Episode II

by: Safri Duo

The Safri Duo sounds like the name of an Indian pop or bhangra act, but this twosome doesn't specialize in modern Indian music -- and shouldn't be confused with the Safri Boys, a bhangra group based in England. The Safri Duo consist of two Danish artists: Uffe Savery and Morten Friis, neither of whom are known for their Indo-pop credentials. However, Episode II does have a lot of world music appeal. The Safri Duo offer electronic dance music, and their instrumental jams combine electronica with a variety of world music. Savery and Friis aren't the first people to do this sort of thing, but even so, Episode II manages to be fairly fresh sounding. Some artists who have provided an electronica-world fusion have done so without any acoustic instruments whatsoever -- they play synthesizers and drum machines exclusively. This CD, however, finds the Safri Duo using the marimba and various ethnic percussion instruments as well as the synthesizers, samplers, and other electronic instruments that are typical of electronica. And during the course of the album, Savery and Friis successfully combine European electronica with everything from Middle Eastern and African music to Brazilian samba. While some club-minded electronica is amelodic, Episode II isn't the sort of rave music that is all beat and no melody -- in fact, the Safri Duo are usually quite musical. Episode II is slightly uneven, but more often than not the material is memorable -- and the Safri Duo deserve credit for keeping things unpredictable. ~ Alex Henderson

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