Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Nicky Skopelitis ‎– Ekstasis (1993)

Style: Fusion, Acid Rock, Dub
Format: CD
Label: Axiom, Island Studios

01  Tarab
02  Meet Your Maker
03  Ghost Of A Chance
04  Proud Flesh
05  Sanctuary
06  One Eye Open
07  Heresy
08  Jubilee
09  Witness
10  Telling Time

Bass Guitar – Jah Wobble
Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar – Nicky Skopelitis
Harp (Doussongoni) – Foday Musa Suso
Loops – Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste
Tabla – Zakir Hussain
Violin – Simon Shaheen
Written-By – Skopelitis
Producer – Bill Laswell, Nicky Skopelitis

Guitarist Skopelitis' dustpan approach to world music sweeps various ethnic instrumental grit and grime into the whirling blades of co-producer Bill Laswell's shop-vac. Contributing to the unholy mess are Foday Musa Suso on kora, oudist/violinist Simon Shaheen, gospel organist Amina Claudine Myers, percussionists Zakir Hussain, Aiyb Dieng and Guilherme Franco, drummer Jaki Liebezeit, bassists Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble, and, consistently providing the most bracing moments, Bachir Attar (leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka) raising hell on the plague-of-locusts vernacular oboe, the rhaita. When Ekstasis's free-floating anxiety is at its peak, it could almost be the disc that Can fans have been waiting for since Ege Bamyasi. 
Bob Tarte / AllMusic

Nicky Skopelitis & Raoul Björkenheim ‎– Revelator (1998)

Style: Avantgarde, Ambient
Format: CD
Label: Douglas Music, Innerhytmic

1  Sacrament
2  Epiphany
3  Fresh Meat And Roses
4  Right As Rain

Guitar, Baglama, Sitar – Nicky Skopelitis
Guitar, Percussion – Raoul Björkenheim
Tabla, Percussion – Bill Buchen
Programming, Sounds - Bill Laswell
Producer – Bill Laswell

Those familiar with guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim from his work with the harder-edged Krakatau and with guitarist Nicky Skopelitis from his work with the very soft-edged CyberOctave label may be surprised by what they hear on this duo album. Featuring the percussion talents of Bill Buchen and the spiritual oversight of bassist Bill Laswell (credited here with "sounds"), Revelator delivers mainly lush, exotic grooves that are consistently both easy on the ear and sonically challenging. It would be easy to let these ambient soundscapes fade into the background, but then you'd miss the complexities -- the way Bjorkeheim's bowed guitar snakes around until Buchen's tabla enters to clear the way for Skopelitis' Delta blues figures on "Epiphany" or the gorgeously polytonal "Fresh Meat and Roses." Those who enjoyed Laswell's Hear No Evil will find a lot to like here, as will fans of the first Robert Fripp and Andy Summers collaboration. Recommended. 
Rick Anderson / AllMusic