Vambe, Lori - Space-Time Dreamtime: The Four Dimensional Music of Lori Vambe CD

Excellent reissue of two early 80s albums that I had never heard of by an experimental musician and instrument builder I had never heard of [but I did note below that he worked the equally great (and totally different) Michael O’Shea!) Recommended if this sounds like it’s your thing, because it is!!

“A drummer and experimental instrument maker, Lori Vambe carved out a distinctive niche on the London avant-garde scene of the 1970s and early '80s. Born in Zimbabwe, he moved to London in 1959 and became involved in the Brixton art scene, co-founding a spiritual drum ensemble with sculptor Alexander Sokolov and musician Michael O'Shea. Along with drumming, he eventually made his own stringed drum/guitar hybrid that he named a drumgita.
The 2023 compilation Space-Time Dreamtime: The Four Dimensional Music of Lori Vambe brings together his two 1982 albums, on which he played both drums and drumgita. The first, Drumgita Solo, found him playing on his own and sometimes using tape effects and overdubbing. Musically, there's a droning quality to the drumgita, so that it often sounds something like a sitar crossed with a mbira, but with less harmonic notes than either. Occasionally, Vambe riffs between a low and a high string, evoking the slow grind of a blues tune. Elsewhere, as on the "Ancient Boogie (Mantra)," he plays a quick strumming pattern in a repeated hypnotic fashion. There is a strong psychedelic vibe to much of his playing that becomes even more evident on tracks like "Artnam," where his use of post-recording tape effects sounds like his music is playing backwards, evoking the classic 1966 Beatles song "Tomorrow Never Knows."
Slightly more conventional, if no less experimental, are the tracks off Vambe's second album, Drumland Dreamland, where he played percussion alongside Brazilian concert pianist Rafael Dos Santos. These have a modal jazz quality, bringing to mind the avant-garde minimalism of South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. Elsewhere, Vambe returns to the drumgita, bringing out more of the instrument's melodic qualities, as on "Strumelody," where he overdubs layers of sparkling arpeggios. While there is certainly a repetitive nature to many of the tracks on Space-Time Dreamtime, it feels intentional and meditative; this is music to ponder over like a sculpture in sound.”-AllMusic
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  • UPC4062548064476
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