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World Music CD Reviews Europe

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Slovo
Nommo
Slovo
By Phil Freeman

Published June 22, 2007

Dave Randall means well, he really does. He has combined live instruments with field recordings and vocals contributed by or sampled from a wide variety of folks in an equally wide variety of languages. And he layers it all over beats that occasionally imply the dancefloor but also seem suited to sitting on one’s futon, doing bonghits and talking about globalization. If that makes this sound like hippie swill, then it should be noted that the music is actually quite compelling a lot of the time. It only falls down on tracks like “Killing Me,” where vocalist Kristy Hawkshaw emotes like one big nerve ending over acoustic guitar and electronically manipulated percussion that can’t quite catapult this track out of VH-1/Starbuck’s post-folk yawnsomeness. More electronic, primarily instrumental tracks like “Hound Dog” and album closer “Sertao Blues” are much better. This disc is a mixed bag, but ultimately worth checking out.

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