Putumayo World Music Collections

Music from the Tea Lands

Asian Fusion CD Cover

by Various Artists including Ancient Future

Cave Hand

Music from the Tea Lands. Putumayo PUT180-2. CD-$16.98.

Asian Lounge. Putumayo PUT 244-2. CD-$16.98.

 

Putumayo World Music Brew of Exotic Music Steeped in the Traditions of Asia's Tea Lands

Music from the Tea Lands is a collection of music from countries where tea is grown and where it is an essential part of ancient cultural traditions. Music from the Tea Lands introduces listeners to the rich and exotic music from the Asian continent, including music by Zulya, Lei Qiang, Ghulam Ali, Sanjay Mishra, Oki, Okan Murat Öztürk, Kamil Alipour, Hila Himbala, Ujang Suryana, and Ancient Future.

"Music from the Tea Lands is the second release in a potentially extensive series loosely based around popular drinks. Music from the Coffee Lands came first, and Music from the Cola Lands shouldn't be far behind (with lots of Georgia gospel and a bit of shape note singing?). But aside from the curious theme, and like its predecessor, this is a strong compilation release. The material chosen is from artists who hail from tea-growing areas. One of the highlights is that much of the music is from Asia, a continent that is not as well represented in Western music bins as it is in Western tea bins. From central China, there is the lyrical Lei Qiang's 'Picking Flowers' on the erhu (Chinese fiddle). Oki, a member of the Ainu (the aboriginal inhabitants of what is now Japan), sings of his own traditions. From Anatolia (part of Turkey), Okan Murat Öztürk performs on the saz (a folk lute). There is also a guitar-propelled song of desire from Hila Himbala of Sumatra and a gamelan ensemble from Indonesia, to mention a few of the tracks. At just under 40 minutes, this is a tasting rather than a full-scale tea party. However, it will undoubtedly provide much-needed exposure for some of the fetching artists on this release." – (IE), Dirty Linen

Asian Lounge

Asian Lounge CD Cover

by Various Artists including Ancient Future

Putumayo World Music Asian Underground Mix Collection

Asian Lounge is a Putumayo World Music sampler of cross-cultural fusions and beats inspired by the musical traditions of Asia. It features Ancient Future along with 10 additional artists.

"Ethnomusicologists and musical explorers have long been fascinated by the sounds of Indonesian gamelan, Indian classical music, Japanese folk, and other intriguing styles of Asian music."

"In the past 10 years, DJs and electronica artists around the world have been remixing Indian and East Asian songs to create trendy music with an exotic, otherworldly flavor. In London, an 'Asian Underground' movement began among young musicians in the Indian and Pakistani immigrant community. Other tracks on Asian Lounge were produced by DJs and musicians in the US, Germany, Japan, Indonesia and India, where Asian-Western fusions have continued to grow in exciting new directions."

"Formed in the late 1970s, Ancient Future coined the term 'world fusion music' to describe its use of Indian, African, Balinese, and other musical traditions within a contemporary framework. The group's founder, guitarist Matthew Montfort, became fascinated by North Indian classical music during his college years, prompting him to travel to Java, Bali, China, and elsewhere in Asia to study the intricacies of centuries-old musical traditions."

"'Ja Nam' is a reggae version of the Vietnamese folk standard 'Ly Chim Quyen' (Song of the Nightingale). The song features the musician Bui Huu Nhut playing the dan bau, a unique instrument of Vietnamese origin in which a flexible rod attached to a resonating gourd is bent to change the pitch of a single string. Montfort describes it as the Vietnamese equivalent of an electric guitar's pitch-bending whammy bar."Putumayo World Music, liner notes, Asian Lounge (PUT 244-2).

Ancient Future's contribution to this CD features 100% organic loop-free rhythm tracks recorded live. The Asian Fusion Dance Ensemble variation of Ancient Future is available to perform at Asian Underground dance events. Mix tracks by the Yoshida Brothers, Nitin Sawhney, Deepak Chopra, Blue Asia featuring Yoichi Ikeda, Bali Lounge, Nataraj XT, Prem Joshua, Biddu Orchestra, Manish Vyas, and Xcultures featuring Marisa Kosugi are also included.

Featured Sound Files

Excerpt from the song "Ja Nam" (arranged/composed by Matthew Montfort, 3:51) as featured on Asian Lounge.

Ancient Future's contribution features 100% organic loop-free beats played by master musicians, making an interesting contrast to the programmed beats that are a prominent trend of the Asian Underground movement today. This reggae version of a Vietnamese folk song was recorded in 1992 for Ancient Future's seventh release, Asian Fusion.

Excerpt from the song "The Empress" (composed by Matthew Montfort, 5:28) as featured on Music from the Tea Lands.

Inspired by the mix of cultures prevalent during Japan's Nara period (553-794 A.D.), this piece fuses Japanese, Chinese, and Indian elements. It was written by Matthew Montfort as a showcase piece for Zhao Hui, China's preeminent master of the gu zheng (Chinese zither). It was recorded in 1992 for Ancient Future's seventh release, Asian Fusion.