Sunday, August 16, 2009

CD Review: Tribecastan...from New York?

Strange Cousin

If the world had a soundtrack, Strange Cousin would be it. Tribecastan attempts to showcase the world's music with various percussion, wind, string, and less-commonly-played instruments. For instance, one track, 'Tribecastani Traffic Jam', contains a Pakistani Taxi Horn. This is an instrument aficionado's fantasy. Some instruments you will hear include the penny whiste, bendir, riq, fujara, tupan, shells, mandolin, bamboo flute, koncova, dutar, tambur, Indian oboe, kanun, and many, many more. As expected, Strange Cousin picks up sounds from around the world, most notably from Europe, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean. Sometimes albums fall short when they try to incorporate too much, but Tribecastan succeeds, because each track is different and it's delivered in focused moderation. This is a 99% instrumental album with only a spattering of vocals. It's a wonderful journey to begin--and it starts in a place called New York City. ~ Matthew Forss

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