Published on Ambient Visions April 2002

Didgeridoo Trance Dance

by Various Artists

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What hath Nomad (aka Adam Plack) wrought?

With a few exceptions, this is a CD of high speed techno dance tracks, segued together into essentially one continuous wall of sound. In fact, I frequently had to check the display on my CD player to know when a new track had begun!

The unifying element on all tracks is the sound of the didjeridoo, though I hesitate to say that there is much actually didjeridoo "playing" on this disc. With the exception of a few transitional drone breaks, most of the didj work on this CD consists of samples of various short didj grunts and braps woven into the rhythmic tapestry... just one more element in the non-stop beat. And except for the didj timbres, there is not much here to distinguish this collection from most other techno dance disks.

The standard elements are all here... percolating synth bass tracks and blippy arpeggios, studio trickery like rhythmic echos and swirly reverb washes, all laid over drum machine beats and percussion loops. Some hallmarks of the individual tracks include breakneck "jungle" beats on Gurrupurung by Gondwanna and Anyway I Tell Ya, by Ganga Girl (along with a few sampled horn stabs for good measure), vocal chants on Awowedas by Lost at Last, subtle guitar loops on Didge-Na-Gig by Global. Andy Graham's Thunder includes some organic-sounding ethnic percussion interspersed with the drum machine beats, and a slightly melancholy melodic fragment that underpins Factory Farm by Didjworks.

The final two tracks break form the formula a bit. In lieu of the standard drum machine timbres, Kemetic Song by Hayan features a hypnotic dumbek/conga groove with a riff that sounds like it might be from a sampled log drum underscoring some lively, seemingly authentic didj work, and Entrance, by Si, features an almost imperceptible shaker rhythm backing up a pair of real didj tracks creating a lovely primal drone.

Reviewed by Allen Welty-Green for Ambient Visions

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