Mystic Canyons

Soul food might sound like a Southern cuisine, but this Soulfood fries his music in Native American pots and dips it in ambient sauce. On his first album, Breathe, Soulfood orchestrated an ambient-Native American soundscape deep in texture and adventurous in its electronica architecture. Since then, however, he's tapped into the gift market, with designer new age flamenco, world fusion, and meditation CDs. Something got lost in the souvenir shop, but on Mystic Canyons Soulfood, a.k.a. DJ Free, a.k.a. Gordy Schaeffer, returns to his early inspiration. Teaming up once again with Anakwad (Frank Montano) of the Ojibwe tribe on flutes and chants, Soulfood deploys euphorically melodic compositions bathed in electronic textures. As befitting his DJ roots, the disc is a seamless flow, moving from the quietly triumphal guitar strumming of "Canyon Echoes" to the deep meditation of "Thunder Song" which recalls the flute choirs of Coyote Oldman. Mystic Canyons isn't nearly as close to the edge as Breathe, but it does have some magnificent vistas. --John Diliberto


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