Uriel – Culture Shift (CDS review)

The long awaited release on CD of CULTURE SHIFT by Uriel is a phenomenal Code Indigo & Hans Zimmer influenced blend of Electronica & World Music.

Coming from a musician quoted as being influenced by Code Indigo and Hans Zimmer, for me, ‘Culture Shift’ is one of the most impressive synth / world / instrumental music crossover debut albums I’ve experienced since Kitaro’s ‘Silk Road’ back in the very early 80’s!

Uriel’s blending of synthesizer generated melodic atmospheres and hypnotic percussion sounds is fresh and totally magical – I was transfixed when just one play took me off to another new place, with surely many more new fantastic places to be discovered with each new airing to come.

But before I go into further detail about ‘Culture Shift’, because the name URIEL is new to us all, here is a little bit about his background, which should help you understand where he is “musically” coming from…

Uriel Yehezkel was born in 1984 and grew up in Jerusalem. He started making music at the age of fifteen, playing Trance, House, Progressive House, Deep House and Break Beat Music. He later developed his own unique style of Chill-Out and instrumental Electronica.  After completing three years army service in 2006, Uriel returned to music professionally, and won a first place scholarship at the BPM School of Music. Working on his debut album during 2007, he combined his own talents for composition, keyboards, piano and guitars with guest musicians playing percussion, flutes, violins, Darbuka and vocal textures. His label boss David Wright says: “I was sent four tracks from a work in progress album early in 2007 and was immediately hooked. Indeed, I was so impressed; I helped chart its development as executive producer. Uriel’s intention was to create a journey style album with clear cultural influences but with its roots still firmly in the rock and electronic music genres. The end result: ‘Culture Shift’ is here for you to enjoy is one of the most exciting and enjoyable albums it has been my privilege to be involved with. Uriel is a hugely talented composer with a gift for creating atmospheric soundscapes, and this rhythmic, global journey is full of deep emotion and memorable themes that transcends culture and style”.

And more about ‘Culture Shift’ – the finished product…

As I said earlier, Uriel lists one of his musical influences as: Code Indigo, one of the UK’s best-loved Synth / Prog / World crossover bands, but when you listen to ‘Culture Shift’, his love of soundtrack music really comes shining through. You clearly pick-up on a very strong reflection of the work one of the world’s finest film score composers: Hans Zimner, famous for his music for epic films like ‘Gladiator’, but this never detracts from Uriel’s own musical identity and style. Uriel’s music is indeed “epic” as well, but in a more understated way than you would hear from a movie soundtrack, preferring to craft each and every dynamic track with hints of melody and strong waves of cosmic, electronic light and shade, making drum rhythms (real or not real – it doesn’t really matter as it is so hard to tell either way – perhaps a mix of both) provide the driving force to make the tracks flow in a trance-like fashion, whilst managing to avoid all the excesses of the dance market at the same time.

This guy is one extremely talented individual – a master in the art of making all the right things happen at just the right time and place, and not as easy to do as you might think. Each track sonically builds to perfection, with just the right balance between melodies, atmospheric chords and powerful rhythmic forces. As I mentioned right at the start of this review, the drum/percussion work is truly hypnotic, and when you hear the ethereal electronic chorals and space synth sounds layered in and around the finished toxic electronic brew you will be thrilled I can assure you. ‘Culture Shift’ is a classy and different new album that I can heartily recommend to not only fans of electronic music, but other forms of instrumental music as well.

~ by admusic on December 10, 2008.

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