Born and raised in Paris, France Ariel Kalma began his musical journey at a young age when he first discovered the recorder and the saxophone. After traveling extensively and playing in numerous bands he found himself in India in the mid 70's studying the finer techniques of modal music and circular breathing which were taught to him by a snake charmer. He has released eleven records over the course of his career which has spanned over thirty years, and now a long overdue reissue of his first album Le Temps Des Moissons, recorded in 1975 just might give him the recognition he so rightly deserves.
This fantastic collection of music, dubbed as electronica ragas of the 70's features a veritable plethora of Kalma's powerful and at times raw sounding saxophone work. With the steady drones of a harmonium providing a static anchor, Ariel weaves his treated sax lines in and out, back and forth, adding copious amounts of delay and at times what sounds like a wah-wah effect to achieve a hypnotic, trance like feeling. This remaster not only shimmers sonically but it also features two tracks originally recorded around the same time period that were not included on the original LP.
The disc begins with the title track which is an epic sixteen minute aural journey that is based around an endless amount of inventive, sharp sounding, and heavily delayed sax which gives the listener the impression they are listening to one long, ripple effect. This track is absolutely mesmerizing. "Backafrica" is up next with its loose sounding African percussion and heaping amounts of afro-funk. This song is surely one Miles Davis would have loved to have counted amongst his arsenal on his early 70's forays into funk and Indian music, such as On The Corner in 1972. "Voyage Reternelle" and the final track "Reternelle" sound like they were culled from the same source. These two compositions find Ariel 'returning' to the main hypnotic, trance inducing themes first introduced on the title track, via his extensive use of delay. "Fast Road To Nowhere" is a short, relaxing composition that utilizes only the meditative sounds of a mouth harp and flute to construct the gentle melodies.
Before getting this disc I have to admit that I had never had the pleasure of being exposed to this man's immense musical talent. I have played Le Temps Des Moissons repeatedly over the past few months and each time I listened to it I swear I heard something that I had missed previously. Music doesn't get much better than that, when each time you return to it, it has the ability to offer you a fresh new perspective. Some thirty years after it was originally recorded Le Temps Des Moissons still sounds remarkably fresh and dare I say even cutting edge .
1) Le Temps Des Moissons
3) Voyage Reternelle
4) Fast Road To Nowhere