- Artist: Cyoakha & Land of the Blind
- Format: CD
- Release Date:10/9/2001
LAND OF THE BLIND is a tribe from Portland, OR, then moved to San Francisco...Blind is creating music defying categories, led by lead vocalist, writer-producer and award winning singer, Cyoakha Grace. 'Tribal-Trance' is a label but this music is nothing like most CDs labeled 'Trance' that are electronic disco-ish beats with touches of World and without true songs, basically programmed robot dance music. But this delightful collection of songs are transcendental and trans-formative, while touching on Irish, Indian and other world musics. This music is warm, inviting, sexy even and full of ethnic exotic ancient instruments. Blind's trance invoks Kate Bush- Dead Can Dance tones and eclectic songs, reminding you of many great female singers yet sounding like none of them. Some New Age and programmed dance can sound bloodless but Blind promises nothing but passion with songs you can sing or chant along with and fall in love with. Music category might be: WORLD-DREAM-POP-TRANCE-FOLK-AMBIENT-MIDDLE EASTERN-CELTIC-NATIVE-DRUID-DANCE-MAGIC-MUSIC Also check out Blind's award winning second album, 'Out of Chaos (Into the Whirlwind), at http://www.cdbaby.com/CD/cyocyo2 First thing you hear is Cyoakha's outstanding 4 octave vocals, 'like honey poured over the music', deep trance style, sometimes incredibly intense, moving. 'Soaring and sub-orbital' says one reviewer, which links her to mentor Kate Bush, but very different also, with the low strong tribal feels and less reliance on keyboards than most dream pop. Vocally she's able to move from haunting shivery pure clarity to full out diva-kicking. Like Kate, she can purr to howl, but there's a touch of Sheila Chandra-like Mid-East/Indian feels without ever losing the western edge and sliding into pure World music. Names critics have dropped are Kate Bush-Tori Amos-Laurie Anderson-Souxie of the Banchees and Grace Slick...how's that for range! Cyoakha and her bandmates insist on new trails in music and the entire talented band supports her slightest movement with excellent percussion, 'buttloads of hand percussion' says SF Weekly and driving lead bass lines from Regina (M99s) LaRocca that move song by song from Medieval to driving, almost post-punk! Sweet dreamy flute, Celtic influenced, incredible deep ancient didgeridoo, Indian harmonium & ambient keys. It's the mix of styles and feels that helps to get the listener lost in the music yet a part of it, it all works together as true trance-fusion. ORDINARY MAGIC is a journey, so hold on to your trance pants. It starts with the Burning Man theme song... TRACK ONE TRIBE, a very cool dark Native groove with Cyoakha's impassioned call for communal involvement while behind her Regina chants an anti-consumer rant. This song could be the theme song of the WTO Seattle protests, but yes, you can dance to it and it is uplifting! TRACK 2 CHURCH OF THE HOLY TREES, a dreamy middle-eastern trance-dance ectopolitical song Cyoakha wrote for Julia Butterfly when she first moved into 'Luna', the ancient Redwood she saved. CHURCH is featured in the award-winning documentary called 'TREESIT'. TRACK 3 TRUST You'll still be up dancing for this one, a wonderful Celtic dreamy romp with fantastic vocals, Cocteau Twins-type harmonies, about loving. With the sliding vocals flowing and amazing guest violinists wailing, you should listen to this one on headphones for a real treat!!! TRACK 4 MARY'S HANDS The album slows down and drops into dreamy and adds an ambient yet Middle-Eastern feel in this sweet mysterious ballad. Jesus and Mary anyone? DiVinci Code cracking song... TRACK 5 MOTHER, is a very beautiful Celtic piece, almost traditional but you don't hear a didg often in Irish tunes!! Great flute in this one, you can almost see the piper up on the hill overlooking some little Irish town. TRACK 6 ELIZA is a fun pop song, light, with a great Native American flute lifting it while the driving bass powers the chorus almost into Nivana-ish grunge-land. FUN! TRACK 7 A LITTLE MORE, has this mad trash can feel to it, it's electronica but as if Tom Waitish was in charge of the techno, yet the counterpoint is the beautiful vocals telling a story of not fitting in, it all makes this song so interesting. Rumor has it that Cyoakha played knives and spoons and all kinds of weird things. TRACK 8 THE WITCHES OF KILKENNY, is many folks favorite, as it's a Celtic piece but only as the Blind can do it, moving from an lilting Irish tale into a driving bass and flute piece that is all about magic and change! One reviewer said 'you can almost feel the Pagans dancing around a ritualistic fire', yet it ends sweetly.. TRACK 9 JOURNEY'S END..... It's the last track, extremely psychedelic and hypnotic, it's The Blind's 11 minute version of a semi-cover of a very famous 60's band, something you'll never forget as you drift away at the end of the journey. Awash in keys, sitar