Bongo Fury

The hypnotic harmonium drone of "In a Thousand Years" lets you know you're in store for something not entirely familiar unless you've been traveling — literally or otherwise — in the musical circles of northern India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey or Tuva. None of the instruments used on this album are electric, making the sounds notoriously difficult to record with any fidelity, and yet that's what happened here. There are no obvious concessions to Western music in any of these songs other than some English-language lyrics in the paradoxically catchy yet mystical "Autumn Rolls Round." "A Half Bag of Demons," meanwhile, features surprisingly able throat singing, and the album ends with the gentle raga of "Makshalala." This is the stuff of which Satyajit Ray soundtracks are made, travel music for mystics and seekers of all stripes.


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