Music from the gap
No, not the gap that tells you every week which clothes are both trendy and on sale during the commercial break.
The Gap that Thomas Barnett talks about. The local NPR station has a show on whose genre I am a bit reluctant to describe more specifically than that. The music is often Middle Eastern sounding to me, but also Indian occasionally and other influences from that general part of the globe. Right now they are interviewing a guy who made a documentary about the Lost Boys of Sudan. I am not saying this is some militant activist show - it seems more just a cultural spotlight for a demographic. Music from the 3rd world. Of course this is a show run by liberals and for liberals, but they don't really have much of a political bend on the air. So far.
But the music...they are on to something here. Granted again that they play traditional songs a lot of the time. Loooooooong, very repetitive traditional sounding, um, how you say? Boleros? I don't know. Good stuff, but a little can go a long way. Once in a while though, they play something so...incredibly good and incredibly different that I want it to be longer
. I still don't know how to describe it except...foreign.
Sting's 'Desert Rose' with Cheb Mami is a good approximation of some of the style I'm hearing. Mr. Bungle's 'Desert Search for Techno Allah' catches a little of the same spirit. There are probably a bunch of examples. But these are Westerners taking the delicious bits from the Middle East and putting it in their own formula. It works great, to my ears. But it's interpreted for Western ears. To get the converse...A mostly Middle Eastern influenced song that takes a little bit of jazz and a little bit of industrial, little dashes of western music...this is worth hearing, writing down the name, and finding a copy to hear again. What I think when I hear this music is: If they like music like this, these people can't possibly be all bad.
posted by M@ at 6:43 PM