New Reviews: July 3, 1998

Djo-Gbe (also pronounced and sometimes spelled as jo-bey) is rightfully called a "transcultural dance experience." It's a live drumming art form mastered by Lazare Houetin, an artist who is originally from Benin, West Africa and now resides in Pasadena, California.

align=right> Houetin is the director and choreographer os theatrical and dance performances of this unique style for audiences and school alike. Djo-Gbe has its roots in Shamanistic practises, with captivating, metative drumming that is extremely mesmerizing and addictive.

Houetin and his band of drummers cature the essence of their performances on the new CD Dance of the First Morning. Bringing together drummers and musicians from different musical and racial backgrounds, this album finds its place within the realms of alternatice World Music and New Age alike. It is definitely theraputive, and makes the listener just want to get up and dance, almost trancelike in its effect. The word Djo-Gbe means "Birth-Day" in English (hence the album title which refers to the pure state of being on the first day of life), and also integrates vocal chants and synthesized sounds. But the backbone of the music are the Ceremonial Drummers. Dance of the First Morning is a unique album not to be missed.