Djalma - "The Rags Of Larium Pali"
(Orphan Sounds 2002, 006)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
Long time AI readers may be thinking they've seen this title in our pages before. Indeed I had a first taste of this music when Jeff Gburek sent me a pre-release a couple years ago (see AI #13). The CD includes 3 tracks of drifting avant-garde Middle Eastern psychedelia, each featuring a different lineup of Djalma, with Jeff Gburek and Ephia being the only constants.
"Mountain Behind My Eyes" was recorded October 1999 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Sitar and guitar (or some stringed instrument) jam alongside one another, creating a blend of free-improv and psychedelia. The combination is difficult to describe and unlike anything I've heard. The effect is intriguing and often entrancing, though I'm not sure it works consistently over the course of its 14 minute length. Still, Djalma is to be credited for created something interesting and unusual.
Recorded January 1999 at Eco Books in Brooklyn, "The Rags Of Larium Pali" is the track I first heard and reviewed in AI #13. Chris Forsyth of W.O.O. Revelator and numerous other free-improv collaborations contributes guitar and Neel Murgai returns with his sitar. The music drifts along similar to "Mountain Behind My Eyes", though the flute and varied jangly percussion adds a much trippier edge. I've heard quite a bit of Forsyth's music and his contributions are most apparent, adding an equally overt free-improv element to the proceedings. At nearly 40 minutes the music transitions seamlessly through numerous themes... from the avant-psychedelia, to abstract free-improv, to cool jazz á la Nubians Of Plutonia Sun Ra... and I was transfixed the entire time. And I'll echo my sentiments from the original review that this music is surprisingly accessible, and those who are interested but have yet to explore the more eclectic forms of improvisational music might find this a friendly starting point.
Finally, "Integrasi" was recorded in Berlin in 2001 and is a highly percussive piece with an Oriental theme, though the music has a strong noise-spacey atmosphere with scratchy freaky string manipulations and a general free-improv/psychedelic feel. Overall, another set of music from the Gburek camp that straddles the border regions between psychedelia and the avant-garde.
For more information you can visit the Orphan Sounds web site at: http://www.djalma.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Jeff Gburek; 601 11th St NW; Albuquerque, NM 87102.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz