Music Reviews

Artist: CHRIS BROWN (@)
Title: Talking drum
Format: CD
Label: Pogus (@)
Rated: *****
If some days ago you've read the review of "Rogue wave" just forget it, this release is completely different. If you go to the Pogus' home page you'll read that the label's releases are: "uncompromising, non-commercial, and definitely not for everyone (unfortunately), these releases are geared towards discerning listeners" and an original composer/musician like Chris Brown couldn't miss from a catalogue of label like that. This record could be a 72 minute long trip around the world, "field recordings" through a binaural microphone from Philippines, Turkey, Europe, Cuba and America, technically I beg you to read what Pogus and Chris Brown wrote about the making of this work/performance ( because it's really complicated to be described in the short space of a review. Anyhow I'll try to cut it short by saying this composer not only recorded the music and the sound of different "environments" but he managed to "play" it via a computer ensemble, a sort of interactive installation where computers play "polyrhythmic music" (but please go and read what he says about the work and you'll understand it much better). The most of the songs at the beginning of this long release remind me (and obviously not by chance) Afro rhythms and Balinese/Gamelan music, somebody could say it's a reinterpretation of "world music", but if this term brings to your mind Peter Gabriel's "Real World": you're totally out of place. Too bad this cd can't be listened with the support of a "documentary", I think it would be a great experience. Music and environment filtered through computers programmed "ad hoc" to interact with the original players during the installation, the release is the result of the different performances plus the original "field recordings", it all is a continuous conversation between different places, environments and people. I've had a split sensation while listening: it somehow sounds traditional, but the work is for sure fresh and innovative and the fact itself it's quite interesting. The only possible remark is the length of the release (it takes a lot of attention) but if you like great ideas you'll love the concept behind this cd.

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