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Natural Rhythms

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Ancient Future 12/15/1993

Review

They may be based out of Kentfield, CA, but their music truly spans the globe. Eastern tempos and nature themes combine evocatively this time on Ancient Future's album Natural Rhythms. It's a very frog-enhanced CD, with the little amphibians chirping melodically on a multitude of selections -- "Frogorian Dance," "Frogorian Trance," "Frog Orient Chance," and "Magic Rain." "Frogorian Dance definitely joins the top list of contenders for all-time most unusual fusion, with its vocals provided by Balinese rice paddy frogs, and additional percussion from tablas, tinklik, and even Budweiser beer can tabs. (Their album notes at MP3.com point out that this was recorded in 1979, long before the Bud frog ads came out. They've re-released it on MP3.com in 2001, for the benefit of new fans.) It's quaintly charming, fluidly graceful, and world fusion fans will welcome its return. While "Hummingbird" is a lovely composition, tempo wise, it is mostly more languid and mellow than rhythms that would reflect the rapidfire wing beats of the actual bird. Its name derives from hummingbirds being nearby during its composition, rather than an attempt to create a hummingbird-paced song. "Waves" is another gently mellow number as well. Then "Eleventh Heaven" is so titled because it is composed in Chartal Ki Sawari, an 11-beat cycle from North India. This selection also incorporates elements of jazz and rock, both to good effect. In all, it's another skillful and harmonious album -- definitely recommended! ~ Murrday Fisher
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Hummingbird Ancient Future 7:39
  3. 2 Frogorian Trance Ancient Future 3:25
  4. 3 Frogorian Dance Ancient Future 3:38
  5. 4 Frog Orient Chance Ancient Future 2:34
  6. 5 Waves Ancient Future 7:52
  7. 6 Magic Rain Ancient Future 1:13
  8. 7 Fading Dream Ancient Future 6:42
  9. 8 Valley of the Moon Ancient Future 2:41
  10. 9 Somaloka Ancient Future 5:9
  11. 10 Eleventh Heaven Ancient Future 7:39

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