Stefano Musso hails from Milan, Italy where he formed Alio Die
in 1989. Over the next three years, Stefano worked on his debut album Under an Holy
which he self-released in 1992 and was later picked up by Projekt Records
for re-release 1993. Like many other ambient artists, the releases
have emerged from an unstoppable fountain with over 25 released to date. Many of these are collaborations with other artists including famed ambient giants
Robert Rich, Vidna Obmana
and many others.
In that same year of 1989 another great force in the ambient music scene was created by artists Chako and
Makoto Hattori in the form of Jack or Jive
. Much like their ambient counterparts, this band releases often more than one album or mini-album each year
for a total of more than twenty five releases to date. Their music often fuses ambient with heavenly vocals to take the ambient soundscapes to a whole new level.
In 2005 this duo joined forces to release an album with Projekt Records
. This joint work shows the individual talents as well as
combined efforts portrayed in an incredible masterpiece. Both bands appeal to the ambient, ethereal and many new age fans across the world.
Be sure to check out selections from this joint collaboration as well as post releases from both bands on the Gothic Paradise Ethereal radio show.
Mei-Jyu - Review
This album shouldn't really be a surprise to avid ambient and ethereal fans. Those that follow either the Projekt
releases or Prikosnovenie
be very familiar with both of these bands and their spectacular music.
This album pulls the
talents from all artists together into a special treat of nine mesmerizing tracks. The liner notes explain a little bit about "Meijyu" deriving from the Zen
practice (the way of liberation through direct experience of the here and now). It is a thing of beauty and thus the music on this album shines through.
The nine-minute long title track stands as an introduction and mood setting piece for the album. The various ambient sounds that both bands contribute provide
an otherworldly backdrop for Chako's dreamy vocals. As a fan of various new age, ambient and ethereal music, this tapestry that is created for this and other
tracks is wonderful on it's own. In fact there are two awesome instrumental ambient pieces in the form of "Slow Motion" and "Meijyu (Reprise)" that really bring
out the strengths in the ambient and environmental sounds. Much like the new age "sounds of nature" or others that have become something of a fad, these artists
have been providing this stellar style for years and it comes out perfect on these tracks.
While remaining a fan of the ambient and even instrumental pieces,
it all becomes a hundred times more uplifting, captivating and mesmerizing when you throw Chako's unique vocals into the mix. Any one who has listened to a
Jack or Jive
album knows exactly what I'm talking about. Even if it means absolutely nothing to me, whether it's in Japanese or simply a humming or other
layered vocals, her vocals are addicting beyond any cure. As I listen to simple tracks like "Fluff of a Dandelion" with various harmonic layered vocals
drifting above the already described ambient layers, the music holds the listener entranced.
And so the music drifts on through each of these captivating
pieces from "Make an Arc Through the Air" to "Village Enveloped in the Mist", there is just no easy way to describe the music and subsequent feeling present when you
listen to it. This is an absolute stellar album and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys their music slow and entrancing.
Alio Die Website: www.aliodie.com
Jack or Jive Website: www.jackorjive.com
Label for this release: Projekt Records