The fourth world seems to be having a bit of a moment. A new compilation aims to capture this specific moment/movement/sound as it has translated and been defined across 35 years.
“What we have attempted to gather across this compilation is a body of work which we feel directly resonates with both the literal definition of ‘Fourth World’ music and indeed our own interpretation of this unique sonic vision,” is the explanation accompanying the compilation.
Chants are steeped in longing and sadness, breath is used as percussion and there is a spare drum section, as if a narrator is howling to the sky.
Synthlines stretch out into a vacant virtual expanse. Bells chime in ethereal but seemingly random formations, like raindrops falling.
Elsewhere, panpipes or soaring but ghostly voices greet ships in from the horizon.The exotic instruments utilised evoke even more exotic locales.
Among the threads running through this compilation is that none of the devices used to make the music within sounds a part of the Western music canon.
In sections a unique combination of real world, traditional and, in some cases, homemade instruments intersect with the use of synthesisers and digital sampling.
“The undercurrent tying each piece together is this deeply personal feeling of intrigue and mysterious elation. Strange and unparalleled, this feeling manages to eschew geographic borders and rigid genre movements in favour of something which manages to evoke an inner sanctum, a musical private place for both reflection and assessment,” accompanying material explains.
What results is an intriguing selection of music, other-wordly to Western ears, at least, and a remarkable fusion of traditional music and modern electronice modes.
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