a fanbase among such diverse notables as Sting and The Black Eyed Peas, members Alex Spurkel and Avi Sills, both accomplished producers in their own rights, have come together with the intention of uniting different cultural elements into a global musical language. Thunderous electronic drums and bass coalesce with both synthetic and traditional instrumentation and intricate world percussion, weaving an intriguing web sometimes comparable to bands like Delerium but also unique and distinct. Largely Middle Eastern, Indian, and South American stylistic and melodic motifs form the basis for the material here with obvious North American and European flourishes in both its instrumentation and delivery for an album that truly does bridge gaps without sacrificing its cultural sources.
Fairly diverse in sound, the album's spectrum ranges from high-energy dance tracks (the spectacular "Shisha" and "Sandstorm", arguably the disc's most accessible and impressive offering) to down-tempo grooves like the trippy "Sundinaya" and the hip-hop-infused "Babylon". Granted, this stylistic breadth may also mean that some listeners will be inclined to skip around based on their own genre preferences, but that doesn't mean the disc is even remotely inconsistent in terms of either quality or sound. In fact, the album flows remarkably well and is extremely well assembled and produced. As a bonus, the nearly-hour-long album includes a bonus 5 minute documentary in .mpg format featuring an interview interspersed with brief live footage.
Particularly likely to appeal to those drawn to deep, layered percussion and rhythmic constructs, Naked Rhythm's debut is a compelling cultural blend with multi-genre appeal. Electronic enough to please the club crowd yet likely organic enough to attract even world music purists, Frequency accomplishes a remarkable stylistic union while maintaining accessibility and some measure of mainstream marketability, making it an album whose appeal may have nearly the range of the music contained within.
Naked Rhythm website: www.nakedrhythm.com
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