Friday, March 15, 2019

Desert Fire: A Brief Review Of The New Album From Turning Jewels Into Water

The music of Turning Jewels Into Water is outside what I might normally cover here on this site but the duo's newest record, Map of Absences, out today on FPE Records, is a progressive and brave genre-bender. It is a record full of of percussive experimentation and a thoughtful sense of stillness when necessary.

Turning Jewels Into Water, Indian-born drummer/producer Ravish Momin and electronic percussionist Val Jeanty from Haiti, make music that skirts the edges of both electronica and world music, with a number like "Talang" here on Map of Absences lodging itself in the brain on the back of its rhythmic insistence. "Warm winds of Jaipur" is percussive too, but faint melodic hooks peppered throughout the track make it one of the standouts here on Map of Absences, while "Cave rain drumming in my ear" is very nearly the sort of thing that one would find on a film soundtrack. Elsewhere, the bright and fun "Desert Fire" rides a sample forward into the sun, the poly-rhythmic base-track insistent and exciting.

The tunes here on Map of Absences are lush in spots even as they're filled with striking bits of sampled beats, or flashes of funky instrumental swatches. The music of Turning Jewels Into Water is dance-y, but it's also oddly contemplative. It's the sort of thing that fans of the collaborations of Brian Eno and David Byrne should enjoy, as well as those who find themselves lost in the music under an M.I.A. rap.

Map of Absences is out today via FPE Records.

More details on Turning Jewels Into Water via the official website, or the official Facebook page.

[Photo: Ed Marshall]