In 2009, the eponymous album of IO Earth (see review) really grabbed me by the throat. With a combination of several musical styles, I thought it to be an impressive album that belonged to one of my favourite releases of 2009. I experienced the same feeling while listening to Music For The Planet recorded by Urihani : again a very impressive album with a fine blend of musical styles: modern dance beats, world music, opera, electronic music and progressive rock, just to name a few! The subject of the albumís concept also has some similarity with IO Earth: the destruction of our planet. Since itís very important to communicate the bandís message properly, I think itís wise to include parts of their biography Ė taken from their website and MySpace-site Ė in this review.
According to this biography Philippe Moreau (guitars, keyboards, sound design, programming) and Jeff Alcaras (guitars, bass, Chapman-stick, keyboards, engineering) the two authors and composers hail from France and met in 2003. Together they created the Urihani-project that aims to sensitize people to environmental problems through an artistic approach. In the language of the Yanomami, an Amazonian tribe, Urihani means: s pirit of the trees, spirit of the forest. Both composers think the world needs a new alliance with nature. The relation between men and its environment is crucial and must be preserved through sustainable development. Common sense urges us to act; everyone must make daily efforts by consuming less and by limiting pollution. So far a short introduction to this project, but of course itís also nice to know what the music on Music For The Planet is like. Let me guide you through the album by commenting upon all tracks. Hopefully, you might get a picture how the album sounds.
On the first track Lost Soul, the modern rhythms are very well mixed with tribal sounds of the Amazon-area. The beautiful female voice of Bahia Ouakssas is a big help to imagine being in this part of the world. She probably sings in the Yanomami-language.
2 Late? has a modern rock sound, because of the great groove featuring Michael Notebaert on drums. This time we hear the pleasant voice of Emily Spiller.
The next piece Over Me is a special one because of the opera voices of Nathalia Leonoff and Patrick Texier combined with an awesome groove owing to the great drum parts.
There Inside has some disco elements, but still sounds very strong due to the strong voice Fred Caramia. It reminded me of the song London Kid made by Jean Michel Jarre and Hank Marvin for the Revolutions-album.
High Speed is a fine up-tempo instrumental piece with modern rhythms.
On One Way To Move we hear the voice of Emily Spiller for the second time. This slow electronic piece has a jazzy touch because of the way Emily sings.
May Be starts with some modern beats and again the strong opera voice of Nathalie Leonoff can be heard. The drummer provides this song with the right groove and over it a brass synthesizer plays strong chords.
Uncertain Elements is a strong instrumental piece with a dominant, amazing and bombastic keyboard sound while the drummer plays an incredible beat.
Some Of Them is again a bit jazzy because of the trumpet played by Romain Bly and the voice of Emily Spiller. It has some resemblance with the music of Miles Davis.
The instrumental piece Fragmentation also has some strong Jean Michel Jarre influences.
Another End is the perfect ending for this impressive album. Starting with a piano, but as soon as the strong voice of Fred Caramia comes in it gradually moves to a very beautiful climax. Throughout the whole piece the drums are responsible for the live feel.
If you have become anxious to know more about the music of Urihani, you can listen to the sound samples on their websites. You probably will be as much impressed as I was when I heard this album for the first time. Urihaniís care for Mother Nature made them decide to release the music digitally on important platforms as iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and Amazone. I felt very lucky to get one of the limited versions with an environmental-friendly packaging.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
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