Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jade Warrior's unique journey begins, 28 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Floating World (Audio CD)
To the novice, this is the Jade Warrior album to start with. It is newly remastered by Esoteric and although it's almost obligatory to talk of greater clarity and depth in sound, this time the remastering really does leap out of the speakers.

Jade Warrior made a peerless run of four albums for Island between 1974 and 1978, of which this was the first. Formerly vocal orientated, the band became an instrumental duo at the behest of Island boss Chris Blackwell. It was the right decision, for this is music beyond words. This was also music quite outside of its own time, and could have been made for these days of perfect sound reproduction. It is all instrumental, features a stunning array of natural sound colours, eked out of real instruments rather than synthesizers and keyboards, there is a woody, organic feeling to everything here.

The Field/Duhig duo were masters of a number of instruments, more importantly perhaps, getting instruments to what they wanted them to do, Jade Warrior's was a uniquely identifiable sound and it carries through the entirety of their Island catalogue to make the four albums a unique and satisfying whole.

The 36 minutes of intense music presented here consists of 10 titles, but to pick any of them in isolation would be to miss the point. It needs to be heard in full so as to fully appreciate the range and juxtaposition of moods and textures. This is a richly rewarding listening experience, bursting with sumptuously recorded instruments.

There is a dynamic range on show here which must have made the mixing process a nightmare. There are sounds so soft your ears strain to hear them, interrupted by gong blasts and riffs loud enough to pin you to your seat. Background music this is not. The sheer scale and ambition of this work is all the more remarkable for the extent to which they achieved it, and the difficult circumstances in which they had to work.

Jade Warrior really defy categorisation, like all the best music should, but if you appreciate immaculately played and recorded instrumental work, this is one classic you should own. They should have been the next Mike Oldfield.
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