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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

THE DZIHAN AND KAMIEN ORCHESTRA

By Tom Orr

Live In Vienna
Six Degrees

This collective indeed qualifies as an orchestra, since it includes a full horn section and an even fuller string section complete with conductor. In fact, there's an abundance of real live instrumentation here, going boldly against the grain of most ethno/techno music's dependence on canned sounds. Leading lights Kamien (guitar, sampler) and Dzihan (keyboards) preside over a fine ensemble of players (of whom veteran conguero Sammy Figueroa is perhaps most well known) elegantly cranking out global trance garnished with Latin, Balkan, Arabic and other flavors. The sound is remarkably clean and cohesive considering that this is a live recording by a band that numbers 20 (counting guest vocalists), and a good blend of stomp and chill is handily achieved while prominence is given to organic moments like the recurring surges of strings and the crackling percussion duet that closes the proceedings. A few of the tracks could afford to go on longer, but this disc comes out a shining example of cutting-edge border-and-genre-crossing music nonetheless.