Ascend - David Starfire

David Starfire’s Ascend does take global trance dance to a higher plane and that’s a good thing because it’s a derivative of contemporary global music that often comes up lacking. I’m not one prone to being entranced (I doubt I could ever be hypnotized). I like to keep my faculties about me, especially in public. And, I don’t enjoy dancing for hours on end while my internal organs are dancing to subsonic vibrations. I like to listen to music and there’s the rub. A lot of DJ-based music is based on looping so repetition is a predominant characteristic. This often compromises compositional de rigueur making it great to dance to but boring to listen to. David Starfire avoids these pitfalls and ascends above through smart composition and super tasty global ornamentation. Just one listen to ‘Shiva Lives’, the second track on Ascend illuminates the quality of these sounds. I’ve never heard the overtones and nuances of the sitar more clearly. It will give you chills. Starfire is also a multi-instrumentalist and in-demand remixer. Check out what he does to the classic of rock composition, Stairway To Heaven on Soundcloud. It’s obvious he’s well-versed in song construction. A San Fran resident, he’s Creole by heritage. Music flows to him from his grandfather, Oscar Rouzan, a noted New Orleans horn player. Ascend benefits from some stellar collaboration from the likes of Natacha Atlas, Desert Dwellers, Henry Strange, DVin1, iCatching and many more. Stand outs include the opener, ‘Indian Summer’ featuring Sheila Govindarajan’s haunting vocals, the afore-mentioned follow up, ‘Shiva Lives’ with Knowa Knowone, Afrika Bambaataa joins in’House Of Bhangra’ and the beloved Cheb i Sabbah contributes his considerable talents to ‘Rahu’.