Revolution by House of Waters… It is always a good sign when you listen to about the first minute of a CD and find yourself immediately drawn right in; “Revolution” by House of Waters had that effect on me!
There is a marked world music influence on this group’s body of work and it shows in the percussive and musical choices they have made. They build a “scaffolding” that is both rhythmic and melodious in each tune. This approach might seem repetitive but then they adorn it with sparkling jewels of musicality like a fine unique tapestry. There are constant patterns but the way they are woven together results in an artistic thing of great beauty. The upbeat feel to the tempos and high energy make it so that you can’t avoid just feeling good while you listen.
Lets meet the players…
6-string bass, acoustic bass, shamisen
Hammered Dulcimer, Kalimba
Cajon, drum set, Kamalen N’goni, Karinye, patica, calabash, tamani, tamborim, rio, frame drums, leg thing, ocean drum, doumbek, talaandig
With a special guests on “Ball in Cage”
Moto shared this with me about this project…
“With our third release – Revolution – House of Waters pushes the boundaries of world music. Revolution is an appreciation and an homage to the music and traditions of West Africa, South America, India, and Jazz. Drawing from New York City’s diverse culture and our own studies from around the world, House of Waters blends the future with the past. In today’s ever porous world, House of Waters’ innovative and unique approach to our compositions allows the listener to lose themselves in the simple beauty of the sound. And with a heavy influence from world percussion traditions from around the world, the music may sound like something one has never heard before, and at the same time like music one has been familiar with for a long time. Using one of the world’s oldest instruments – hammered dulcimer – and one of the world’s newest – six string bass – House of Waters bypasses time. Check out this revolutionary new album for something you will truly enjoy.”
In general, these musicians produce a unique sound that seems to come from more than just three guys. The bass playing is precise, percussive and melodic and very notable but not over the top. Moto’s soloing shows the clear mastery of his craft. Luke is tireless and simply amazing. Max’s melodies from the dulcimer and kalimba are mesmerizing and uplifting. Needless to say, these guys really have their act together!
Lets look at some of the tracks…
“Martino” is the opening track and starts with simple percussion. Add a clear harmonic bass playing chords that transitions into a kind of“Tumbao” feel and blend in the dulcimer playing a Mid-Eastern sounding pattern and you have a great start! The tune unfolds and the precise, intricate play between the bass and dulcimer just blows you away!
“Chaca” starts with a simple melody that sounds Japanese to me then builds into a Kind of “Joropo” tempo. The music carries you to another place and the fluid solo of Moto’s bass keeps you suspended in mid-air. The wide variety of percussive sounds that power this piece keep the rolling movement going throughout. The end reverts to the initial sound and all winds down.
“Revolution” is the track where the Kalimba comes into play leading the way. The percussive component and the bass blend in a Latin/African fusion. If you want to hear for yourself, this track is a freebie on House of Water’s website.
“Agnolim” opens with the bass laying an arpeggio pattern. The drums and dulcimer expand on that foundation and the tune tells a story as it progresses with the bass, shifting into a groove mode before Moto cuts loose and makes the bass literally sing.
I could go on and on about every track on this CD but I recommend that you experience this excellent music for yourself.
If you find yourself in NYC, keep an eye out as you might find House of Waters working hard almost anywhere!
Check this CD out!