#2 Universal Consciousness – Alice Coltrane

Damn.  Two for two.  Right off the bat, the title track Universal Consciousness is a sonic punch to the face.  The throughout the album the strings and string orchestration is amazing.  In fact, the spread of instrumentation itself is very interesting.  It really explodes out of the track to the brink of being noise, but through some gravity, the track retains its center.  Battle at Armageddon is sonically very dark.  It’s tracks like this that illustrate the relation between some of today’s electronica and free jazz.  If I were a deep sample-based musician, I would want to go sample this album.  The sonic density reminds me of Meat Beat Manifesto (first comparison that pops into my head).  The drums are all over the place, but melodic at times.  Oh Allah opens like a twisted Rockabye Baby on strings.  There is some really good electric piano here.  Though I love interesting drum parts, the busy drumming here somewhat ruins it for me.  I really wish they were steady (again, the electronica comparison), though I admit the business starts to work better as it becomes more chaotic.  Again, the strings are amazing.  Hare Krishna: again, we have an amazing opening with the strings.  There is some incredible sensitivity and detail on the cymbal work.  The track is kind of mind blowing – I can’t take it all in.  Sita Ram is a great droning piece.  It’s very visual – I can feel the the baking heat of the desert on this one.  The Ankh of Amen-Ra uses harp and bells to gorgeous effect with a lanky groove to back it up.

I may big digging a bit deeper into Mrs. Coltrane’s catalog in the future…



About morganhendry

I have been a musician and rocket scientist since 4th grade. I play drums/keyboards for the LA based instrumental rock band Beware of Safety (www.bewareofsafety.com), write electronic music as The Laterite Road (www.thelateriteroad.com), and just landed something on Mars (mars.jpl.nasa.gov). More info can be found at my website (www.morganhendry.com). Sign up here for updates on my many projects: http://morganhendry.fanbridge.com/
This entry was posted in 365 Albums in 2011, Album Review. Bookmark the permalink.

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