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Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Band World New Age


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""As beautiful as it is exotic""

Drum Dynasty fits beautifully into the World-music genre, with two albums full of diverse international sounds. As the title suggests, there's a heavy focus on the rhythms on this record, but every song has a ton of exotic instrumentation that swirls over the top of the beats. The first record in this two-disc set is Mystic Sunrise, and has a Persian flavour, complete with beautifully sung melodies. The wait for a total-wig-out are in vain, although things do heat up from time to time, such as in 'Nectar of Rasa'. On the whole though, this is an easy listen with music at the fore rather than show-boating. Nowhere is this more evident than in the final composition on the first disc, 'Masalama', which is all about the atmosphere and melody. Other songs on the Mystic Sunrise are almost film-scores in their own right, such as the epic 'Karma'. The second disk is aptly titled Dark Continent and has brooding atmospherics and more tribal rhythms. The percussive sounds are more earthy and natural with many layers. 'Middle Passage' is a great example and really delivers a cavernous sound if you crank up the bass. I also enjoyed the mainly drum-based 'Dance Of The Flies', which is one of the songs where the drums get to do their thing. This double album is a deeply artistic offering and really puts the miles into its World music roots. This is as beautiful as it is exotic. - THE MAG


Drumming is the most primal musical expression. It echoes the rhythms of our lives. From heartbeats to the rhythm of falling rain to the pulse of traffic, we measure our lives by the relentless rhythms around us. Drum Dynasty’s self titled debut CD is an expression of those beats that surround us. A project from Seattle area drummer Bruce Burgess, film Composer Kevin Christensen, and percussionists Arturo Rodriguez and Marco Zonka, Drum Dynasty is a 2 CD set. The first CD, entitled Mystic Sunrise, is a swirl of Middle Eastern rhythms and atmospheric, layered music. The mesmerizing drums and hazy, Persian inspired melodies result in a blend of New Age and World music that is very satisfying. Songs like Karma, Dance of the 7 Veils, and Dajari, transport the listener to faraway realms.
The second CD, Dark Continent, is everything its name implies. Mystery, dance, and tribal rhythms abound in songs like Possessed, Voodoo Rain, and Dance of the Flies. These are truly primal rhythms from the dawn of man. Dark Continent is earthier and less swirling than the Middle Eastern rhythms of Mystic Sunrise but grabs the listener in a more visceral way.
Drum Dynasty is an amazing work from some amazing musicians. Many pieces have the feel and scope of movie soundtracks. But all are true to the drumming roots that inspired this CD. If you are a fan of world music or a fan of drumming, you will certainly enjoy Drum Dynasty.

Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 6/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10

""A collection every drummer should own""

I was intrigued by this double CD from Drum Dynasty. Intrigued because I am a lapsed (to some extent) drummer, intrigued because although I am a drummer, I have seen very few drum solos that haven't bored me to tears after the first three minutes. OK, so Neil Peart's Solo, from Rush, made me feel totally inadequate as a drummer, and Cozy Powell's solos, well, they were packed full of energy, volume and pyrotechnics! Apart from those though even some of my favourite drummers have taken their solo on for too long. Why would I possibly want to listen to two whole CD's full of drums? The first thing I did was check their MySpace page, and I liked what I heard. Reading the information contained on the page, they claim to sound like Terry Bozio, Peter Gabriel, Steve Smith, Vital Information and Tony Williams. Now while I might have heard of Bozio, Smith and Gabriel, I have to admit I am not very familiar with their work.

So after a little research I still got the feeling of uncertainty and I kept wondering what might be in store on 'Mystic Sunrise / Dark Continent'. To be precise there are two very separate CD's in this package. Each is in it's own individual jewel case. One is called 'Mystic Sunrise' and the other 'Dark Continent', and each have 14 tracks. They are both copyright 2009, so whether this is a double album, or a "mini" boxed set is up for debate. Anyway, this is the debut album from Bruce Burgess, Seattle percussionists Arturo Rodriguez, Marco Zonka, and film composer Kevin Christensen.

Disc one is entitled "Mystic Sunrise." The CD opens with the title track, and instantly I detect a middle eastern influence here. There are some interesting polyrhythm's to be heard on "Al Jarr" which build nicely to a climax before the track floats off into the distance. "Anuket (Goddess Of The Nile)" is over 7 minutes long, perhaps a little too long for my liking, but at one point the rhythm seemed to almost become Iron Maiden's "Running Free." I was expecting an epic of biblical proportions in "Dance Of The 7 Veils" it gallops along nicely and I can imagine Solome dancing in front of Herod. The rhythm takes an unexpected turn in the final third of the song, perhaps as the sword comes down on John The Baptist's neck?

