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CD Review: Shaktified - Downtempo Electronica by Rara Avis; See Live Performances in Hollywood & Santa Monica This Weekend

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Downtempo electronica artist Rara Avis will have a chance to showcase tracks from his newly released E.P., Shaktified, at a series of shows in Hollywood and Santa Monica this weekend. The multi-instrumentalist’s work features a focus on tribal house/trance rhythms but his blues and Jimi Hendrix-influenced guitar riffs set him apart from others in this genre.

Frequently a collaborator with other electronica DJs and producers, such as the Desert Dwellers, Zen Dancing, and the Shaman’s Dream Factory, this is Rara’s first release through his label of choice, Six Degrees Records.

Rara has long been a fan of and influenced by Southern California’s Moontribe collective, you know, those freaks (in a good sense of the word) who throw those all-out full moon parties. You can easily imagine Shaktified being played in a chill out room, or in a come-down phase of a particularly energetic party. Rara’s work is already featured at many of the LA yoga gatherings that Moontribe, Rara Avis, and other associated scenesters help power.

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Shaktified is downtempo music, you just have to let the layers build, the energy is there but you aren’t going to be inspired to pound out your best 10K if you have it on your iPod. The EP is composed of 5 tracks with 'Medicine' being a true introduction to the ouvre and mindset of Rara Avis. The second track, 'Jumanic Rapture', is my favorite of the bunch - made me think of the most introspective and slow-paced selections from artists like Freaky Chakra, dj Cheb I Sabbah, Talvin Singh and the like. 'Vibrasonik' was not my favorite, I think it would have been a much better tune without the rapping track on it (hey Rara, an instrumental version of this track would be a good idea). The following tune, 'Post Burn Syndrome', really features Rara’s guitar musicianship and it’s arrangement within this trance format is pretty interesting.The recording is concluded with the very very mellow, and organic 'Yesterday' – lots of acoustic sounds, straightforward singing, and some interesting audio samples. Get the music HERE.

Rara Avis performs at King King Hollywood tonight (3/9/07)