Ambitious, accessible fusion of African music/sound art
An anomaly, this, from Rephlex, the Aphex Twin’s home for fiendish abstract electronica. Gama is a Portuguese-Angolan musician whose interest in traditional African music has led him to build updated versions of ancient instruments. And these are what he plays on Pangeia Instrumentos?all-acoustic devices that also function as sculptures and political tools; one is a kind of thumb-piano made from a symbolically recycled Angolan soldier’s helmet.
On paper, it looks like portentous conceptual art. But Gama’s music is terrific, full of complex patterns and mysterious resonances that are as reminiscent of Balinese gamelan and Philip Glass as the Angolan sounds which originally inspired him. Beautiful, intriguing and, at the very least, an unusually stimulating chill-out album for avant-ravers.