Minor Empire Second Nature

Canada has an unfortunate specialty in producing limp world music sketches that may look good on paper, but are pretty thin gruel on disc. This isn't one of those records. You hope for intense minor key action with a name like Minor Empire, and that's what you get: a slinky, dub-y Turkish soup of knotty rhythms, largely unsweetened. One big pitfall avoided is overbearing fretless bass noodling ― Chris Gartner's deft bass work nearly melts into the percussion, as do Osan Boz and Michael Occhipinti's guitars, for that matter. Ozgu Osman is front and centre with effective vocals, both sexy and serpentine, but never outlandishly so. The band aren't hung up on perfection. There are a few fluffy moments in "Sen Bu Yaylalari Yaylayamazsin," but these do not distract from the integrity of the music. The atmosphere is successfully dreamy without being wan and its sunny moods aren't cloying. Best of all, this disc makes you want to check them out live. (World Trip)