What I got here is an anniversary special edition of the first studio album “Maya” by Banco de Gaia, aka Toby Marks. It came out in 1994 originally, and (according to the press info) reached No.1 in the Independent Album charts and was nominated for that year’s Mercury Music Prize.
The limited and numbered re-release though has been extended containing the original album plus two extra discs: one features alternative unreleased mixes of almost every track of the album (including the original full 22-minute mix of “Shanti”) while the other contains a bevy of remixes.
Well, the triple cd-set is an up-tempo/up-beat affair with minimal flavors, the 72-minute remastered original being an energetic journey into ambient dub, sampling various exotic sounds along an assortment of Asian sounds sources. Although I reached out to get to the core and vibe of the music, I can’t say I got that excited by its slamming grooves and break-beat exercises that accompany the soaring sound waves and melodies on the nine tracks. For me, “Qurna” and “Lai Lah” are the only tracks in here which have a lush and moodier impact as things slow down to a more pleasing outcome.
To preserve its special meaning, the composer hasn’t made “Maya” (20th Anniversary Edition) available as download or stream.