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by Steen Raahauge
Fonix Music, 1999
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
	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

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