I would make that plural – lots of different lands’ music here. Not quite sure how to approach it. Ong is a Singapore-based artist who mixes Eastern and Western influences in her work which features her voice (often overdubbed), her pair of theremins, her pair of synthesizers, her pair of tin whistles and her GuQin Chinese stringed instrument. She also brings in a variety of electronic and acoustic sounds from other sources. She is not only a performer but also an instrument builder, composer and producer. This is the second Music From Another Land CD working with a second performer – this time it is Yamaha e-drummer Martinez. The duo gives live performances at art galleries and concert halls in which other performers are invited to play with them in a stream of consciousness exchange.
Being something of a theremin fanatic was what attracted me to this disc. Shueh-Li is one of the many younger-gen members around the world who have revived the no-touching original electronic instrument for pop music. A local newspaper called her Singapore’s first and only diva of the theremin. The nine tracks are mostly heavy into electronica but vary wildly from one to another – delving into classical, ethnic, Latin, Kitaro-esque and psychedelic rock genres. The Asian music influence is heard in some, and a sort of kitschy electronic slant in others – reminding one of soundtracks to 1950s sci-fi oaters. You might want to run this thru your ProLogic II decoder to add the surround sound field the music seems to encourage. The multi-everything approach is a bit over the top – trying a little too hard – but appropriate ears should have great fun with it.
TrackList: Music From Another Land, I’m a Simian, Lovers Tears, Palindrome, The Same Terra, Tamorgano, NeuGenteels/Nuevo, Martyr of my Dreams, Robolution
– John Henry