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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

BAHRAMJI & MANEESH DE MOOR

By Eric Seyfarth

Call of the Mystic
Blue Flame

The European half of this cross-cultural experiment, De Moor, is a Dutch producer and keyboard player known for his work on the ambient scene with strong leanings toward lands well east of Amsterdam, which is where Bahramji comes in, playing the multi-stringed Persian santoor. The far-from-rare attempt of this collaboration is to create a middle ground between the ethnic and the ambient. And there are moments, as the crisp santoor of Bahramji cuts carefully across the decidedly down-tempo electronic wash from De Moor, creating a compelling space for the meandering Sufic chants of Bahramji's voiceovers. In a regular rotation through the length of this CD, you will hear an oud here, a kamanche fiddle there, a darbouka and a ney thrown in for good measure, stitched together with a consistent arc of synthesized hum and throb in varying degrees of background -- deliciously disorienting or a bit confusing, depending on how you want to look at it.