Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2007 19:54
Artist: Various artists
CD Title: Reinterpretations: Inspired by the Works of Kitaro
Label: Kanpai Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
This collection of songs is based on the works of new age composer Kitaro, so there’s a lot of real schlock on here. Asian flutes and strings are nice, but the overproduced, intentionally soft sound of New Age music isn’t suited for much beyond a dentist’s waiting room or perhaps one of those stores that sells crystals and aromatherapy oils. This isn’t an entirely bad compilation, though. “Beat Break” by Peas stands out as the best track by far, with dark Indian sitars, breakbeats, and chopped up synthesizers. Occidental’s “Tienshan” is also interesting, full of cinematic piano arpeggios and orchestral arrangements, and Inside the Sun’s “Themes from the Silk Road” is reminiscent of Orb’s more pleasant ambient work. Most of the rest is pretty weak. The weird muted percussion of Turbotito’s “Michi” is wrecked by a cheesy bass line, while the melancholy piano of Occidental’s “Fairy of Water” is so marred by the clarinet line it might as well be a Kenny G. song. AudioMoe’s “Crystal Tears” has some promising violin samples, but the wind chimes and sampled waves are too clichéd to forgive. Generally speaking, this compilation, like the music of Kitaro himself, is good if you need to be bored to sleep. Anyone else curious about electronic music with an Oriental flair would be better off checking out Ryuichi Sakamoto, Pizzicato Five, or even Cibo Matto.
For more information on this compilation and the Kanpai Records roster, visit www.kanpairecords.com.