When the latest offering from this talented duo arrives in the mail, the excitement is great indeed to discover just what they have created with their new album. As always the vibe, the rhythm and the very essence of what makes them what they are as people, as seekers and musicians is there, mixed to sublime perfection.
Their lovely Latino world-fusion music reaches out with a delicacy that immediately makes your heart lift. Upbeat, fluid and melodic their powerful combination of strumming and finger style rhythms simply gets better and better as they move between the various styles, creating a lovely resonance and full bodied sound.
Of Sea and Stars is based on the philosophy of exploration; Bruce Hecksel poses the theory that perhaps our biological make-up can be traced back to saltwater and stardust, which then leads on to the hypothesis that voyages by the earliest sailors, as they set out to discover what lay over the horizon, and then to modern times when space travellers set out once again, to discover what was out their amongst the stars, could perhaps be directly connected to this basic element in all humans!
He then goes one step further when he suggests that perhaps we have yet to gain the knowledge, or allow the knowledge to be accepted, that may give the skills to be able to interpret messages from other places or universes.
This powerful though process comes through in the music created, as both he and Julie Patchouli are always seeking, stretching and searching for that something special to add to their latest album, to create a connectedness, not just between the musicians and their fans, but also to the universe we all live within.
As always there is a mix of styles ranging from Greek, Spanish and Morocco influences, moving into the Caribbean and as always Central and South America. An innovative addition to this album is the introduction of the Native American flute in the piece Night River. The temptation to record a cover version of Zorbas from the Greek film ‘Zorba the Greek’ has seen this much loved piece given a fresh ’world fusion’ feel which will appeal to many.
In the words of Hecksel, ‘The music on Of Sea and Stars is meant to direct the listener to both contemplation and bliss”. You could also add, pleasure and enjoyment.
Have they succeeded, Yes, I believe they have.