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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Secret Chiefs 3 website  Secret Chiefs 3 - Book M [Web Of Mimicry - 2001]

Buy this CD now!
Martijn's Secret Chiefs 3 'Second Grand Constitution And Bylaws: Hurqalya' review ended with "Finally we arrive at the land of the eighth clime: Hurqalya. In a gentle breeze we can rest in the "heavenly earth"... but wait... there's something in the distance..."

That thing in the distance is of course the new Secret Chiefs 3 album 'Book M'. Something a lot of people were waiting for since it was delayed couple of times, and because of the disasters in the USA I had to wait a little bit longer till the album finally arrived in my mailbox. And it was worth the wait. Book M is a great follow-up to 'Second Grand Constitution And Bylaws'. Like that one, the album has a songbased approach, which the band didn't have on their first album. I'm not much into the whole philosophy behind the music. But it gives me the feeling I'm listening to a Ben Hurr movie-soundtrack at times. Only this time the band experimented a little bit more with electronics and beats, this resulted in the great re-remix of 'Zulfikar III' (which was released on vinyl with 'Zulfikar II') to 'Zulfiqar III', a beautiful Arabic techno track, which is just stunning. Also 'Hagia Sophia' reminds me of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. It's a cut and paste electronic track, something SC3 already did on their previous album, but this time maybe even better.

Of course the majority of tracks are non-electronic and in the same atmosphere as on past albums. Only this time SC3 got help from some good friends from Estradasphere, which resulted in a couple of great songs. For instance 'Ship Of Fools (Stone Of Exile)', which sounds as a Greek folk song mixed with a couple of Arabic spices. Of course I might be wrong with my descriptions of where the music originates from since I'm not a huge expert on this matter. But it's just a small detail, as long as it sounds good, that's what matters for me. 'Horsemen Of The Invisible' is one of my favourite tracks on the album. It's an energetic track with a couple of cool samples from, I believe, Bollywood soundtracks in it. The final track on the album is 'Safina', which I already knew because they played it live already. The atmosphere of this track is overwhelming and it gives me a great feeling.

Well, it's not hard to judge this album at all. It's good, it's really good. Book M is Secret Chiefs 3 best album up till date. The production is better then on 'Second Grand Constitution...' and most of the songs are just amazing to listen to. I really like how they experiment with electronics and samples on a couple of tracks. Fans of Mr Bungle and Eastern music should really get their hands on this jewel (of the nile).

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Niels van Rongen
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