The Ambient music genre called "Techno-Tribal" is based on an oxymoron: the combination of sophisticated electronics with the earthy, organic sounds of so-called primitive, tribal cultures. On the surface they have nothing in common...what's going on here?
The trail was blazed by STEVE ROACH in the late 1980s, after a life-changing trip to the Australian outback, where he encountered the artifacts and instruments of the aborigines. The resulting album "Dreamtime Return" is one of the foundation stones of the genre.
Of course, anthropologists and ethnologists had been collecting music from native cultures for years; Oriental music had strongly influenced the evolution of European music in the late 19th and early 20th century, and Stravinsky had injected a dose of ethnic vitality into European classical music with "The Rite of Spring." But by the 1980s, electronic music had grown into several predictable styles: cool and mechanistic from the high-tech artists; warm and melodic from the romantics; ethereal, atmospheric, sometimes dark, dissonant and strange, from the Ambient composers.
Roach, and those who followed him, forged a new connection between electronic soundscapes and elemental musics rooted in the earthy rhythms of drums, rattles and ancient instruments like the didgeridoo, the sounds of insects, animals, and nature itself. The combination 'grounded' electronic music in the earth and in traditional acoustics, with a sound that looked backward and forward at the same time, and gave electronic music a new kind of vitality.
Today, techno-tribal is an established style on the world's map of electronic music, a fusion of ancient and contemporary that complement each other. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another a techno-tribal journey, on a program called ULTRATRIBE. Music is by STEVE ROACH & BYRON METCALF, GEORGE WALLACE, RESONANT DRIFT, AMIR BAGHIRI, and STEVE ROACH & BRIAN PARNHAM.