Green Empathy - Souvenirs

Green Empathy or: “the good side to (musical) globalization”

Friends of globalized electronic grooves will already be familiar with Daniel Voss’s work – as the one half of the Weathertunes or as the brother (and imaginative remixer) of Roland Voss (aka Lemongrass and Jasmon).

 

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With his GREEN EMPATHY project, Daniel Voss floats, oscillates and day-dreams for over 75 minutes in an electro-acoustic world that spans Orient and Occident. He wanders back and forth between the poles, weaving a fabric of sound that turns impressions gained when traveling into finely carved ornaments and patterns. On arriving back home, he has upended an entire sack full of impressions and foreign sounds and sensitively composed from them the 18 tracks on his debut LP Souvenirs. The result is truly worth being termed an “album”, as in it Daniel Voss has document his virtual and real travels to a wide range of different places the world over. Be it India, Japan, China, Tibet, Africa or the Arabian countries, be it Latin America, the United States, Ireland or Australia: Wherever he goes he brings back aural impressions, objects, memories and gifts for us. They are reflected in the sons composed, arranged and produced usually by him or in tandem with his brother Roland. Together with Roland, Daniel has already recorded two beautiful albums on the peacelounge label as the Weathertunes: characters (peal 001) and the birds & the sky (peal 004) – both are being re-released soon complete with bonus tracks and completely re-mastered.

The Artist: Daniel Voss is a traveler who wanders between musical worlds, skilled at plucking elements from the finest of electronic music styles (from Lounge and Worldbeats via more experimental Electronic music to Drum & Bass) and then weaving a soft nest of sound with a southern touch, in which there is space even for a purely acoustic tonality. Born in Bünde, nr. Bielefeld, on November 19, 1977, with his digitally made and analogue tracks the multi-talented musician proves that there are also positive sides to the otherwise notorious concept of globalization.

Born into a family of musicians, and brother of Roland Voss (Lemongrass, Jasmon), Daniel has crossed countries and entire continents on soft nomadic soles and with attentive, interested eyes. The idea for the new album arose many years ago, when Daniel “...sought to create a platform on which musical elements from the fields of Electronic / Club / and Lounge music could cross-fertilize with traditional song and instruments from different cultures.” Voss explains that the “name Green Empathy hinges on the second word and the sensitivity it requires. In other words, I try and explore different viewpoints such as can be found the whole world over, from the inside and understand them. Music is a marvelous key because it can be used to transport feelings, images and aesthetics across all language barriers. In the final instance, it is like things are in nature: Seen as a whole, the result is a huge orchestra, and each individual makes an indispensable contribution. So-called ‘clairvoyant’ people often report that the aura of an empathetic person is always green in the middle – the color of the heart, of bonding with the whole. Hence the name GREEN EMPATHY, which also references a call for more peace, greater mutual acceptance and tolerance.”

The Album: The tracks on the album with the programmatic title SOUVENIRS are the musical result of that thirst for living diversity. The result of Voss’ virtual and real travels to the most different of places. Be it India, Japan, China, Tibet, the Arabian countries, North Africa, Ghana, Latin America, the United States, Ireland or Scandinavia: Everywhere he want he brought back aural fragments and musical impressions. These impressions, objects, memories and gifts are reflected in the songs, which he has predominantly composed, arranged and produced himself. The only “local” vocalist is LiuLiu, born in Minden (near to where Daniel Voss lives), who puts in an appearance on “Made Of Love”, having performed in person in the studio.

The Voss brothers’ studio has thus once again become the venue for an extremely exciting in part unheard-of melding of cultures. Thus in “Temples Of Tokyo” Daniel blends Celtic folklore and Japanese monks’ chants with Drum’n’Bass rhythms. It is unclear whether, for example, Australia, which Voss cites as the setting for the track “Pacific Walk”, actually puts in an aural appearance or serves “only” as a backdrop. On “Do You Know?”, a wonderful downbeat Pop song, the lyrics contain only that one title question – it takes place in a special place, namely, to quote Daniel Voss, in “Ireland, that green isle full of myths and stories – and perhaps it also contains a hidden reference to the origin of the project’s name? “Black Sand” is a track already welcomed on various compilation albums and has a clearly defined origin: La Gomera, that oft-traveled refuge of Hippies and creative minds, which Daniel describes almost laconically as “once a volcano and now a green isle with black sand.” The geographical details are just as clear for “A Beautiful Night”, which refers to “a warm night on a beach in Ghana, where celebrations were going on.” In “O Mabe ku mema-e” we can hear the voice of a female vocalist from Ghana who by no means seems to feel out of place or foreign in a jazz context or with break-beats – those ultramodern tones from the Northern hemisphere. Thousands of miles further East, “Hindu Rush” takes us on a trip through the vast vistas of India. The world, or our perception of it, is both slow and fast at once. The subcontinent also forms the set for “Trigger”, which Voss regards as an “Indian love story” with House-beats, “you have such wonderful green eyes and your smile warms my heart...” It may not be really permissible to assume that the green eyes again hint to the project title, but who is to stop us dreaming a bit...

This is world music in  the best sense of the word, and not ethno-decor, but a modern and masterful mixture of truly global influences in lyrics and sounds. Thus, GREEN EMPATHY’s marvelously versatile and colorful album is a welcome antidote to the otherwise overwhelming tendency to isolate and confine, to view anything foreign with suspicion. Daniel Voss has turned the world into a tonal village, in which countless musical SOUVENIRS co-exist peacefully as equals...

 

Tracklist

 

01. sailing in turquoise

02. airport

03. let there be music

04. tropic rain

05. hindu rush

06. trigger

07. temples of tokyo

08. o mabe ku mema-e

09. a beautiful night

10. black sand

11. evening flow

12. pacific walk

13. the sun painting shadows on the ground

14. do you know?

15. moods

16. made of love

17. intertwined

18. the speed of earth

 

Releasedate: 06/07/2007

Label:  peacelounge recordings

Format: CD | Digital

Labelcode: LC 11784

Catalogue No: peal 024

EAN: 4260044590615

Distribution: AL!VE | Zebralution (digital only)

 
 
 
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