Cell - Phonic Peace (Indica)

Author: Damion
Date: Jun 16, 2005
Score: 3/10

Taken from: weblinkwww.psyreviews.com

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While the whole chilled-psychedelia market is kind of saturated at the moment, stuff has to distance itself by being very different (Gaudi, for instance, or Chilling Matenda, or even Blumenkraft in its day) or by being very good as a package (the Floating Point and Mountain High records for starters.) Whether Phonic Peace will do it for you generally depends on your tolerance for sampled peasants wailing and tablas. Yes, it’s hippy chill alright.

It works best on Lord Of Silk, which actually progresses into a decent tune in and of itself, rather than disappearing into sample-CD-heavy ‘authentic’ instrumentation. But for the rest of it, it’s repetitive and self-indulgent, with identical themes and sounds cropping up all over the place. This whole thing of bringing eastern sounds into music isn’t big and it isn’t clever; the Beatles were at it forty odd year s ago, it was almost shit then and it’s definitely shit now.

Cell’s stab at 4-4 (White Call) is shambolic and sounds like something Roy Aquarius did in 1997, and while the deeper chill tunes may be immaculately-produced and sound amazing in the small stoned hours (Phonic Peace For Tibet, Magic Karma) you can’t help but feel a little patronised by it all. Why are we being doled out this National Geographic musical orientalism? Are you preaching to me? Are you coming over all Baraka on my ass? Nine tracks of tabla’s and wailing with a variety of different beats whacked underneath them. There’s much cleverer and more rewarding stuff out there than this.



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