New Reviews: June 27, 2001

Psychic Enemies Network

John and Matt Thorne are the soul masterminds behind the Psychic Enemies Network. The Psychic Enemies Network produces strictly ambient music that also fits into the space music genre. Several metallic and glass objects are used to create haunting, ambient soundscapes that are void of any kind of traditional melodic arrangements. Metallic and electronic drones and pings, muted voices and radio blips augment the eerie, but expansive sounds. However, a few ethnic instruments can be heard with some degree of audibility, including the doumbek, djembe, steel pan and balalaika. All in all, Valis is a good recording of experimental ambient music. Valis is recommended for world music fans looking for something new. Similar artists include, Steve Roach and Robert Rich.

Montevideo Dos
Ruben Rada
Big World Music

Vocalists Ruben Rada and Hugo Fattoruso presents contemporary candombe music from Montevideo, Uruguay. Drums, Bass, keyboards, acoustic guitar, piano, horn arrangements and South American percussion represents typical instruments used on this recording. One of the many musical highlights on Montevideo Dos, comes from a truly beautiful instrumental/vocal track titled "Cancion Para Enamorar Veteranas." Jazz and blues-based compositions incorporated with traditional percussion, and the addition of unique vocals creates an enjoyable listening experience for fans of contemporary Brazilian/Uruguayan jazz music. Highly recommended.


Midnite is a reggae music quintet that originates from the Virgin Islands. Musically, Midnite incorporates traditional reggae beats and grooves in the typical staccato fashion. However, Midnite's strongest talents are evidenced lyrically. Unpolished includes songs that deal with important topics, such as politics, violence, spirituality, greed and hope in times of utter despair. In the end, lead vocalist Vaughn Benjamin succeeds in creating an album with positive lyrical messages. Fans of reggae music will certainly enjoy Unpolished. Similar artists include Lucky Dube and Bob Marley.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.