Drum Distillery by James Asher & Arthur Hull


Circadian rhythms emerge from the speakers in the introductory piece Circadian Spirals: the rhythm is hypnotic, the vibe unusual as the pulse is reminiscent of tribal beat familiar to so many indigenous styles; the combination of both electronic beats and hand percussion creates an eclectic resonance which encourages a little introspection.

The title of the album could be somewhat misleading, encouraging a sense of drumming and percussion throughout, but this is not so, as Helix Rising is an electronic based guitar piece with an upbeat rhythm that appeals and completely changes the vibe.

On the way to Mystic Mambo there are a range of surprises in store with a completely intriguing selection of pieces which are refreshing, enjoyable and unexpected, which could be considered as the trademark of this accolade wining duo of James Asher and Arthur  Hull.

Guarana Gazelles changes the mood back to percussion with a lighter piece, featuring a complete track of drumming followed by Billy Bravado where voice is introduced to create a ‘worldbeat’ piece which is intrigues with the combination of sounds and beats, making this delightfully different.

A slightly Caribbean style introduces Absorbing the Moment, where piano, harmonica and percussion come together in a beautifully slow, melodic manner, encouraging a small space in which to simply listen, enjoy and be at one with the music.

Infiniterium is an unusual name for the last track, as it relates to some serious scientific soil data analysis, but also relates to ‘what is the meaning of this’ an aspect of the song which is spacey, ethereal and calming, almost infinite. It then poses the question in relation to music, What is the meaning – does it tell a story, should it tell a story, or should it simply be created for pleasure, enjoyment and the rebalancing of the body, mind and spirit?

On this, their delightfully avant-garde album consisting of 13 tracks, all very different, all of the above can and could be considered as almost infinite, but in the process the music should simply be enjoyed for what it is – delightfully moody and refreshing.

In their many years of composition and performance, Asher and Hull have explored many aspects of music from classical, to pop, neo-classical, new age, with a number of their pieces finding their way into the music charts in the UK and USA. On this album, the style could be considered as New Age Chill, which has created a distinctive collection of sound, imagery and pleasure.


Title:     Drum Distillery
Artist:   James Asher /Arthur Hull
Web:     http://www.worldmusiccircles.com

Jan Mawdesley- reviewer editor


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