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sonolumina / Press

“Solar Logos is the band's debut effort and is made of nine compositions, all of which last over an hour. The vocals here and more in the vein of samplings, so this is actually an instrumental body of music. The overall flavor of this music is aiming more towards Oriental influences than American. Mind you, there are some dance beats incorporated into the compositions as well as belly dancing type of rhythms. Tom tom, tambourine and unknown percussions are tracing the beat to accompany all sorts of processed instruments and samplings. To be quite frank, I have not really heard trumpet on this disc, so it must be pretty much transformed. On the other hand, I could hear lots of ambient keyboard passages and spacey violin. I believe one has to see this act live to truly appreciate this album. The overall sonic structure depicts dark, experimental and somewhat psychedelic scenery. There to be found: street noises, deep basses, acoustic instruments, scratches, intense parts, and more...”

"Solar Logos" belongs to the 'ethno-ambient' niche, as each track is a sparse pastiche of ambient elements constructed around repetitive tribal drum patterns. There is a good energy to the album, and it makes pleasant, unintrusive background music for contemplation, reading or work. The esoteric, mysterious and primal atmosphere the band is going for is at least partially achieved, though it seems a little forced. Many elements of the bands sound are inherently pleasant to the ear, such as the complex and multifaceted hand percussion work (tabla, dunbek, and more), and the earthy, fuzzed out bass tones, which come from some middle ground between electronic and acoustic. It's no coincidence that the sound seems to gain sonic and spiritual dimensions the instant the electronic beats are gone, best exemplified by the 10 minute "Tablaji", in which the rich tones of the tabla are presented alone atop a very subtle and muffled melancholic chord.

“The album mixes ambient music with world music and trance. The whole comes together in a heady cocktail of Middle Eastern and Indian musics with one eye firmly fixed on the dance chill out scene as well. “Fire” features drones and electronic percussion that sound like the beginning of a journey into foreign lands. “Sona” is bass-heavy and introduces ethnic percussion and distant wordless vocals as if crying from a rain forest at night. Acoustic guitars and traditional strings introduce “Hado” and we are immersed into the Arabian night for a track that could pass as a deep dwelling interlude for some barbarian film’s exotic locale. gs of distant prayers call in “Fatima”and percussion jangles to create atmosphere “Sengali” carries on the themes of exotic drones similar in feel to some of Suns of Arqa’s recordings. “Moodi” is a twelve minute magnum opus, beginning with Residents-sounding piano chords and bass synth rumbles; the vocals lift this away from be”

“There doesn't seem to be much obvious or interesting use of stereo effects on recordings anymore. But on "Fire," the opening tune on Sonolumina's Solar Logos, the hand-drum sound travels back and forth from one speaker to the other so that it feels like you're in the middle of a circle of bass pulses and percussion. Aphex Twin probably never would have teamed up with Dead Can Dance, but that unlikely pairing might have produced the hypnotic electro raga of "Buddha," with its circular, abstract vocals. Distant instrumental voices drift in and out of focus across the album, giving it an impressionistic feel. The diversity of influences and blending of ideas gives each song a soothing quality of the familiar, but with a distinctly exotic character. ”

“Sonolumina = (Faith and the Muse – Monica Richards) + (Dead Can Dance – Brendan Perry) Solar Logos is the debut album by this worldly Colorado-based twosome, made up of dancer bahiya (a.k.a. Jewl Petteway) and producer Wesley Davis, along with a wide array of musicians and rhythm-makers, including a six-year old on accordion and strings (she sings, too). With all the opaque design sensibility and mystical mumbo-jumbo one expects from such things, the end product is great for all you aspiring dark belly dancers out there. It is an interesting concatenation of folk-inspired world music, deep club trance beats, glitchy found sound, and electronic noize, particularly on “Sengali.” Nine tracks feature a bewildering array of other instruments, both familiar (flutes and horns) foreign (tablas) and (banjola), all crashing together into nine tracks, or one big rhythmic masala. Play this while bringing new democracy to your favorite Middle Eastern country.”

“If you're interested in rhythms that make the body move, then Sonolumina is ready for you. These hypnotic pieces borrow from all sorts of international traditions and throw them into a modern, electronic atmosphere. The playing is inspiring, and there simply no way to keep the hips from swaying. (sonolumina, solar logos, symbolic insight)”

“Premier album pour Sonolumina, un duo mari et femme composé de Jewl Petteway (aka Bahiya) et Wesley Davis (aka biostatic). Musique d’ambiance trip-hop orientale, avec une forte influence Dead Can Dance (voix en moins). Musique sensuelle, forte en percussions et mélodies du Moyen-Orient. Quelques longueurs, mais essentiellement réussi. ________________________________________ A debut album for Sonolumina, a husband-and-wife duo consisting of Jewl Petteway (aka Bahiya) and Wesley Davis (aka biostatic). Ambient Eastern-sounding trip-hop music with a strong influence coming from Dead Can Dance (minus the vocals). Sensual music, with lots of Middle-Eastern melodies and percussion. A few overlong passages, but successful overall.”

“I have been a reviewer for ChainDLK for seven years now and I think this is a first: belly dancing music. There are some hints of their influences, specifically Muslimgauze in tracks like 'Hado,' which is somewhat reminiscent of 'Curfew, Gaza' off Zul'm. It does seem to get progressively more experimental as the album goes on. There are some subtle nods to experimentation, with some staticy beats in 'Fatima' and 'Ganges' (it's a bit difficult to read the track listing because of the font ' I had to go to discogs to get the track listing) throws in some spoken word. Three tracks come closest to this though: 'Sengali,' which brings in some distortion and noise, and 'Moodi' and 'Tablaji,' which are both much more of an ambient middle-eastern excursion with some subdued percussion and field recordings. Get it for someone who is interested in trying out belly dancing. (edited)”

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