For Space Gambus Experiment (SGE) to be called a band, it might be quite inappropriate since the concept of its establishment serves as an open collaboration among various artist/musicians. Still this time, SGE's backbones; Kamal Sabran (electro/acoustic) and Zulkifli Ramli (gambus), featuring the participations by Eric Hausmann (USA), Fahmie Freakmie (MY), Pilar Rocha (Brazil), Cathy Fern Lewis (Canada), Lorenzo Pancini (Italy), Irawan Prayoga (Indonesia), Adam James Davis (UK), Katsuyuki Hattori (Japan), Akane Kameyama (Japan) continue to deliver the magic of noise with their new album, First Steps Into Inner Space.
|*Album Cover with Rumi Illustration|
#1 The Earth is not My Home I'm Just Passing By
#2 At the Touch of Love Everyone Becomes Poet
#3 Follow Your Moonlight; Don't Hide The Madness
#4 Dalam Gelap Kenal Cahaya
#5 Living is Easy With Eyes Closed
#6 Inner Search Healing School
#7 What You Seek is Seeking You
#8 Ordinary Immortal Malay Boy Darkness is Your Candle
#9 The Light Traveller
#10 The Wound is The Place Where The Light Enters You
#11 One Day I Will Find The Right Words and They Will Be Simple
First Steps Into Inner Space starts with a funny intro phrase, "Spesu Gambasu Ekusperimento" which literally is a Japanese pronunciation of the band name in their first track (the presence of Japanese phrases also heard in the ninth track). Taking a quote by Tom Waits as the track title, in addition to the gargantuan ambience sound it produced, track one really promotes the album's theme. An excellent prologue.
As stated by the band, this album is inspired by the poems of Rumi, and it has been declared clearly in the second and the fifth track, where a mystical love poem (which is very synonym with the works of Rumi) is carved as one of its highlight. Obviously, most of the tracks follow the rule of mellow-start/furious-middle/mellow-end. The third track respects the rule by valuing the heart-punching drum beats mixed with some intense distorted sound, crash and burn in the middle. It is also basically the same for the fourth track, except it adds yelling and humming voices that takes over to the end.
The use of robot-like voices also become major traits of the album. The first, second, seventh and tenth track for example, manipulate the trait to emphasize the tagline of the songs. On the other hand, the sixth, eighth and ninth track portrays different feelings with its music. Altered noise, paired with melancholic oud picking and fiddles sound, it create a soothing and calm atmosphere, much like a psychedelic experience through time. Finally, the eleventh track marks the climax ending of the journey, presenting by far the album's most vicious mixture of noise ever; loud, heavy and annoying, in a good way.
What SGE offers in this record, is an avant garde arts of noise. They describe their works as electroacoustic, experimental and minimalist, and to judge it by comparison might be unfair and inadequate, since I have lack of experience dealing with this open-ended genre.But to be frank, this album manage to successfully bring up what SGE has been fighting for; the manipulation and extension of sound limitations. Great job, I would say.
For further details about SGE:
web blog: http://kamalsabran.blogspot.com/
SGE "B sides": http://www.reverbnation.com/spacegambusexperiment
Sound Collaboration Project: http://www.reverbnation.com/kamalsabransuperfriends
-According to a friend, the title for track 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10 are taken from Rumi's.
-My review is based on a listener point of view, and not musician, therefore holes and improper recognitions towards such elements may exist in the text written.