Scott Nydegger named his all-percussion project Sikhara, a name meaning homeless, and taken from a tragic Armenian opera. That affinity (enforced or otherwise) with restlessness is true for the project itself: “Anduni” was recorded in many locales, including France, Belgium, Portugal, as well as in Nashville.
The record is a drumming exercise that fuses ethnic rhythms with more modern pulses. The aim is for a universal, shared sense of struggle, with rhythm the cross-cultural unifier. What vocals there are feature call and response, as well as chant, but they voices are more a counterpoint than compliment to the rhythm. “Fatwa,” “Tbilisi” and “Tukano Volta” are hypnotic, but not compelling. Ultimately there is a sameness that shouts out for some variation. A music that aspires to show courage and shared emotions is a noble one, but
a) let’s be able to dance to it;
b) uniformity does not mean unity.
“Anduni” is a solid record whose rhythms seem to pace in circles rather than open outward. Live these tunes may have more of a chance to breathe, and then maybe the latent power in the percussion might come out. Too often you want the rhythms here to do more, shake you more. 7/10 -- Mike Wood (20 May, 2009)