Bubblecore – 2001 - 65 mins

When the opening chimes of 'Mokoondi' initially flood your aural cavities, they may well conjure up an image of a modern-day Japanese road movie steeped in low-fi electronica. The opening three tracks - collectively titled Open Air Dance - dip and weave on a musical crest of styles and influences. Imagine a triptych of oriental splashes of sound dotted with acoustic guitars, which then transforms into Plaid-like synths with a strong percussive slant.

Mice Parade is the creation of Adam Pierce who employs layers of instrumentation to create this unique sound. Asymmetric drums dominate throughout adding a visceral quality to the overall sound, countered only by fluid arrangement of chengs (Chinese harps) and dulcimers. "Circle 1" is a beautiful, cyclical piece comprised of just violin and cheng, but its simplicity still forces the listener to approach it on various levels. The title track is an upbeat variation of jazz/funk comprised of rattles, sticks, guitars and saxophone. The last track on the album is sung by an anonymous coconut seller in Brazil, a simple paean recorded on mini-disk, but an emotive and powerful piece nonetheless.

Each song on 'Mokoondi' is a complex composition and yet every track is recorded in a single take using microphones. Despite the variations in sound and tempo the album as a whole has a strongly cohesive feel to it. Unusual instruments are juxtaposed with standards like drums and guitars in an eclectic, offbeat way making this an extremely refreshing contribution to a musical world that crowns Westlife as pop kings at award ceremonies. Not Mouse on Mars or the Paddy’s Day Parade, but as musically distinct as the former, and definitely more uplifting than the latter.

Sinead Gleeson

Tracklisting: Open air dance (parts 1-3) - Into the freedom world (parts 1-3) - Circle 1 - Pursuant to the vibe - Mokoondi - Ramda's focus - Circle 2 - Castaway team - Man on the beach in Brasil