Soriah is the solo project and performance art outlet of Enrique Ugalde, who also played drums and percussion in Oregon ethereal band Sumerland. This disc, his first official release, was recorded in Portland's Old Church, which features a tracker-action pipe organ installed in 1883 and never converted to electricity. Paired with Ugalde's throat-singing, a type of overtone singing invented by the Tuva people of southern Mongolia, the effect is singular and otherworldly. Consisting of just two long tracks, this work features over an hour of music that ranges from psychedelic tribal soundscapes to subtle, almost subliminal extended organ drones. The effect is subtle and almost indescribable, but some of the most beautifully weird stuff you'll ever hope to hear. It's a bit like Tibetan Buddhist chanting, but between the reverberations of the organ and Ugalde's nimble vocal work, it's more melodic and far less predictable, although it evokes a similar sense of mystic devotion. Unlike Soriah's energetic live performances, which draw on such influences as yoga and Japanese Butoh dancing, this album is tranquil and entrancing. If you've gotten bored with the usual ambient drones and hackneyed world music, listen to this for something truly unique. Better yet, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming live performances.
Visit Soriah's website at www.soriah.net for more information.
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