The dust has finally settled.
Chaotic winds that blew in from the east, and with them the fury of a hundred trillion micro-soldiers. Time to get my bearings – it’s a strange place I find myself wandering. It’s getting dark, the fires are being lit and the energy of the coming night is palpable among the city’s inhabitants.
Sounds begin to emanate from far off, mysterious and dark – lulls my feet forward before my mind can react. A large dragon-like creature flirts my periphery. I can’t be sure it was real. A gangly looking thing spinning poles of fire crosses the path, leaving in my nostrils a pungent mix of kerosene, liquor, and body odor. A mystic sits in the corner reading the palms of a young couple in love. Or drunk.
The sounds grow louder, more furious. The vibrations are tangible now, as I cross the thinly veiled threshold of an obscure back-alley door. The moisture in the air immediately thickens with the sultry consequences of passion fueled movement. I look up for the source of the sounds, I see her instead – ablaze in the glow of basking lights and dancing as if powered by some off-world energy.
Stop staring. Can’t. Drunk with the flow of her limbs and torso my feet no longer feel the need to move. She looks up and catches me staring. Shit. Too late to turn away as the surrounding lights seem to intensify in brightness. A fiery, burning sensation begins taking over and I suddenly become very aware that everyone has stopped dancing and seems to be fixated on me. The sweat dripping off my brow is excruciatingly noticeable. The light gets brighter, more intense – a speeding train headed straight for me. Fever pitch. It’s all too much now as the room breaks out in spins. She approaches.
Whispers in my ear.
The world goes dark.
I wake up to the smell of coffee.
Haj i Ji‘s “Above & Below” was written as a performance piece for tribal belly dancer Sera Solstice, and it’s easy to find yourself lost in the storytelling nature of the production. Released as a remix EP, the project plays rather more like a cinematic adventure – each track synthesized and layered into its own original creation – giving the listener an experience rather than a single listen. As the sun retreats at the end of a long day and into the start of an adventurous night, there isn’t a better soundtrack to guide your journey. And as the journey unfolds, so does the music, with each artist lending their unique perspective to the grand experience, with remixes by HÄANA, Sub Swara, Hobotech, RSD, SUV, S.B.Yond, Jaxx.