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Yulara: Future Tribe

Still looking to imprint its own signature style on the ambient-music genre, Yulara loses a little ground with Future Tribe, an intermittently compelling follow up to its highly moving 1998 release Cosmic Tree. Basing its music on principles of balance in the universe (last time, the life of a tree was used as the basis for explorations of our relationship with nature), the German duo here integrates a variety of world-beat elements and textures into their dense layers of electronica. There are moments of brilliant beauty: “Rodina/ Home” utilizes Spanish guitar, bolstered by modern percussion for a rich tribute to Gypsy spirit and strength, while “Lights of Ayodhya” pairs a synthesized, muffled-chant vocal with a diving, piping Middle Eastern-flavored sax against upbeat keyboards for a feeling of reverence. Other places feel more tacked together, as add-on vocals take away from the busy, soaring textures of “Tibetan Hope” and a bland urban groove doesn’t seem to go with the spacey effects on “Bridges to Shambhala.” Concluding with the Steve Winwood hit “Flyin’ High,” a warm and gentle pop statement, Future Tribe lacks the overall embracing vision of Yulara’s previous release, and proves to be somewhat of an enigma as a result.

Originally Published