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Origin by Elise Lebec
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 7/31/2017
Profound and Captivating
There is one thing that can be said about 2017, musically, it has brought to our tables several fine examples of projects that are quite unique and fresh. Many of them have this underlying desire to bring the world together through the only language that is the truth, music.
That laudable statement can also be laid at the doorstep of Origin, the latest offering by Elise Lebec. Each track has been carefully crafted and wonderfully produced and performed, so with that said, let’s take another voyage on our ship of sonic sound as we traverse the realm of Origin.
The start is simply perfect and called Taaly Maaya: Come With Me. The tempo and percussive genius here adds a real rhythm and pace to the piece that is so well sung by Lebec, you can feel an all-encompassing sense of awareness, an imploring desire; this is truly a magical start, one that will guide us along the pathway of musical enlightenment.
Our second place of wonderment is the piece Queen of Light; this is a remarkable track, one that has such a positive message wrapped up in a beautiful song, one that is unique in its construction. The fusion here of instrumentation is sublime; the mixture of violin and eastern percussion is stunning to give but one example.
For a moment I will use my imagination, if I travel just over 300 miles south, I could be in Egypt within hours, a few more miles, I could perhaps sample a Cairo Morning. Once more the pathway to originality has been walked, as Lebec brings an Arabic rap into her composition, now that’s something you don’t hear of at all in New Age based music very often, but within this piece it seems to work majestically and creates a real vista, a true musical narrative of that journey to Cairo, and being part of another warm morning as Ra’s golden globe ascends into the sky once more.
We near the half way point of the journey, and as we do so we come across a familiar offering called Bolero. This arrangement continues its build and empowering sense of rhythm and during that process Elise Lebec weaves such a loving narrative of oneness, its addictive, then when you add in the chant by Sheikh Mahmoud El Tahomy, and the pulsating instrumentation, you once again have a total winner of a track.
There are many who have been touched by the wisdom and works of Rumi, the 13th century mystic and poet. Years later though, I can pretty much guarantee that even the great scholar himself would have never imagined that a song about him would have been created aeons later, and would feature on an album to expand further wisdom. Rumi Song has also been enhanced further into the 21st century medium, with a poignant rap from Mahmoud Abu Zead, the vocals for this piece were performed imploringly by Mai Mostafa.
The global nature of this album and its production quality, which was shared by visits to both the US, and Egypt, should appeal to all. Now take a listen to Sekhmet: The Goddess Awakens. A driving percussive beat joins with a harmonic team of singers, who radiate a chant or a mantra styled composition; this is one piece that will really raise the power and the energy.
The Jam: Luxor, Egypt, well the title reveals all, so pick up your instruments and let’s go for it. This moment of freedom of expression works wonderfully and allows the listener an arrangement that is not to dissimilar from the chill out styled global fusion genre that is so popular in the west.
We have now reached the penultimate offering on the album and this one is called Sufi Dance. Lebec creates an amazing fresh ethic here that has some elements of 70’s Funk, Rap, Gospel and Rock, all wrapped up in the cloak of a global fused moment of sublime genius. This is one of those that you’re going to have to revisit many times over, once is simply not enough. This has to be one of the most original recordings I think I have ever heard.
So our journey now ends, but before we leave this dimension of sight and vibrant sound, Elise Lebec has one more offering for us, this parting gift is called Hob Elahy: God Is Within. This is a clever way to leave the album; the mixture of a one world music ethic proves an all-out winner. The usage of Upper Egyptian instrumentation mixed with a modern unconfined and inspirational ethic, a rap of distinction and simply divine vocals from Lebec, manifests one of the most smooth and exotic ways to leave an album all time.
Origin by Elise Lebec is without doubt the most exclusive, distinctive and exceptional releases of the 21st century within this genre. This album should receive glowing reviews from all those that listen to its quite delightful compositions and arrangements. Lebec’s vocals are heavenly and perhaps even prescient for our times. Origin is an album made with 36 other musicians across thousands of miles, a veritable exploration of a spiritual quest through music that is both profound and captivating.
Rating: Excellent
Guitare Mystique by Jim Stubblefield
- posted by Gena on 7/30/2017

Anyone who enjoys ensemble world-fusion music, cross-culture new age music, or Latin-flavored guitar, should check out the new album, GUITARE MYSTIQUE, by Jim Stubblefield, who is well-known both as a solo artist and as a co-founder of the popular touring and recording group Incendio. Best-known for playing acoustic nylon-string Latin-style guitar, Stubblefield adds to that sound on this new recording with the occasional steel-string acoustic as well as various electric guitars. He pulls influences from many countries and cultures and styles. This is gorgeous, melodic, world-fusion music not to be missed!

He gets strong support from violinist Novi Novog (a top pop music session player), bassist Randy Tico (well-known in world music) and versatile percussionist Ramon Yslas. Three other guitarists (Stephen Duros, Dan Sistos and Eric Hansen) make guest visits on one tune each. And several tracks include a female wordless vocalist in the background. The album contains many moods and tempos. Some of the tunes are relatively slow and mellow, but others, like “Oculus Tempestatis” (that one with some fast guitar picking) and “Rumba Furiosa, Opus 2” are upbeat. This is a very worthwhile recording.
Rating: Excellent
Kingdom of Mountains by Mystic Journey
- posted by Lillian on 7/30/2017


The Mystic Journey album, Kingdom of Mountains, features world-flutist Suzanne Teng and is an exceptional, soft, relaxing, meditative, melodic recording of world-fusion instrumental music.

This group is Suzanne Teng on multitudes of flutes, Gilbert Levy on world percussion, Dann Torres on guitars, and Jon Ossman on bass (although the entire band does double duty on various ethnic instrumentation). The music on this new recording features flute but with lots of world instrumentation including dilruba, dizi, hulusi, keyboards, swaramandala, percussion, drumkit, hang drum, dulcimer, saz, udu, ngoni, sabar, khol, frame drum, gamelan gong, tanpura, guitars, ebow, oud and bass.

Mystic Journey has played all over the world and were featured performers each year at the Dalai Lama’s World Festival of Sacred Music. Teng has performed on hundreds of recordings as well as soundtracks for films, television shows and commercials.

Check out the lovely melody on “Home.” Or for something a bit more upbeat than the rest, try “Yunnan.” This is their fourth album. It is perfect for both lovers of new age and world-feeling music.
Rating: Excellent
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