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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