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World Music CD Reviews Electronica

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Solace
Balance
Magnatune

By Robert Kaye

Published December 15, 2006

Solace, a.k.a. Jeremiah M. Soto, has earned renown as producer of several best-selling ambient/world music/electronica projects, including the popular record Ahsas. Having established himself as an award-winning creator of contemporary belly-dance albums, on his newest audio adventure, Soto turns to the Far East for inspiration. Balance is resplendent with exotic instrumentation, especially Asian, mysterious sounds, titillating textures and dynamic rhythms. His studio craftsmanship, coupled with a keen knowledge of numerous genres, allows him to deftly cut and paste indigenous musical elements into imaginative electronic tone poems. The opening track, “Ping Heng,” takes its inspiration from the powerful Japanese Taiko drumming. Solace also infuses a modern groove drum track alongside the Taiko tracks, amalgamating East and West in rhythmic revere. Other songs, such as “Tiger Moon Dance,” feature processed Far Eastern string instruments, gamelan-like idiophonic sounds, bansuri and Middle Eastern vocals to create a mid-tempo track comparable to Natacha Atlas’ work. Balance was produced by Magnatune, an imaginative Internet-era record company created by Lyris founder/CEO Jim Buckman.

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