World Without Walls by Ancient Future with special guest Zakir Hussain was nominated by broadcasters worldwide as ZoneMusicReporter's Best World Album of 2011. The record debuted at #39 on the October 2011 ZMR Airplay Chart, which covers many different radio genres, from Ambient to Folk, Jazz, and World, and at #34 on the CMJ New World Chart in November 2011.
Radio broadcasters who report to the ZoneMusicReporter charts are eligible to vote. Final award winners will be announced on March 11th, 2012.
'World Without Walls' by Ancient Future featuring Tabla Master Zakir Hussain on Capitol Records
On June 7, 2011, the exact lineup of Ancient Future that performed on the band's influential World Without Walls recording reunited to perform for the first time in over 15 years at Yoshi's San Francisco and other venues. To celebrate the reunion, Capitol/EMI Records released the first ever digital version of Ancient Future's classic 1990 World Without Walls recording. Downloads are now available at all major digital retailers (iTunes, etc.). For those who prefer CDs, a limited number of rare collectible original 1990 edition copies signed by Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort are on sale exclusively at Ancient-Future.Com.
As its name suggests, World Without Walls by Ancient Future depicts a musical world without borders. The recording features Ancient Future members Matthew Montfort (guitars), Jim Hurley (violin), Doug McKeehan (keys), and Ian Dogole (percussion), plus special guest performances by world music legend and tabla master Zakir Hussain. The inviting melodies and ingenious use of ethnic textures make World Without Walls one of Ancient Future's most accessible and broadly appealing releases ever.
BILLBOARD calls the group "trendsetters" for contributing to the emerging movement known as world fusion music, a term Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort coined at the band’s inception for music that blends musical ideas from many different cultures. Formed in 1978, Ancient Future is the world's first and longest running ensemble dedicated exclusively to the mission of the creation of world fusion music. Their original music is an exhilarating fusion of exciting rhythms and sounds from around the globe that combines contemporary jazz and rock with the irresistible rhythms of African, Balinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and South American percussion, the rich harmonies of Europe, and the beautiful melodies of Asia.
In the years since the initial CD release of World Without Walls, Ancient Future has expanded from its core lineup through collaborations with noted masters of various world music traditions who are now an integral part of what is today more than just a band. Ancient Future has grown to become a large chamber ensemble of more than thirty performers from around the world with over a dozen smaller ensembles within it, enabling Ancient Future to realize its core mission of creating world fusion music.
"What's an album like World Without Walls doing in the GEPR (Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progessive Rock)? 'That's not prog!' I hear you say. Well, in my view it's definitely progressive, in the true sense of the word, rather than the 'sounds like Yes, Genesis or King Crimson' sense. Ancient Future coined the phrase 'World Fusion' to describe their music. World Without Walls is a remastered re-release of their 1990 classic, and doesn't sound dated at all. World Without Walls is a fusion of musical stylings, scales and rhythms from around the world. The main influences I hear are Middle Eastern, Indian and South American, though there's also Jamaican 'Island Music' sounds, Balinese and probably dozens of other influences too subtle for me to notice. The instruments run the gamut of acoustic instruments like violins, piano, tuned percussion instruments and tablas (by renowned master Zakir Hussain) and also electric guitar synths and synthesizers. Leader Matthew Montfort plays (along with other guitars) a unique scalloped-fretboard acoustic guitar which allows for subtle pitch-bending and timbre-modulation effects. A careful listen will reveal that this is way beyond the usual health-food store 'World Music' offerings and is instead a high-energy, very experimental fusion of styles from around the world. Highly recommended." – Fred Trafton, Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progessive Rock (Nov 2011)
"It's hard to remember — with the plethora of World Fusion albums currently available — a time when this sort of music was the new kid on the block. It showed up when much of the music on the radio was pretty much disposable (something that, unfortunately, hasn't changed so much), when the new jazz at the time was still inspired by polyrhythms rather than melody, and the alt music scene was . . . well, kind of grungy. This classic album by Ancient Future was a breath of fresh air at the time of its release in 1990. With inspired skill and a great respect for the other cultures from which they took much of their inspiration, the band blended western music with that of pretty much every other continent, weaving magic with their melodies and rhythms. The core lineup played acoustic and electric guitars, violin, keyboards and percussion, with guests stepping in on bass, Chinese flutes, and the genius of Zakir Hussain on tabla.And you know what? World Without Walls sounds as fresh and invigorating today as it did all those years ago upon its intial release. There's not a single bad moment on the album." – Charles de Lint, SleepingHedgehog.com (Nov 2011)
"When one listens to the melodies and musical textures of the fifth release 'World Without Walls' by the group Ancient Future, words like exotic, elegant and sublime immediately come to mind. World-class musicians including award-winning guitarist, Matthew Montfort, composer/violinist Jim Hurley and Zakir Hussain, master of the North Indian Tabla have blended these various musical styles and phrasings into a musical fusion that honors and yet transcends the cultural and political boundaries. Check out the group on YouTube and see if you are not drawn into their hypnotic enchantment. Ancient Future offers a musical vision of a 'world without walls' which is both appealing and accessible to the average listener and is highly recommended for anyone wishing to explore the amazing genre of World music." – Jack Montgomery, Amplifier, Bowling Green Daily News (Sept 2011)
"Bloody hell, get me some Alzheimer's drugs, will you? Ancient Future was on Narada's Sona Gaia subsidiary with a world beat album that was ahead of it's time and they were hanging out with Zappa's world beat buddies and I don't remember any of it? Each track has a different taste and a different texture making this a world beat travelogue that gleefully genre bends whatever the crew felt like with a merger of hillbilly and Indian music, the sound of an African traffic jam and more stuff that tastes good without the over riding vibe of being good for you. And it's not empty calories either. No wonder the group labored so long and so hard to get Capitol to reissue this, it's time. More bloody hell, new copies of this are going for over $200 on Amazon! How did I miss this? This is the world beat/jazz/pop album for people that shy away from things called world beat and jazz. Fun stuff throughout that still sounds fresh and in the moment today." – Chris Spector, Midwest Record (July 2011)