Firewater - The Golden Hour

2009-02-26 11:57
 
The Golden Hour
 
But you'd be oh so wrong if you let this stop you buying this album, and putting it on heavy rotation. It's fabulous, a gorgeous amalgamation of 'found' music (bhangra, sufi, klezmer, and more) and searing lyrics, and the talented songwriting of Tod A, formerly of 80s band Cop Shoot Cop.

Tod A's journey "through places my country was bombing" took him to India, Pakistan, Turkey and Israel (not literally bombing, I would assume), where he recorded local musicians on a laptop with a single mic. Apparently, at least 13 different bands play on this album. That's a lot of groupies.

But if you want the full story, visit his entertaining blog Postcards from the Other Side of the World. If you're a fan of Beirut, Vampire Weekend, or some such crosscultural musical entity, you'll lap up songs like "Borneo" and the moving "This is my life," which allmusic.comdescribed thusly: "where the tumba, chimta, and dholki of the native musicians (many of whom normally play in the backing bands for belly dancers) add an extra spark to the song's already fiery rhythm".

I didn't know what a chimta is, either ("The chimta consists of a long, flat folded piece of metal steel strip, often with 7 pairs of small metal jingles. The rings are plucked in a downward motion to produce tinkling sounds. It is also used for cooking chapati in almost every Indian home.") But that’s part of the beauty of this sort of project. It really does bring a different bit of the world into your dancin' life.


As a denizen of the Third World, you might find the story about how this album got made a little tedious. American loses love of life and faith in democracy, and turns to exotic travel to find himself.

What to read next: Kalahari

NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.