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Banco de Gaia: Igizeh

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At times, I’m quite calculated when it comes to turning people onto new music, though I do it in such a subtle way as to appear coincidental. Such is the case with this CD as an unsuspecting long time music enthusiast unknowingly was being set up to becomeBanco de Gaia’s newest devotee. People often ask what I’m listening to and I rarely answer because I would rather let the music do the speaking. So I went by my friend’s house to pick her up and had the Banco CD cued up to the two-minute mark of track 2 entitled“Obsidian”. After little more than a hello, she immediately quipped, “What are you listening to?” “It has a vibe I really like”.

With a sly grin I offer up, “Banco de Gaia and their new CD Igizeh ”. “Huh?” Whether it was my mispronunciation or the mere fact of the name and the title, it piques peoples’ minds, which is a friendly introduction to what is in store when you listen for the first time. I first got turned on to Banco when their last release The Magical Sounds of Banco de Gaia came out. In conjunction with the full length was a remix EP for the single “I Love Baby Cheesy” that really floored me, so I was anxiously awaiting their new release.

Well, Igizeh picks up where its precursor leaves off and visits some new places (like inside the Great Pyramid at Giza) along the way. The mostly instrumental mix is a combination of new world disco, Asian and middle eastern flair,psychedelic nuancesto please even the hardened headphone theater nut and swirling soundscapes that let your mind wander through an encompassing stereophonic excursion such as evidenced on the nine minute “Gizeh”. This song is representative of the entire album, as the songs on Igizeh are lengthy, beginning with a simple direction and then adding layer upon layer until it’s ameditative cacophony lacquering your sensesin primordial joy.

An ingenious example occurs on the nearly twelve-minute “Fake It Till You Make It”. The song echoes a melding ofPink Floyd’s The Wall with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” which is further enhanced by a futuristic orchestra that beckons the seldom re-created majesty before it suddenly steps onto a pulsating sheet of beats that lifts you from your armchair and onto your feet before reprising into a sliver of aural ecstasy, the kind once heard on side two of “Dark Side of the Moon”.

But as with Pink Floyd, Banco de Gaia really reaches that euphoric next level during the vocal coloring process of which “Obsidian” is my favorite. This track will appeal to anyone who fell in lust with theDelerium “Silence” track featuring Sarah McLachlan. Lending her vocals to this track and also “Glove Puppet” isJennifer Folkeswho with delicate ease strides above the upper registers of the human voice.

So, if you’re looking for an otherwordly experience that will take you inside your mind AND make you get up off of your behind, then take a trip to Igizeh, just don’t ask where it is you’re headed cause that will dilute the passage in time.

Visit www.bancodegaia.net


Track Listing: Seti I / Obsidian / Creme Egg / Glove Puppet (vocal version) / Gizeh / How Much Reality Can You Take / B2 / Fake It Till You Make It / Sixty Sixteen (for Karina)

Personnel: Toby Marks (producer) / Jennifer Folkes (vocals - tracks 2 & 4) / Ted Duggan (some drums on tracks 3, 8 & 9)

Title: Igizeh | Year Released: 2001

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