Written by Olivia Baxter
The experimental, electronic music duo, Turning Jewels Into Water, releases their new record, Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars, an album that FPE Records refers to as a “beat-and-ritual based project” by Ravish Momin, an Indian drummer and techno artist with a background in jazz and world music, and musical partner, Val Jeanty, an experimental, electronic artist who often draws creative influence from their Haitian heritage and voodoo religion and culture, declare to have been “shaped by ritual and rooted in improvisation.”
I often find that some of the greatest songs made are done on the spot, without the assertive direction of flow. Think jam sessions where musicians from different musical backgrounds come together and mesh their individual styles so seamlessly that it sounds as if they worked together to compose those songs then spent hours rehearsing before coming together to perform those songs.
I was eager to review this album because of its claim of musical improvisation and the duo’s unique use of world music and cultural rituals. Something that is rare to hear in the electronic/techno-beats genre.
The album starts in the depth of the influences of Jeanty’s Haitian background with “Swirls in the Waters” a nearly five-minute track that propels the listener into a spiritual realm decorated melodic baritone chants that meet harmoniously with equally low yet thunderous drums and varying sounds of electronic beats.
As the album plays into each track the themes of ritual and culture are continuously present. Some songs feature more of Momin’s cultural influences while some of the songs are directed by Jeanty’s spirituality. Yet, each track upholds both Jeanty and Momin’s individual musical styles.
Their debut album Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars is an upbeat, electronically charged record that is seemingly impulsive – a direct representation of the artists’ unique musical styles as well as that improvisation the duo claims to be a driving force of this album.
The expectations set by the duo are certainly met throughout this nine-track album as each song alternates between lively and impulsive techno-beats that inspire movement and ritualistic chants and electronic instruments and soundscapes that induce retrospection off one’s own rituals and roots as they indulge the auditory and spiritual senses.
You can purchase and stream the new record on their Bandcamp site here.
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