MP3 Chasm - Panorhythmica
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13 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, JAZZ: World Fusion
SPA MAGAZINE, January / February 2002
Don't let "Serengeti Sunrise" by Chasm fool you. The slow, haunting flute that opens this excellent CD is about as New Age as Panorhythmica gets. After that, the CD lives up to its title, blending rhythms from all over the world with jazzy guitar melodies to produce satisfying instrumentals.
Like the "panorama" suggests in the title, this music creates aural landscapes that ebb and flow with mood and speaker volume. Keep things low-key, and the music fades into the background, uplifting but never intrusive. Turn it up a bit, though, and you've got the perfect music for a sophisticated party.
While the rich, full sound of this work suggests a much larger ensemble, there are only two primary musicians: Michael Whipple (flutes, recorders, and percussion) and Mark Esakoff (guitars). These two native Californians have taken their influences jazz, classical, baroque, world music, and rock and fused them into an inspired collection of tracks that are as evocative as they are danceable.
Esakoff has an incredibly fluid, percussive guitar style that lends itself perfectly to these songs, especially "Agua del Fuego," which brims with Latin salsa inflections, and "Road to Panorhythmica," which could claim influence from The Beatles, as well as Tito Puente. Whipple's flute weaves subtly throughout, dancing coyly with guitar chords and bossa nova beats on tracks such as the buoyant "Monkey in the Middle."
In less competent hands, the many influences and styles used here could have produced an unfocused jumble. However, Esakoff and Whipple have the skill and dexterity to keep the real star the rhythm in the foreground, with everything falling into place around it. Even after you've listened to this CD many times, its musical depth keeps it fresh and engaging, as new melodies and beats continue to emerge and amaze. -Lisa M. Moore
Chasm [kaz'm] began as a multi-instrumental duo when Mark Esakoff and Michael Whipple met in 1987 while working aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Since then they have been involved with each other's musical evolution. Chasm plays World Fusion music: a sound that fuses jazz, folk, Latin & rock within a world music setting. Most all the instruments used make sounds that resonate from one of three things: "wood" (marimba, maracas, etc.), "skin" (congas, guitar gut/nylon strings, etc.), and "wind" (flute, recorder, etc.). Chasm's concept is to connect these primitive acoustic textures with modern musical structures. The result is instrumental music with a uniquely earthy sound. It is their contribution to the diverse genre of World Fusion.
Chasm's latest CD, Panorhythmica, is a follow up to their self-titled debut release, Chasm. The new release is a natural continuation of the previous. Although the sound basically revolves around the same featured instruments; classical guitars and flutes accompanied by marimba, bass & percussion; the sonic depths of these new pieces reveal a notable change. This is the result of Esakoff and Whipple's conscious effort to translate visual images into instrumental music; hearing with the eye seeing with the ear. With this theme in mind they created the CD's title, Panorhythmica, by conjugating [panorama+rhythmic], visual with aural. NAV magazine voted Panorhythmica a Finalist for the Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of 2000. The duo has also enjoyed critical acclaim and international airplay.
Chasm is currently recording their third album which is scheduled for release in early 2006. The CD will have that same chasmic sound, but there will be added twists and turns as a result of new members who have joined the band!
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