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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mickey Hart & Zakir Hussein - Global Drum Project


This album scores in so many ways that it is frightening.
If you are into African or World beats this will have you shaking like a shaky thing.
If your thing is trance through rhythm you can lose yourself for hours in the intricate pathways the music follows.
If you 'do’ Indian or temple music then this reaches deep into your soul.
And it isn’t limited to that – tribal or classical or hypermodern, its’ all here.

In the last few years the rise of interest in 'World’ music and African in particular has seen some collaborations and strange bedfellows but it should be noted that this pair have actually been playing together since the early '70’s as part of the Diga Rhythm Band. Hart, percussionist with the Grateful Dead, has had a great number of rhythm and percussion related albums released but this collaboration has been the most productive and now together with Sikiru Adepotu (talking Drum) and Giovanni Hidalgo (Latin percussion) plus Taufiq Qureshi, the sitar of Niladari Kumar and the Sarangi player Dilshad Khan you have musicians from four continents creating music that is rooted in no single place and that is universal in its appeal.
The music is, of course, highly rhythmic in origin but it takes the listener deep into the imagination and memory areas of the brain as well, bringing out long forgotten images of landscapes and our origins.
Each track is unique and each has its own feel – 'Dances With Wood’ is entirely rhythm based, 'Tars’ brings in more of a tone and pulse orientation while the spoken and sung elements of 'Kaluli Groove’ work with electronics and sitar to create a soundscape of mystical intensity: 'Funky Zena’ shrinks the landscape and makes for an almost claustrophobic piece. There isn’t anything here that isn’t deeply satisfying - it really is all good.

If you want fireworks then this isn’t for you, it is far too intense and thoughtful, but if you want music that will send your mind chasing around the inside of your skull while your body moves of its own accord – you need this album.

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