There are some understated vocals on 'Mystic Sunrise', none more so than on "Nectar Of Rasa." I wish these had been placed higher in the mix, but they might have distracted from the essence of the CD's rhythms. On this track there is an almost funk, acid house type beat. The time signature is somewhere the other side of Mars as far as I am concerned, I just couldn't work it out (so it's probably really simple). The track progresses into what might be described as a long solo. As I have said, I am not really a fan of drummers massaging their ego to the detriment of a band's performance as a whole, but there is enough in this sound-scape to hold my interest. If the vocals should have been up in the mix for the previous track, they are certainly in the front seat at the beginning of "Masalama", the final track on this disc. A position which they hold for the duration. There is a refreshing wash of synths and the percussion takes a back seat really on this one.
Putting the second CD called 'Dark Continent' into the player, the opening and title track of the CD opens with "Bird Song," it sounds like they have gone into the rain forest somewhere, because there is a distinct tropical tone to this dawn chorus. Then the synths cut in, and if I was fearing a collection of acoustic drum solos, the fears quickly vanish. Flutes and various forms of hand percussion lay down a rich sound-scape, beautifully mixed with appropriate consideration for the instrument's placement within the stereo field. Actually, we have a 16.4 Ambisonics Studio at University. This is a ring of 8 speakers on the floor with another 8 speakers above head height and 4 sub-woofers in the corners. The idea is to make the sounds seem as if they are going round your head and out through the window. I think the material on this work would be ideal as you could make it sound like you are sat in the middle of all these instruments. In fact "Dark Continent" has given me an idea for my final year project next year. But I digress.

The sounds on this second disk are different from the first disk, here, the rhythms are more tribal. If you are waiting for a thrash around the kit you will be disappointed. However, "Hemiola" is close, at two and a half minutes, it's not too long and it doesn't get boring. This is world music, and this is not your average rock drummer show-boating. With the title, as you might expect, the percussive sounds are to the fore, but there is a myriad of exotic sounds. "Warfare" for example has the rhythms washing over the sounds of a bustling market place in Africa. "Voodoo Rain" has an atmospheric, dark rhythm and vocals mixed with a blend of hand drums and xylophone's, all topped of by sinister synths. At close to - ALTSOUNDS

"'A brilliant musical exodus"

Seattle area drummer Bruce Burgess, Film Composer Kevin Christensen along with percussionist tandems Arturo Rodriguez and Marco Zonka join forces in 2009 for DRUM DYNASTY. DRUM DYNASTY presents is a unique blend of new age ambience combined with the passion of intense world rhythms. The balance struck between all of the above is crafted into musical perfection. With over 90 minutes of music to chose from, this debut release offers something for just about everyone. The format is based upon a musical journey and is split up into 2 separate CD’s. DISC 1 is called MYSTIC SUNRISE, and DISC 2 is entitled DARK CONTINENT. The CD’s themselves come separate in a handy slip case packet. Very cheeky Katavi Arts!

DISC I - MYSTIC SUNRISE kicks off with the title track, an amazing piece combining both acoustic and electronic drums elements meshed with percussion layered strategically throughout the piece. This song is a perfect intro piece which gets you off on the right foot for an amazing musical journey. Track 3; “Anuket (Goddess of the Nile)” is the longest track on the both CD’s but never once lets up. The song itself has so many twists and turns and time changes to it, almost as if you were going down the Nile. But what makes it so brilliant is given the complexity of “Anuket” the song somehow works and flows very well. So well in fact you are almost unaware its happening. The thing I like most about DRUM DYNASTY is it’s amazing bottom end feel, great for bass heavy sound systems. There are many other amazing pieces on MYSTIC SUNRISE. Songs like “Karma, Dance of the 7 Veils” and “Dajari”, and the finale “Masalama” all showcasing the brilliant writing and playing abilities of this foursome. Tabla solo “Twenty Drawings” showcases the soloing abilities of percussionist Marco Zonka. In close MYSTIC SUNRISE takes the listener on an amazing musical journey through the Middle East and beyond. It’s melodic, passionate and leaves a lasting impression upon the listener. Total running time of MYSTIC SUNRISE is (57:21) It has an African feel to it, and is centered primarily around the drum. DARK CONTINENT has everything you would expect from a CD of this name. From tribal chants, to wild animal noises, to a multitude of drum solos. Songs like “Possessed,” “Voodoo Rain” ,”Middle Passage” and “Fanga Alafyia” showcase the dark side of the African Continent. Song for song DARK CONTINENT is not as melodic or impressive as MYSTIC SUNRISE but is short and sweet, and finishes very well with the most brilliant piece on the entire production: “Santeria.” This finale is simply breathtaking almost as if you standing on the summit of a mountain top surveying a long journeys end. Total running time of DARK CONTINENT (39:41) River to come.