and mediaeval bass lines, with ghosts of Jim floating by and Cyoakha's vocals dropping in from everywhere, dreamy, echoed and psychedelic, you are there. OM is truly the soundtrack to your most moving, mysterious and beautiful dreams. This CD is like no other. But if you like the quirk of Kate Bush, the dreaminess of the Cocteau Twins, the passion of Tori Amos, the psychedelica of The Doors, the dark hip tribal of Sky Cries Mary, the lilting world feel of Mouth Music, or the trance inducing & excellent vocals of Dead Can Dance, the clever lyrics of Peter Gabriel, you will not regret buying this CD! Ground breakers. About the Artists LAND OF THE BLIND, the band has been touring both coasts for over 8 years...they have 3 self-produced CDS, (new live version on the way!) 2 awards for composing for Cyoakha for songwriting, international fans & loyal locals. Originally from Portland Oregon, this group has half migrated to San Francisco and continues to tour and play at Burning Man, Oregon Country Fair, Hemp Fest and other major 'hippie' gatherings, as well as at protests, fund-raisers and occasionally a smoke-filled booze joint. (Can you tell they are tired of the club scene?). Not a jam band, this band takes ethnic instrumentation and makes great dream-pop alt songs with them. 'Pop Music for Druids!!' REVIEWS Willamette Week, Pick of the Week, Aug 2000 'Smarter than pop, meatier than New Age, too danceable to be Goth.., don't miss the chance to be Blinded!' THE ROCKET, Seattle 'High-spirited caravan of world beat rhythms, esoteric instrumentation, all give chase to the soaring, suborbital voice of singer Cyoakha.' WFXN, Boston radio 'Singer Cyoakha wails with the intensity of Kate Bush, sparse/haunting, alternating between breathy whispers and notes of startling clarity'. Like Laurie Anderson meets the Bulgarian Choir. LISTENER REVIEWS 5 ***** Ordinary Magic - Land of the Blind at it's best! OM is another brilliant outing from The Blind. Strong musicianship and songwriting abounds. As you would expect from them, OM has a very cool mix of tribal, trance, psychedelic, beautiful ballads and Eastern modal music. The Blind have always had this interesting mix of styles. OM is probably their most mature work to date. OM starts out with the passionate and trance-like 'Tribe'. 'Mother' is a gorgeous elegy. Melo's flute and Krystov's dulcimer are so beautiful in accompanying Cyoakha's lovingly bittersweet lyrics and voice. 'Witches of Kilkenny' builds to a ritualistic fever pitch. You can just picture the passionate dancing around the ever-growing flames of the ritual bonfire. The CD ends with a unique take on 'The End'. The Blind's version mixes the feel of an Indian raga and psychedelic space chanting ala Gilli Smyth of Gong. I highly recommend this CD. Bill Mazur, San Francisco Reviewer: Harmony Ridge Women's Music Catalog Finally got Land of the Blind's latest work 'Ordinary Magic' after a long wait. Well two things, it's worth the wait and it's a lot more than 'Ordinary'. When I started to write this, I asked myself how would you describe this music to someone? I realized I didn't have a clue. I hear other people's description and I guess the word tribal or trance connects in a muddied way. The subject matter is diverse, sometimes dark, sometimes light and uplifting. 'Church Of The Holy Trees', a song written for Julia Butterfly, is a spiritual chant celebrating the holiness and sacredness of those magnificent creatures that bless our existence. I'm so thankful for this song and it's reminder of the work so many dedicated people all over the world are doing to heighten our awareness of the sacredness of all species threatened or not on our planet. I'm not sure what 'Eliza' is about but musically it tingles many of my soft spots, melody, vaguely Eastern undercurrent, and mystery. 'Mary's Hands' and 'A Little More (Monster)' are similar in how they tweak my musical hot buttons, but are totally different musically and in every other aspect. 'Witches Of Kilkenny' find another weak spot in my armor, this time the Celtic hole. Now, I understand the chill I felt in my heart as I spied Kilkenny from a high tower over looking the town...witches, yes. The last cut 'Journey's End' is about 10 minutes long with a Eastern Indian feel and something eerily familiar. I didn't get the connection until about 6 minutes into the song and recognized.*... I was really impressed by that..*... song when I first heard it, but only now thanks to the Blind I see it in a very new and unusual light. Great job! ** (Due to the band's belief in letting people find their own way, and for never liking to hear the end of a book or movie ahead of time, the band freely admits to deleating certain infomation in this review, shown by the ....that pertains to the idenity of the album's last song. Let the mysteries be. Find out things for yourself. Follow your own heart. Be your own leader*) * as in 'the blind leading the blind'