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World Music CD Reviews Electronica

ENTER TRIBAL

By Tom Orr
Published June 22, 2006

Canyon Records

Your enjoyment of this disc (or lack of it) will pretty much depend on your tolerance for music heavily immersed in techno/electronica, and the degree to which the source material (in this case, Native American flute and singing) lends itself to such an approach. That said, it's a pretty good effort. Noted Navajo-Ute flutist R. Carlos Nakai and and keyboardist/programmer Cliff Sarde are the principal players here, with contributions from such other Canyon Records artists as Robert Tree Cody, Dephine Tsinajinnie and Primeaux and Mike. Sarde's synthesized soundscapes mostly manage to bolster the organic elements in the mix, creating appropriately icy textures on "Winter Camp," giving "Touch Of Your Hand" a helpfully subtle reggae-like bassline and framing the benediction of "May There Be Beauty" with suitable elegance. While purists should definitely stick to the more traditional offerings (including Nakai's many fine collaborative works) in Canyon's 50-years-in-the-making catalog of Native American sounds, the boldness of Enter Tribal is, to some necessary degree, both admirable and welcome on its own terms.