Released just a year after East India Youth's distinctive indie electronic debut, the Mercury Prize-nominated Total Strife Forever, Culture of Volume presents another blend of Eno-inspired synth compositions and thoughtful electropop songs. However, where the former was mostly instrumentals with a few songs, Culture of Volume offers the reverse for a poppier and more melodic, but equally hypnotic and well-crafted sophomore LP. While East India Youth had been essentially a solitary project for multi-instrumentalist William Doyle, he brought in Graham Sutton to mix this time, George Hider recorded Doyle's vocals, and Hannah Peel provided acoustic strings. Their work polishes an adventurous landscape where, without changing the record's pensive tone, tempos, complexity, and pitch range shift regularly.
The genre of this CD is quite hard to pinpoint. It’s blues, it’s classical, and at the same time, new-agey. and trippy, Moby-ish. The beauty of this is that all these genres culminate in what can be described as pure ear candy. Stand out tracks include “Slow and Easy”, a remix of an old John Lee Hooker classic. The remix surprisingly does JLH’s deep, sorrowful voice justice, which is accented by blues guitar and cello. JLH also lends his vocals to the following track, “Sonnet XVIII”, which concludes the blues journey Sacred Spirit have created. It is interesting to hear the classical music interwoven through each track, as apparently these musicians are playing entirely from the heart, blending so gracefully with the blues instruments and vocals. “Lay Down” is another fine example of how well blues and classical music mesh together. Sacred Spirit: Culture Clash is for all music fans who are open to new and old sounds, and for those that appreciate the Blues played in a different style.