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Man Ray Volume 1 finds Bruno Evin, Djamel Hammadi, and Julio Black, three of Europe's most prolific DJs, taking acid jazz, ambient and electronica to new heights with a flawless mix of influential music that spans the globe. With an arsenal of differentiated rhythms and harmonies that cut across cultures, Ervin, Hammadi and Black showcase some of the most groundbreaking acts on the world-dance circuit, and produce a set of new-age chill-out standards that proves to be infectious and groovy while still achieving its atmospheric musical intentions.
Nitin Sawhney's dreamy "Letting Go" sets the tone for the record with its soft, lucid melodies. As vocalist Tina Grace muses: "Don't be afraid of letting go...not of anything, not of anyone." Her sweet, yet somber, delivery expresses a sense of precognitive spiritual self-awareness, as airy Hindi-influenced strings provide a calming crest of sound behind her. Sawhey's tune then flows seamlessly into Kinobe's orchestral "Slip Into Something More Comfortable," an ambitious, al fresco-like nature-walk of musicianship woven together by violins, a flute section, and rhythm guitars.
On Bill "Ravi" Harris and the Prophets' "Path of the Blazing Sarong," Harris and his band mates combine melodic jazz overtones, sitar funk and a strong, head-bobbing backbeat to create a cool brand of Eastern-style fusion. Azymuth's sundown samba jam "Cuica Laranga Azeda (Sour Orange Cuica)" grooves along at a comfortable pace as drummer Ivan Conti and bassist Alex Malheiros offer up an impressive blend of slightly refrained Brazilian cadence, while the melodic, improvisational keyboard work by Jose Roberto Bertrami feels reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's turn on the jazz-rock-rhythm hybrid "Stars in Your Eyes" from the album Monster (Sony BMG, 1980).
With its Cubano-Brazilian rhythm guitars, brass section, and catchy bossa nova bounce, Buscemi's "Ramiro's Theme" is the definitive dancehall free-party anthem that is sure to make even the most conservative wallflower whoop and holler with elation. The hidden closing track "Ever So Lonely/Eyes/Ocean" by Indian vocalist Sheila Chandra feels like a warm blanket and is, like Nitin Sawnhey's opening track "Letting Go," awash with tranquil measures provided by the gentle hum of a single backing sitar.
With Man Ray Volume 1, Bruno Evin, Djamal Hammadi, and Julio Black not only combine European and Asian musicianship with the jazz traditions of the Americas, they've masterfully created an exemplary mix of world music that undoubtedly sets a new benchmark in musical feng-shui.
Track Listing: Dzihan & Kamien-Dampfschiff; Nitin Sawhney featuring Tina Grace- Letting Go; Kinobe- Slip into Something More Comfortable; Sven Van Hees-Seasonal Bounty (Smooth '94); The Amalgamation of Soundz-Droplets; Esthero- Superheroes; Bill "Ravi" Harris and The Prophets- Path of the Blazing Sarong; Butti 49- Brazilikum; Azymuth- Cuica Laranja Azeda (Sour Orange Cuica); Georg Levin- When I'm With You; Lemon Jelly- A Tune for Jack; Universal Principles- Latin Stroll; Nickodemus- Cleopatra in New York; Ivory Club- Taj; Buscemi / Sheila Chandra- Ramiro's Theme / Ever So Lonely/Eyes/Ocean.
Personnel: Bruno Evin: producer, DJ; Djamal Hammadi: producer, DJ; Julio Black: Producer, DJ.