As if denoting the dawning of a new day, Land of the Totem opens with a trio of native flutes, followed by bull-roarer and didgeridoo, before taking off on a spirited native excursion across dry and dusty plains. Expertly blending ancient instrumentation with modern beats and rhythms, Clifford’s powerful and compelling music is both passionate and mystic, almost worshipful, and the music constantly breaks, divides, reforms and recoils from itself in a frenetic frenzy of intensity and fervor.
Continuing with the lush native sounds, The Primal Instinct has a sensual beat, seductive and flirtatious, with vocal chants, fluttering flutes and the ever-present didgeridoo providing a passionate and enticing tribal rhythm. This is followed by the dusty flutes of Nomads, an almost processional piece of music, with ringing bells and an insistent beat, weaving an evocative tale of lonely pilgrims on a sojourn through the outback.
The pulse quickens with congas, propelling us into the native rhythms of The Tribal Way, a heart-pounding and vigorous track full of dynamic rhythmic layers and vocal chants, which seem to suggest a story of celebration and discovery. We continue this theme in Indigenous, an atmospheric yet highly spirited trek through an aboriginal landscape, with syncopated flutes punctuating an arid landscape.
We take a dive into the deeply mystic in The Dreaming, a rhythmic yet psychedelic excursion into a daydream-like fantasy, where fragments of ancient memories float past like chimera’s: voices, chanting and haunting melodic horns and wind sounds create a swirling diorama of fevered imagination. You can hear the ancient voices calling to you across the aeons, echos of generations of hunters and shamans throughout the centuries. The chanting continues in Legend of the Sky Hero, underpinned with primordial rhythms and enchanting flute melody. An uplifting and intriguing track in equal measure.
Reaching back to the very first moment of primordial creation, In the Womb of the Rainbow Serpent explores the deepest oceans of life, blending natural sounds and music to the heartbeat of creation. With a light, almost jazz-like flavour, Clifford blends whale sounds, piano, voices (his own) and the sounds of the sea into a sensual and evocative ballad. Finally with the title track Myths of the Rock, we arrive at the conclusion of our journey into the ancient lore of the aborigines, with a celebratory procession, a provocative and emboldening anthem to those antediluvian eras that existed before the dawn of time.
On Myths of the Rock, Clifford demonstrates his acumen in blending the old and the new, the ancient and the modern, into a well rounded and coherent album full of celebration, dynamism and positive energy. Clifford manages to strike a perfect balance between the mystic themes and stories of the ancient aborigines, whilst at the same time casting their prehistoric legends in a modern setting.