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Dune by HUMI (Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell)

Yumi Hara Cawkwell, is a psychiatrist who relocated to the UK in 1993 and went on to receive a PhD in composition at City University in London. She’s won several awards and has been involved in numerous music related projects. And with this venture co-featuring legendary Soft Machine bass giant Hugh Hopper, the duo straddles the avant-garde spectrum via subtle nods to progressive-rock, free-rock, classical and more.

The music iterated here represents a relatively significant leap for Hopper, whose musical resume is largely entrenched within prog-rock, and jazz-rock environs. Consequently, this program professes a mind-bending foray that spans, quiet piano-driven interludes, and harrowing electronics permutations. As the duo takes you on a largely unclassifiable sojourn into an active galaxy, chock full of telepathic regions of sound and space. With Cawkwell’s echo-laden vocal choruses and Hopper’s prolific bass lines, they layer the proceedings with oscillating loops and fluidly enacted passages. Think of drifting into some sort of cosmic abyss, where trickling motifs counterbalance darkly uttered mantras.

Hopper’s monstrous fuzz-bass lines offer a massive underpinning within several movements. But on "Hopefull Impressions of Happiness," Cawkwell elicits a dream-state backdrop atop hazy, electronics voicings. Then in other spots, they summon up notions of the macabre via discombobulated calliope like sounds, interspersed with circular theme building exercises. Moreover, the musicians impart a sense of spirituality, due to Cawkwell’s church organ patches, embedded in spacey treatments and liquefying compositional elements.

If you’re one of those who has a problem putting your imagination to work, have no fear, as the artists duly inject an ethereal and somewhat prismatic sequence of events into your mind’s eye. Sit back, relax and relieve yourself of life’s trivialities because the little band known as Humi will take you for a highly imaginative exposition that you may never forget.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: HUMI (Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell)
  • CD Title: Dune
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Moonjune Records
  • Musicians: Hugh Hopper (bass guitar, loops, electronics), Yumi Hara Cawkwell (voice, keyboards, percussion)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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