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Soukast/Benjamin Taubkin: Sounds Of Life

Dan Bilawsky By

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Electronic threads, street party drums, lively piano runs, meditative moments, metallic zest, and rhythmic seasonings all come to the surface when pianist Benjamin Taubkin and Soukast—the duo of Simone Sou and Guilherme Kastrup, two percussionists who artfully mix sampling into their work—set sail with "Pifaiada," the opening track on Sounds Of Life.

There's no simple way to describe all of the sounds of life, so it should come as no surprise that there is no simple way to describe Sounds Of Life. It's calculation and freedom, joy and pain, isolation and togetherness, thought and action, and fluidity and solidity rolled into one. There are moments of extreme spirituality, but those can often be followed by bouts of nothingness. Some episodes are all about the act of searching and others are made complete by what is found.

This threesome constructs soundscapes that slowly evolve and reshape themselves. In one instance, ghostly passages turn into healing forces as a hypnotic musical salve of percussion, drums, keyboards, samples, and piano is mixed ("Mozambik Bembe"). Elsewhere, a spirit walk slowly turns in another direction when flute, courtesy of Taubkin, meets with electric murmurs, fixed grooves, drums, spacy washes of sound, and piano ("Fabrica De Sapos").

Taubkin and Soukast, two vastly different artistic entities, prove to be wholly complementary. Taubkin adds melodic elements and harmonic grounding to the music—two qualities that Soukast needs to grow. Soukast, in turn, creates a a world of rhythm that surrounds and supports Taubkin's explorations. Taubkin's rippling and ruminative lines gain traction with the help of the percussionists, who manage to find new avenues, directions, and pathways to take because of the pianist's work. It's a you-completely-me type of partnership that yields great results.

Track Listing: Pifaiada; Gota D' Agua; Choro Bororo; Improvison (E O Que Veio Depois); O Tocador; Mozambik Bembe; Fabrica De Sapos.

Personnel: Benjamin Taubkin: piano, keyboards, flutes; Simone Sou: drums, percussion, MPC, pans, melodic bells; Guilherme Kastrup: drums, percussion, MPC, pandeiro.

Title: Sounds Of Life | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Adventure Music

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