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Act Tribal Drift

Tribal Drift
Tribal Drift

Tribal Drift's "Priority Shift..." album is one of the On-U Sound label's more recent 'one-off' appearances. The story of how it came about goes something like this:

Tribal Drift are a band of nomads, travelling the world with their trance music. An entity since 1991 they have been through several member changes, shedding and collecting musicians as the need arises. Cyrung aka Craig Miller is Tribal Drift's founder member and a native Australian. He is responsible for the mesmerising shadows cast by the didgeridoo - he tells us:

"The instrument is 40,000 years old, and has an endless range of sounds and expressions. In years to come people will still be finding new ways to use it."

After being involved with an all Didgeridoo band in Australia and a rock outfit, he travelled through Asia for 7 years collecting musical information and experiences and on arrival in the UK in the 1989 was in demand. This being the beginning of the dance scene, working a club led him to collaborate with Boy George and his partner on live PA's, delivering a live feel with DJ's. This spawned the idea that led to Tribal Drift's birth. Through the support of Nation Records a single was released that went on to become single of the week in the NME music magazine.

Tribal Drift's sound does not fit into any moulded form of trance, preferring to draw influences from world-wide music. They use a wide variety of instruments, from foraging gongs lurking within timeless Egyptian melodies to vertical bells, and cultivate a groove from itís musical elements. For them, trance is:

" accessible form of music that is audience based, i.e. it allows people to focus on their own interpretation of the sounds, instead of forcing them to comply to a mass perspective. An Aborigine told us 'dance is an initiation, so when you can dance donít walk again, and when you can sing donít talk again'. When a journey beckons go with it, let go and enjoy and you might surprise yourself as to what's lurking below the surface.

The ancient sounds of the didgeridoo as well as the various percussion drums like the tabla, the birds, animals and insects that are sampled create a memory of times past. As people are so into the technology of today they need a reminder to put their feet back on the earth."

The 'Priority Shift...' album
The "Priority Shift..." album

Being very much a live music and festival-scene outfit, Tribal Drift found themselves sharing the bill with the likes of the Revolutionary Dub Warriors who about the same time were recording for On-U Sound. Around 1996, looking for a studio and label to record their second album "Priority Shift..." (ON-U LP 88), the connection was made and Tribal Drift recorded and released what is likely to remain their only release for On-U Sound.

Somewhat unusually for On-U Sound branded product, the label's boss Adrian Sherwood had no creative input into its creation at all! However, there was just time as part of the 'deal' for Tribal Drift to contribute a remix of Dub Syndicate's "Hey Ho" to their "Research And Development" remix album (ON-U LP 85(CD)) before the transient partnership of artist and label dissolved away.

(Information gathered from: and

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African Head Charge
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Tribal Drift
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