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FLOATING WORLD (E)

Artiest / Band: 
JADE WARRIOR
JADE WARRIOR

Jade Warrior was founded in the late sixties. The band made three albums and Floating World is their fourth one. In 1974 they were reduced to a duo consisting of multi-instrumentalists Jon Field (main instrument flute) and Tony Duhig (main instrument guitar). Both musicians have roots in jazz and African music. Together with some psychedelic, pop and rock elements, these two came up with a very strange mixture of musical styles. Esoteric Recordings is a label renowned for releasing extraordinary albums in a superb sound quality and this one's no exception. No bonustracks nor a DVD has been included, just the plain album with restored artwork. The album opens with Clouds. It starts atmospheric, almost an ambient type of music but after two minutes you'll be somewhat rudely awakened by gentle sounds by foremost flutes. The music continues on to track two, a jazzy piece with fretless bass, flutes and acoustic as well as electric guitars. In Waterfall several guitars in a gentle mood can be heard, a bit like Albatros by Fleetwood Mac. Halfway the music changes to lots of percussion, different rhythms and mainly flutes, a bit experimental track for my taste. The last minute is ambient again. Red Lotus is totally different: an instrumental rock song with rather heavy guitars considering the year of recording. There are some additional drums and bass, but in the second part you'll hear multiple flutes in a much more relaxed atmosphere, followed by a similar track as the first one with subtle choir singing added in the last bit. Rainflower is also a gentle and nice track, carried by electric guitars in the vein of Fleetwood Mac's Albatros as well as some of the more soft-rock orientated works by The Enid. In Easty the music is accompanied by bass and guitars while both flutes and electric guitars play melodies and solos. It contains folk influences but also some Latin-American grooves. Monkey Chant sounds African with a native chant, strangely combined with electric guitars playing solos and sounding rather harsh. It's a beautiful folk tune with several flutes, harp and acoustic guitar. Relaxation all around with the smooth, slightly Japanese orientated music of Quba. Just guitars and some flutes and a few Japanese words.

Although Jade Warrior certainly crossed borders and proved to be a groundbreaking band, still the music on this album is too diverse for my taste. Some of the tracks I like, others I don't but the quality of the musicians, the overall sound and the originality of the compositions is superb. Some of the sounds, especially the electric guitars are a bit harsh for my ears. With all those nice packages on the market with extended booklets, bonus CD's or DVD's, this release is rather feeble, because there could have been two albums on this one CD. The remastered album Floating World is of special interest to Jade Warrior fans and progheads with an eye for more experimental multi cultural music leaning towards ambient music at times.