Tom Hayes 18-Jan-2001 Gunesh Ensemble At a Glance

Progressive music comes from all corners of the Earth but who would've suspected Turkmenistan? The words just escape me on just how brilliant their first 2 releases really are. In a nutshell they are a Middle Eastern sounding progressive horn rock/fusion group. But Gunesh are better than that may imply.

To describe the first album Gunesh - imagine if the first Chicago Transit Authority album had amongst its ranks a drummer who was just an insane madman and they played Middle Eastern themes. Unique? Oh yes! And unbelievably good too.

For their second, Looking at the Earth, Gunesh stepped it up a notch on the creative scale. We still have 2 barn burner horn rockers but Gunesh also added some trippy Caucasus mountain music, Muslim prayer calls, psychedelia, hot fusion, Vietnamese traditional music, etc.. to make for one of the finest albums I've ever heard. Rishad Shafi is possibly the finest drummer to be found in the prog rock archives (Peter Gabriel considered him once but working it out with the Soviet authorities proved to be too much).

Both of these have been reissued on one CD from Russia. The sound quality is far, far superior to the original Melodia Soviet presses.

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