Banco de Gaia – You Are Here

One of the first musicians that fused ethnic elements with dancemusic was Banco de Gaia. He created music that might be called ethno-techno and ethno-ambient. Earlier releases as the impressive Maya and Last Train to Lhasa records are classics. After not keeping track of this artist for a few years I was happy to read about a new album.

You Are Here opens with an Oriental sounding track mysteriously called ‘Down From The Mountain’. It is a relaxing track that evolves from a tranquil mediative piece with some tribal drum sounds into an Asian sort of dance track. The next track ‘Zeus No Like Techno’ is a fierce dance track with a steady beat. The ethnic elements are more pushed to the background. A pounding beat is dominating the track and only after two minutes or so the Oriental melody becomes clear underneath the rhythm structure. After hearing this the track becomes much more attractive.

On more tracks on You Are Here the ethnic elements are pushed to the background. Also some tracks seem to have some kind of Soul feeling. This is especially evident in the two tracks on which guest singer Jennifer Folker performs (‘Gray Over Gray’ and ‘Tongue In Chic’). For me this Soul influence is not completely satisfiying. Overal this new album is not of the same quality as some of the older records by Banco de Gaia. It is simply not as innovating and daring as his previous work. But on its own this is still a decent album.

artist: Banco de Gaia
label: Six Degrees
details: 8 tracks [657036 1099-2]