“Kiva” (representing the unbroken circle of the earth, according the album cover notes) is a tribal-ambient release full of sound archaeology which involved Native American singers and Native American ceremonial artists. In its own way, the deep sound current connects to the artists “Singing Stones” release.
On this spiritual album, the sound of the earth is expressed through recordings of traditional peyote and ayahuasca ceremonies, most notably by rare source material provided by Ron Sunsinger. Next to an intro, outro and the interludes, Roach, Stearns and Sunsinger each took responsibility for one of the sacred ceremonies while collaborating as a trio on the final Kiva.
The whole outcome comes forward as a collective primal memory and shaman ceremony where Native chanting, assorted acoustic percussion, symphonic synth textures and environmental sound recordings culminate into a primitive soundboard not always that easy to listen to. Most of the lush, elevating soundscapes on the first half of the record carry the strong trademark of Michael Stearns, who himself brings his best on “East Kiva”. As a kind of reference for “Kiva”, think the traditional, raw, organic soundworlds of Jorge Reyes.
All in all, envision an excellent produced/mastered aural roadtrip of extended hallucinogenic experiences travelling into another dimension that proves quite tough to endure.
|You can see what reviews I have done of these artists on the Steve Roach, Michael Stearns artist pages