Thursday, June 26, 2008


Banco de Gaia
Album: Maya
Released in: 1994
Provenance: outdoor CD sale in the mail room at college

SCENE: Exterior, somewhere in Central America, hot, humid and dazzlingly bright. Lush jungle is encroaching on beautiful stone ruins. A group of tourists mill about, including you, snapping pictures and chatting.

You duck behind an ancient pyramid, hoping for some relief from the sun. A sudden fatigue overwhelms you and you sink to the ground.................................................

When you open your eyes again, it is sunset. The rest of the tourists have gone. The sun behind the pyramid makes it glow, and it is blazingly hot to the touch. From far away, you can suddenly make out an eerie chiming, and then an ancient-sounding instrument playing a haunting melody. A man starts chanting, and bean shakers begin to beat out a steady percussion.

The music comes closer.... and closer... and then suddenly a mass of people chanting "hunta hata haaaaa!!" burst from the jungle and start raving to some trance-y beats.

Damn, I love this album.

For a sample, check out Heliopolis. It is less ritualistic than Mafich Arabi (which the above description is based on, and which probably uses Middle Eastern samples not Mayan, but whatever!), but you can still get the sense of it....

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