A project by the collective Fearsome Brave (comprised of German composers Ralf Hamm, Claus Zundel, and Markus Staab), Sacred Spirit incorporates New Age music with electronica in a series of albums that reached blockbuster success. Chants and Dances of the Native Americans is the first in the series, and a classic in Native American New Age music that went on to garner a Grammy nomination. The album is a portal into Native American history, straying away from focusing on just one tribe. All but two songs on the album are traditional, and all are infused with hints of electronica to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary sounds. "The Counterclockwise Circle Dance (Lay-O-Lay Ale Loya)" is one of two nontraditional songs on the record. This somber number is meant to evoke tribal dance; bells and drums move with a rigid punctuality that inspire movement on a primal level as the track builds from slow and steady to a trancelike pace. Synthesizers, flutes, and vocals move in eddies through stiff rhythms to create a sense of softness on this track that inspires meditative movement. "Wishes of Happiness & Prosperity (Yeha-Noha)" is by far the most popular song on the album, and one that is now a New Age staple. Native American vocals echo with a stoicism that could only come from an ancient culture. Backed by silvery electronic echoes and strings, this classic organic chant is infused with a crisp freshness, much like that of an overcast sky brewing with the promise of a delicious storm. The final track, "Brandishing the Tomahawk (Yo-Hey-Omee)," is one of the more interpretive tracks on the album. More New Age and less ancient tribal, "Tomahawk" very loosely incorporates chanting into this electronic tune. Zundel, a German who resides in electronic musicloving Ibiza, showcases his background on this tune, which ventures into the land of chill out. The combination of hand drums, loops of synths, and vocals with a slowed-down house beat make for a heady experience and allow the keyboard to really shine through as the primary voice on the track.
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