The Doubling Riders originally released Garama in 1991. The album is a strange beast: for the most part it is more or less ambient music, composed out of quiet, leisurely synths and some distant vocal samples. The inspiration is apparently the ancient kingdom from which the record takes its name. Reissued by Time Released Sound.
7/10 Laurie Staff review, 26 August 2015
Time Released Sound release a sound that has aged well with time in The Doubling Riders’ Garama, a beautifully constructed ode to a lost Berber kingdom, the ruins of which lie in modern-day Libya. It becomes their first foray into re-releases so keep your ears open. Historical ambient? But why? Well, the mystery of the archaic and the monolithic rigidity of surviving buildings brings a certain wonder to some folks, and if those folks can make some good ambient things then why not?
The record is chock full of patient atmospheres consisting of pointillist phrases from pianos, strings, flutes, mallets - everything you’d associate with the ancient age. And synths. Pianos came way after the Garamantes anyway, artistic license, etc etc. It’s ponderous and dramatic, but also with a sort of loose pulse through it all, never straying too far from rhythm. The music itself hasn’t aged a day, presumably something they aimed for when writing it. The synths still sound fresh as ever, but it’s unfortunately let down slightly by artificial acoustic instruments - some of the strings, mallets and shakers sound like they were played on a cheap casio keyboard, but glossed up to try to sound as hi-fi as the vocals or flute, for example.
It was 1991 I guess, things have changed since then, so once you get past this (or not even notice it…) then there’s an intriguing set of imaginary ancient desert songs to explore. Just try not to imagine them all getting slaughtered by the Romans.
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- Garama by The Doubling Riders
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