Various Artists - "The Meta Collection", Meta Records

Asana 3 - "Peaceful Heart", Meta Records

A compilation is a compilation is a compilation. You remember what they said about a rose once, don't you? These two compilations feature a peaceful, though an equally eclectic mix of musicians from the Meta Records catalogue.

"The Meta Collection" is a mix of heavy Indian ragas, deep bass and old favourites. Shifting between old Material material "Mantra" and "Lost Roads" not surprisingly fit in quite well Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart, Buckethead's simmering guitar on "Remember", the release is effectively trying to walk a thin line between eastern and western musical mentalities. Since this is meant as a meditative or a relaxing record, it's not surprising that the stands out tracks are just that overtly trance-like. Bill Laswell had a heavy hand in producing this record [and plays on nearly every track], so it's not surprising the effect is very close to the last few Material releases. Asana 3's "Samadhi State" [which features some far away and toned down tenor sax work from the great Pharoah Sanders] and "Mun Pa", which features seven Tibetan Monks from Kalimpong Monestary, are the definite stand outs. The effect is thoroughly haunting and unmistakably peaceful. Consider this a perfect record for the stress-filled work week.

More along the same vain, though a lot more beat oriented, "Peaceful Heart" concentrates on the art of yoga and devotion to the gods. Once again, Bill Laswell's hand is all over this project as he plays on and produces over half of the tracks. The chants and invocations especially those by Asha Puthli - were recorded in India and give highest praise to the gods above. Her vocals are heavenly as she soars to the skies and back. The music is heavenly as well, as Laswell's deep throbbing bass is accompanied in places by Pharoah Sander's tenor, along with Laraaji's electric zither that swoons in and out of the pictures like some sort of a moth. Though this is the more danceable of the two compilations, it doesn't mean that it's any less relaxing. Listening to this on repeat mode, I had a feeling like I was listening to waves breaking off on the shores of a huge beach. Call this trip-out music, meditative therapy of cleansing for the soul, "Peaceful Heart" succeeds in letting us shut-down for at least an hour. In the end, both compilations ask an important question - how do you make eastern music more accessible to western ears?

Tom Sekowski

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+ Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U. F. O. - The Penultimate Galactic Bordello Also the World You Made
+ Howlin' Ghost Proletarians - Dead Roads
+ Minamo - Shining
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+ Kazushige Kinoshita/Masahiko Okura/Masafumi Ezaki - Kenon
+ Stefan Keune - Sunday Sundaes
+ Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Allat Született
+ Le Plastique Mystification - In The Land Of Melancholt
+ Lifend - Innerscars
+ Forsaken - Anima Mundi
+ The Magic Carpathians Project - Sonic Suicide Ethnonoise # 1
+ Ethnica Music Project - Etnika
+ Ulvens Döttrar - Värm ditt blod
+ Machine Men - Tears and Wounds
+ Advent - The Dawn
+ Eddie Zarook & Casio Casino - Haluzengenic
+ XLover - Pleasure And Romance
+ Vavamuffin - Vabang!
+ Variete - Nowy material
+ Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic
+ Like A Stuntman - Fresh Air Is Not A Worst Thing I Town
+ Stealpot - Mass Mess Age
+ Signaldrift - Girl
+ The Remote Viewer - Let Your Heart Draw A Line
+ Daft Punk - Human After All
+ Experimental Products - Glowing In The Dark
+ Band Of Endless Noise - Riders On The Bikes
+ Ruben Montesco - Slave To The Darkness
+ Peepol/Ludzie - Proffessioneller Klang/Live In Porgy And Bess
+ Water Lilly - Sputnika
+ Marc Leclair - Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes
+ Lali Puna - I Thought I Was Over That: Rare, Remixed And B-Sides
+ Kości - K
+ Kiko & Gino's - Electric Boy
+ Christopher Just - Roland Flick Fairmont Princess # 1527
+ Grace Jones - I've Seen That Face Before
+ Isolee - We Are Monster
+ Jay Haze - Love For A Strange World
+ Fenin - Grounded
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+ Charles Atlas - Fabricate
+ Juan Atkins - 20 Years Metroplex 1985 - 2005
+ Ai Records 2000 - 2005
+ Adult. - D.U.M.E.

- - - - - - - - -

+ Paul Plimley / Barry Guy - Sensology; Mats Gustafsson / Barry Guy - Frogging
+ The O'jays - Imagination; Chaka Khan - Classikhan
+ Albert Ayler Trio - Spiritual Unity; Live on the Riviera
+ Bronnt Industries Kapital - Virtute et Industria
+ Lee Ranaldo - Music for Stage and Screen
+ Fernanda Porto - Fernanda Porto
+ The Dynamic Duo Rashied Ali & Arthur Rhames - Remember Trane and Bird
+ Kyle Gann - Long Night; Rick Fox - Fade; Jim Fox - Descansos, past
+ Adult. - D.U.M.E.
>> Various Artists - The Meta Collection; Asana 3 - Peaceful Heart
+ Kandia Kouyate - Biriko; Tartit - Ichichila; Abyssinia Infinite - Zion Roots
+ Various Artists - Run It Red Mick Hucknall Selects from 10 Years of Blood and Fire Classics; Dennis Brown Presents Prince Jammy - Umoja / 20th Century DEBwise
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+ Anthony Milton - Sirens & Where The Coloured Planes are Rafts; Seht - The Voice of the Taniwha; Brasil And The Gallowbrothers Band - The Band Plays On, The Diunes Move On (You Caught me with my Eyes Closed)
+ Thurston Moore / My Cat Is An Alien - From the Earth to the Spheres Vol. 1; Thuja / My Cat Is An Alien - From the Earth to the Spheres Vol. 2; Jackie-O Motherfucker / My Cat Is An Alien - From the Earth to the Spheres Vol. 3; Jim O'rourke / My Cat Is An Alien - From the Earth to the Spheres Vol. 4; Christina Carter / My Cat Is An Alien - From the Earth to the Spheres Vol. 5; My Cat Is An Alien - On Air at Sound Projecting; My Cat Is An Alien - Through The Reflex of the Rain; Roberto Opalio - Chants from Isolated Ghosts
+ Christ. - Seeing and Doing; Kyo Ichinose - Iontano; Prhizzm - Prhizzm EP
+ Chris Brown - Talking Drum
+ Basil Kirchin - Abstractions of the Industrial North

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