Jul 4, 2008

Flying Lotus "Los Angeles"

There’s been a good buzz around producer Flying Lotus recently — which makes it all the more unfortunate that his second album comes tagged as “wonky,” a genre descriptor so ridiculous it makes the likes of “trip-hop,” “nu folk” and “broken beat” sound positively ...

Taico Club

May 30, 2008

Taico Club

Whether it’s Bjork honing her vocal chops on the cliffs of Iceland or the Belleville Three birthing techno in the mean streets of 1980s Detroit, there’s a certain romance to seeing music in terms of the environment in which it was created. So when ...

Jackie-O Motherfu**er

May 16, 2008

Jackie-O Motherfu**er

With a name like that, Jackie-O Motherf**ker is never going to be the kind of band you could take home to meet your parents. Still, it’d be wrong to dismiss this Portland, Oregon, outfit as mere shock jocks. Their sprawling, magpie improvisations can be ...

Doudou N'Diaye Rose Percussion Orchestra

May 9, 2008

Doudou N'Diaye Rose Percussion Orchestra

To look at him, you wouldn’t guess that Doudou N’Diaye Rose is pushing 80. The Senegalese master percussionist stomps and dances around the stage with an energy befitting someone a quarter his age as he conducts drum ensembles of up to 100 members. Whether ...

Asia

May 2, 2008

Asia

When AOR supergroup Asia came to Japan in March last year, all seven dates of their tour sold out. The excitement was, perhaps, forgivable: It had taken the band’s original lineup more than 25 years to get here. When they formed in 1981, Asia ...

Apr 25, 2008

Portishead "Third"

Portishead’s “Dummy” was one of the defining albums of the 1990s — and one of its most ubiquitous. The band’s producer, Geoff Barrow, made little attempt to conceal his disgust when the record was reduced to providing a soundtrack to fashionable dinner parties and ...

Asian Dub Foundation's cracked reflection shifts the agenda

Apr 18, 2008

Asian Dub Foundation's cracked reflection shifts the agenda

“Most world leaders have been on drugs,” says Steve Chandra Savale, aka Chandrasonic, guitarist for ragga-breakbeat-punk collective Asian Dub Foundation. “It’s quite documented. Winston Churchill was on speed, JFK was on steroids, and, of course, most Russian leaders, particularly Yeltsin, were complete alcoholics. Supposedly ...

Shake Forward! 2008

Apr 4, 2008

Shake Forward! 2008

Hip-hop may have lost its way in the United States, stuck in a cul-de-sac of bling and booty cliches, but in other parts of the world it’s grown legs and started popping. No more so than among minority communities, who’ve seized the music and ...

Hewar

Mar 7, 2008

Hewar

Forget the iffy politics: Syria has got some great music. It is the country of legendary oud (lute) maestro Farid Al-Atrash as well as Sabah Fakhri, an iron-larynxed singer who for many years held the world record for the longest uninterrupted vocal performance (10 ...

Shomyo no Kai

Feb 29, 2008

Shomyo no Kai

Shomyo got off to a good start in Japan. The first documented performance of this form of Buddhist sutra chanting, originally from India, was before an audience of 10,000 monks and priests at Nara’s Todaiji Temple in 752. More than 1,200 years later, it ...