Kaya Project Desert Phase

Capturing the desert air between guitar strings and drum skins, Kaya Project once again ride the ethno-electronica frontier. This time inspired by the wind-swept landscapes visited on producers Seb Taylor and Natasha Chamberlain's recent travels, the sounds and samples of the Sonoran, Thar and Northern Sahara are aural fodder for their brand of Asian-country fusion. Tracks such as "The Stranger Rolls In" and "Arizona Morning Cocoon" do make for a sultry western soundtrack. The rest of the album, however, is more or less a revisiting of Kaya Project's previous acoustic sojourns. Tribal chants and cowbells are lashed to slide guitar and rattles, while harmonica and Middle Eastern strings add to each richer and busier layer. Feeling a bit like an Eurail pass through a global soundscape, it's no real surprise, considering the amount of ground covered, that the constantly on the move traveller's tempo would follow Kaya Project into the final product. Like the whirlwind tour that filled a hard drive of recorded material, with so much to see and hear, at times it's a little hard to settle into a groove. (Interchill)