Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hugh Hopper and Yumi Cawkwell on "Dune"

Originally posted on July 8, 2008

[The late] Hugh Hopper, an electric bassist who impressed the musical community through his pioneering bass work with Soft Machine beginning in the late sixties, shows that he can remain on the bleeding edge of the music with his latest release, a collaboration with keyboardist and vocalist Yumi Hara Cawkwell. Dune (MoonJune) maps out aural landscapes that are populated with ambient, flowing sound events.

Hopper’s bass playing is adventurous. Effects, loops, layering and a distinct, cosmic-oriented tonal arsenal are well in hand on this disk. Yumi provides a suitable and compelling stylistic counterpart with a chant-like vocal style steeped in Eastern sensibility and a keyboard approach that goes from drone to free articulations. This is free rock, I suppose you could say. There are no beats to speak of, but every piece is a miniature world of sound that evokes mind journeys to far away and exotic spaces. It is as dream provoking as it is musically provocative.

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