This newly remastered CD of the original 1986 recording finds perpetually brilliant prog-rock and jazz drummer Bill Bruford performing with The New Percussion Group of Amsterdam and influential Japanese percussionist Keiko Abe. Highlighted by four lengthy and very musical works, the rhythmic aspects are designed with polytonal hues, and multilayered textural components.
On "Go Between," Bruford and three mallet players combine odd-metered time signatures with razor-sharp precision amid regimented unison workouts. In effect, they perform a string of passages comprising warmly crafted timbres, and genteel world-beat pulses. Yet Bruford slams matters into overdrive on occasion with prog-rock like aplomb but shows his broad vernacular, whether he’s executing African tribal-like grooves or when softly swashing a cymbal.
The drummer’s inimitable sound and style offers the edge during these multicultural percussion vamps. And Abe’s softly enacted marimba phrasings on "Marimba Spiritual," reaffirms the producers' assertion that this piece in particular serves as the most "classical" composition on the album. Here, the artists’ use of bells, woodblocks, shimi-daiko drums and other indigenous instruments, provide the melodic overtones along with a hodgepodge of subtle surprises. To that end, imagery of mystical environs reappear within various segments of the entire album. Sure enough, it’s a curiously interesting sound spectacle, firmed-up by the musicians’ extraordinary characterizations of the world’s heartbeat.