Mike McLatchey 27-April-2001 Crawling To Lhasa

A German 70s oddity for sure, Kalacakra perform an eastern-tinged, heavily psychedelic, dreamy music. Undoubtedly, the hand percussion-based meanderings infused with instruments both strange and familiar will bear comparison to cross-ethnic groups like Ossian, Aktuala and Clivage, although, in this group, Limbus 3/4 would be the closest comparison due to the psychedelic vibe. However, Kalacakra never approach the bizarre, totally free terrain of Limbus 3 or 4, and there is always some grounding mechanism, even if it is a straight percussion and drone. Tracks like "Raga No. II" show their predilection for this Indian-flavored drone music, while on the more pastoral side is the album's longest piece "September Full Moon" which is based on a melodic, "Norwegian Woods"-like acoustic guitar vamp. Kalacakra also bring vocals into the mix, which are often bizarre interjections - even laughing and croaking. Overall, the production is pretty primitive, and musically, they never approach the sophistication of some of the comparisons mentioned earlier. But it's still fairly interesting to hear this type of musical fusion with an underground vibe. (The out of print CD reissue on Lost Pipe Dreams includes bonus tracks from a 1993 reformation.)

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