In The Labyrinth - Walking On Clouds

Year of Release: 1999
Label: TonArt Productions (TAP)
Catalog Number: TAP
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:34:00

Sweden's In The Labyrinth are multi-instrumentalist Peter Lindahl (flutes, mellotron, guitars, mandolin, viola da gamba, zither, saz, shehnai, bass, percussion, vocals, samplers and "fx") with a variety of guests including fellow multi-instrumentalist Håkan Almkvist (sitar, tablas, electric guitar, bass, tapes, radio and fx). Walking On Clouds is the second CD by the group, whose members have changed over the years aside from the one constant, Lindahl.

In 1997, Lindahl and his wife had traveled to India; the music on the album reflects that trip as the arrangements and instruments used clearly indicate. It is a mix of instrumental and vocal pieces, where each of the album's 11 tracks has a descriptive introduction from Lindahl. The inclination is to refer to the rhythms and arrangements as Middle Eastern, but that isn't true, since India is, in fact, part of Asia and not the Middle East. But, influences being what they are, it is not surprising that there are similarities - and from which way across the border, I can't say. The Northwestern portion of India borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, countries that are considered part of the Middle East. But, short of spending time writing lecture on history and geography, let's just talk about the music.

Musically the pieces range from the upbeat, swirling darkness of "Kali" (the black, three-eyed goddess "who rules seemingly ruthlessly over the wild, bustling city of Calcutta" writes Lindahl) to the mostly mid-tempo, danceable rhythm of "Mahatma" (dedicated to Mohandas Gandhi) and "Gates On Oneiron" (meaning "gates to the dream-world," roughly, says Lindhal) to the calm, peaceful and gentle "Over The Wall" (about the Himalayas) to the austere "The Caravan From Sheeba," which sounds as if it could be part of a movie score, as it has the feel of an overture. In between we travel to the dark "Lop Nor (The Wandering Lake)" for some sharp guitar soloing and the sweet, dramatic sound of violins, and travel through the even darker "Dervish Dreams." Oddly enough, "Golgonda" (an Indian wine) has a bit of a Scottish Celtic sound to it, where their seems to be bagpipes, but, of course, there aren't. Otherwise, this piece is atmospheric, where the rhythmic percussion that has dominated the release so far is absent. Sounds of, perhaps, a street market can be heard in the background. The title track, "Walking On Clouds" falls somewhere in between being both atmospheric (as clouds might suggest) with soft but firm (if that makes sense) percussion (as walking might suggest).

Anyone who appreciates the mid-to-late period work by Tangerine Dream will find much to enjoy here. What might also come to mind, as it did for me every once in a while, was George Harrison's "Within You, Without You" (Sgt. Peppers) though in the first track, I thought a little bit of Pink Floyd's "Eclipse" (Dark Side Of The Moon) in the soft vocals and phrasing of Lindahl -- of course, with an Indian motif. The vocal pieces do hark back, a bit, to a more psychedelic late 60s, especially given Lindahl's singing voice, but then many artists were dabbling in "eastern mysticism," The Beatles at the feet of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi being one example.

Helping Lindahl create this rich suite of music that is both smooth and textured, and extremely inviting are Kirk Chilton and Micke Lövroth on violin, Ismet Demirhan on woodwinds, Sven Lindahl on cornett, Fereidoun Nadimi on darbouka and recitation, Miriam Oldenburg on accordion, Stefan Ottman providing additional recitation, Helena Selander and Anders Victorssen on background vocals -- all combining to transport you to a different world.

Also released/distributed by Record Heaven (RHCD 21)

Kali (6:28) / Mahatma (6:08) / Over The Wall (3:58) / The Caravan From Sheeba (4:16) / Birka (5:03) / Lop Nor (The Wandering Lake) (4:33) / Dervish Dreams (6:29) / Golgonda (4:27) / Gates Of Oneiron (5:46) / Chandrika (3:17) / Walking On Clouds (6:09)

Peter Lindahl - flutes, mellotron, guitars, mandolin, viola da gamba, zither, saz, shehnai, bass, percussion, vocals, samplers and "fx"
Håkan Almkvist - sitar, tablas, electric guitar, bass, tapes, radio and fx
Kirk Chilton - violin
Micke Lövroth - violin
Ismet Demirhan - woodwinds
Sven Lindahl - cornet
Fereidoun Nadimi - darbouka and recitation
Miriam Oldenburg - accordion
Stefan Ottman - recitation
Helena Selander - background vocals
Anders Victorssen - background vocals

The Garden Of Mysteries (1996)
Walking On Clouds (1999)
Dryad (2002)

Genre: Electronic

Origin SE

Added: June 15th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1164
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]