Eastern Expressions

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Price: 19.95€

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Eastern Expressions


The original first Eastern Expressions album!


Liner notes:


"Imagine yourself in the streets of Istanbul, Egypt or India. Every alley, every corner vibrates rhythm; each down beat, a wave of water; each embellishment, a phrase of a sentence; each rhythm, a voice. Ruben creates a masterful dialogue between Turkish, Arabic and Indian rhythms that dance beautifully in technique and style. This percussive masterpiece is driven by Ruben's knowledge and passion for eastern rhythms blending all aspects of eastern culture. The rhythmic compositions are well executed and precise, giving the listener a wide variety of eastern expressions." 


Instruments played by Ruben:


Bendir, bass bendir, darbuka, bass darbuka, hollo, def, tabla, djembe, davul, finger cymbals, various cymbals, shakers, cow bells, tambourines.

Ruben plays Turkish Cymbals, Istanbul.


All songs written, performed & produced by Ruben van Rompaey

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Rutger Verberkmoes @ Accent Audio Studio, Bergen op Zoom, Holland (2004)


Total time: 42:55
Release date: December 2004



01-Djehangir (4:36)

02-Karavansaray (5:52)

3-Amaterasu (6:05)

04-Sun Dance (6:11)

05-Steps in the Desert (6:04)

06-Oasis (6:01)

08-Yeni Ufuklar (4:32)


Top customer review:

Ruben van Rompaey is a percussion powerhouse. While it seems that 'Eastern Expressions 2' gets all the attention, I think that this is actually a better collection of works. The rhythms on many of the tracks here -- correct me if I'm wrong -- are based more around traditional Levantine/Middle-Eastern rhythms (e.g., karsilama, etc.) than those on EE2, where Rompaey breaks a lot from tradition and really lets loose. I think, though, that the fact that he can write so well within these traditional confines is what makes this album really interesting. I should mention that Rompaey utilizes probably at least a dozen distinct instruments on this album: doumbek, bendir, tar/daff, north-Indian tabla, gamelan-esque-ounding idiophones, hand claps, and the list goes on. I think I even hear a ghatam somewhere? The variety of colors, flavors, and textures approach infinity. HOWEVER, he seems to have a particular affinity for frame drums such as the tar and the bendir. I downloaded this album from Magnatune, but I forgot to grab the liner notes... The production is wonderful. The drum sounds are crisp and clear. The mixing makes timbral differences apparent enough that the listener can tell one drum from another at any time. BOTTOM LINE: Get your hands on this. This is especially true for dancers who want a challenge with odd/switching time signatures, percussionists of any background regardless of what instruments they play, and (first and foremost) the fans of the frame drums. This guy could hit a pet rock with a salad fork with one hand for 75 minutes, make it into an album, and it would still be awesome.



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