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E.E.R.




LISTEN TO ANOTHER DRUM
by Steen Raahauge
Fonix Music, 1999
http://www.fonix.dk
Fonix Musik ApS, Sender Alle 12,
DK-8000 Arhus C, Denmark

	This percussion album is a Danish production, though its musical sounds and
rhythms are meant to be African. In a way, it’s following in the footsteps
of another Dane who lived in Africa and and was profoundly influenced by
that land, namely Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa.”
	The album is arranged in 11 sections, which have different moods, rhythms,
and tone-colors. Some of them include environmental sounds like birds,
jungle creatures, people talking and singing in a village, or whales and
ocean waves. In one or two, there are some “ambient” style synthesizer
sounds as well. The producer has a “concept” (or gimmick) for the album: he
suggests that you program your CD player to play these pieces in different
suggested sequences, thus making a number of different “sets” corresponding
to different themes or moods. I’ve tried this out, and some of these
arrangements work better than others, but in general it’s an interesting
idea. I could do without the verbal “word pictures” included in the liner
with each sequence, however; the music should be allowed to do its work by
itself.
	The drumming is on the whole catchy and competent, especially in cut 1,
“Listen to Another Drum,” and cut 3, “Sea-Frame.” Raahauge has studied and
journeyed and practiced and listened to lots of Native, African, and
aboriginal music. But there is a kind of restraint, precision, and even
stiffness to the playing, compared to an authentic, Native African drummer
like the famous Olatunji, whose performances boil over with emotion and
enthusiasm. Dare I say it – this Danish drummer is too….White? No matter how
well he plays, there is still the matter of colonialism, which puts an
unbridgeable cultural gap between a native African and a European. An album
like this is, for me, always going to have this underlying conflict. Still,
it’s an entertaining hour and a bit more of listening, good enough to roll
you along over those rhythm-deprived, draggy moments in life.

HMGS rating: 5

Hannah M.G.Shapero
12/7/99

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