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Senmuth - Intiuatana - 50%

ConorFynes, January 5th, 2011

Produced as a partial soundtrack to a documentary about the culture of Peru, Senmuth's 'Intiuatana' is an instrumental tribute to this culture. Although the music of this man has had a firm base in Middle-Eastern and Indian tradition, this album sees the prolific Russian composer travel to the other side of the globe with his sound, and make a piece of music that attempts to put this particular culture into the sense of an art form. While 'Intiuatana' may have very well been a good soundtrack to whatever documentary it scored, it is surprising how similar this music is to Senmuth's other, Eastern-based ethnic albums, and much of the music here feels a bit too scattered to provide an engaging experience on it's own.

While the music here does undeniably grow with a few listens, the fact and feeling remains that the ideas Senmuth puts into 'Intiuatana' are like butter spread over too much bread; many of Senmuth's musical innovations (often stretching through an entire song, or more) end up sounding stale before long. The main ingredient in the music here is that of the flute; it takes up the reigns where the sitar or electric guitar usually would, and runs with the torch throughout most of the album's eleven, wandering tracks.

To the album's benefit however, the music does fit in well with Peruvian and other Latin American ancient cultures. Although there are some electric guitars and electronic atmospherics put into play in a few parts, much of the music seems to take the listener into a tribal ritual of sorts, with hypnotic percussion and pan flutes abounding in the mix. The songwriting is generally pretty mediocre and feels a bit uninspired, but the arrangement of the music and instrumentation makes it an album that's worth a listen for anyone interested in the concept, or style.