Akara – ‘The World Beyond’ Review

Classically trained composer-turned-electronic music producer Joshua Penman has masterminded another album “inspired by the luminous beings” –  The World Beyond, available now via Merkaba Music. His masterfully orchestrated and arranged sounds are gracefully interwoven with the imaginary language of vocalist Femke Weidema, whose ethereal, titillating voice is a perfectly harmonious match for Penman’s emotional tones. Penman worked with a vast amount of skillful musicians to bring this work of art to life. It has been received to much critical acclaim, being named NPR‘s Echoes‘ “CD of the Month.” From The Echoes Blog on NPR: “There are elements of Philip Glass-style minimalism, Afro Celt Sound System’s electro-globalism and Dead Can Dance’s spiritualism, but Penman’s sound is as distinctive as any of them.”


Akara Performing Live at Rootwire Music & Arts Festival

What I love about this album is the exquisite attention to detail – the precise, powerful minimality, the fusion of sounds from all over this world and many worlds beyond, and the contrasting journeys through an aural range of emotion, from dark and foreboding to playful romping to tickling psychedelic intrigue. Its intelligent richness and complexity require the listener to play the album on a pair of great headphones or speakers, close your eyes, and turn yourself over completely to The World Beyond. Relax, let go, and let it sink in. It’s a mind-blowing meditation through peaks and valleys never traveled before. The originality and distinction of Penman’s work, brought to life through the Akara live band, deserves your undivided attention.

Buy The World Beyond on Beatport

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