DISC II - DARK CONTINENT is darker and much more primal than MYSTIC
DRUM DYNASTY’S strength lies in it’s wide variety of material, musical depth. and strong musicianship. But at times the music can seem a bit repetitive. It’s extended play format will drag you to the finish line every time after you receive your sonic overdose. But despite all this, listeners will no doubt give it a hall pass as it fills their sonic space for extended periods of time. This is alot of music to digest at once so I recommend listening to it until you feel winded then stopping. When your ready pick it up where you left off. DRUM DYNASTY works best during long drives, flights, work days, or when doing a yoga class. It presents a massive variety of music, from tribal rhythms to peaceful New Age Tranquility. The musical arrangements can at times seem unpredictable, dark, and full of passion, but as you get closer to your final destination it can become a very rewarding experience. Like a journey itself. DRUM DYNASTY is an amazing body of work. The 2 DISC set delivers.

DRUM DYNASTY is a brilliant musical exodus you will always come back to time and time again. It gets high marks on it’s originality, and variety. I look forward to hearing more material from DRUM DYNASTY over the years to come. - ONE TIMES ONE


DISK 1 - Mystic Sunrise (57:21)
DISK II - Dark Continent (39:41)



Happened one day quite by accident. One weekend drummer Bruce Burgess (Seven Against Thebes) recorded hundreds of drum rhythms at a local recording studio just to be used as rhythm exercises for his drum students. Shortly thereafter the recordings caught the attention of local percussionists Arturo Rodriguez and Marco Zonka who began layering percussive elements into the music for their own students. Lastly when Film Composer Kevin Christensen got involved writing background melodies for a few nature folms, Bruce & Co. realized they might be on to something.

The debut DRUM DYNASTY CD was officially released in April, 2009 at The 16 Annual World Rhythm Festival in Seattle, Washington. The music caught the attention of local Producer Cyrus Rhodes of KATAVI ARTS Arts who was strolling around the grounds that day in search of fresh new talent. "I was looking for something that was fresh and new sounding, well I found it. The music of Drum Dynasty caught my attention right away as something unique and special. The music itself combines a unique blend of New Age Ambience with Intense World Rhythms. The format of this double CD takes the listener on a musical journey around the world, but what makes it so amazing, is all the different places the music will take you spiritually." The debut CD set is divided into 2 separate CD's (MYSTIC SUNRISE - Disk I) and (DARK CONTINENT - Disk II) Each CD represents a different musical journey. This 2 CD set provides over 90 minutes of musical enjoyment. DRUM DYNASTY is a must gem for any listener out there that wants music to fill a sonic space. It offers a huge variety of music, from intense tribal rhythms to peaceful New Age Tranquility.

Bruce explains: "Drumming by nature is a very primal expression, and it’s a language mankind has been speaking for centuries. It’s has a universal meaning everyone can relate to, and it exists in almost every form of music. It’s therapeutic for me to study the roots of this truly amazing musical instrument wth the DRUM DYNASTY.

INDIE MUSIC DIGEST - CD of the year - 2009
CD BABY - Editors Choice for World Drumming
EVOR - "Top 10 Indie CD of all time"
THE MUSES MUSE - "Amazing"
THE MAG - "As beautiful as it is exotic"
BLUESBUNNY - " 2 great albums"
ALTSOUNDS - "Every drummer should own this"
ONE TIMES ONE - "Amazing body or work"
SKOPE - "A dynasty of delight" (5 STARS)
WILDY'S WORLD - "Beautiful"
SMOTHER - "Intriguing"
JESUS FREAK HIDEOUT -"Excellent display of drumming"
VICTORY MUSIC - "A Mesmerising Interplay of New Age"
INDIESHARK - "Transcends space & time"
REFLECTIONS OF DARKNESS - "Cenematic in Scope"

NOTE - All reviews can be read in their entirety on - www.drumdynasty.com

WORLD CATHEDRAL CD (2010) Bruce Burgess will be teaming up composer with Ben Kopec for World Cathedral. World Cathedral will be a radical blend of European Orchrestral movements meshed with progressive drumming, and will sound similar to Transiberian Orchrestra. Unofficial release date - July 2010.
DRUM LANGUAGE DVD (2011) - Bruce Burgess has begun work on his first Instructional DVD entitled "Drum Language." Unofficial release date - Summer 2011.

Although Bruce continues to work with countless musicians over the years, it's important to point out that the only core member of Drum Dynasty is Bruce himself.

The music of Drum Dynasty is perfect for any Film Producer or Movie Music Supervisor out there who might be searching for music to "synch" into Movies, Feature Films, or TV productions that call for a World Music Setting. If you are interested please contact Cyrus Rhodes of KATAVI ARTS for more information. Free CD's are available.

Send all inquiries through:

Cyrus Rhodes
President, Executive Producer, A&R Represenative
(360) 509-1779 - Office
E-Mail - rhodesm@wavecable.com

All legal dialouge must go through:

Mark Saku
(866) 274-7862 - Office
E-Mail - email@sakucollins.com