Mondo Beat 2—Masters of Percussion
It’s difficult to intellectualize a love for something as primal as the sound of a drum—used for making music that, by design, bypasses the rational mind. But what sounded good to Africa’s talking drummers centuries ago sounds good to today’s electronic-beat merchants. Mondo Beat 2 compiles 11 tracks that mix traditional and modern approaches to drumming, by the likes of Airto Moreira, Mickey Hart and Taufiq. The result is seamless, despite the variety of styles and sounds. Greg Ellis and Vas kick things off with the direct, warlike “Ceremony of Passage,” before Tabla Beat Science sends waves of texturally colored electronic rhythms washing over the constantly changing tabla of “Secret Channel.” The most arresting moment comes midway into Hart’s space-Bedouin epic “Wheel of Time,” when the beat stops for what sounds like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as an infant. It’s real gone and space-time-like.