Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Various Artists - Culture, The Music Of Black Australia

one from cob

If you love to listen to Aboriginal music then this is worth the listen because of its fabulous mix of beautiful harmonies, hard rock, and reversioned traditional music.

1997 Triple J put out "Mienmuk" full of great artists from the Top End. That year ABC TV produced the Songlines series and produced a CD with the artists who performed on the show. These were the first of great compilation CDs showcasing fabulous Indigenous talent in this country. So really "Culture" is a long time coming and I think well worth the wait. Once again Triple J have pulled together a great collection of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal music recorded live at some of the biggest festivals and events in Australia, but this time it is from all the different cultures.

As the CD cover states, "..The songs on this compilation represents Aboriginal cultures from all around Australia" and it does. The music has been gathered from Arnhem Land, The Kimberley and Pilbara region, Central Desert, Top End, Queensland and Sydney.

Saltwater Band and Nabarlek Band incorporate the traditional story telling through music, which has been done for generations, but with Reggae influence which has been established in the Top End over the past 30 years. The use of music to tell stories is alive and well.

Last year was a huge year for NoKTuRNL and it would be unthinkable not to include them on the CD as well as Yothu Yindi. The hard-edged desert band is a striking contrast to the more traditional and gentle music produced by Waak Waak Jungi with a hauntingly beautiful piece titled "Black Crow". This piece combines the traditional singing about the Black Crow and what appears to be Japanese instrumentation. The other beautiful mix of traditional and modern is the Galarrwuy Yunupingu "CockaToo" produced by Yothu Yindi.

South Pacific and Papua New Guinea has also been included when Drum Drum performed at the Barunga Sports and Culture Festival in June 1999. Drum Drum again combines the South Pacific sounds with a more contemporary platform. Great drumming rhythm.

There is a little bit of everything on this CD, a great collaboration with beautiful harmonies from the newcomers Stiff Gins and the Creole sounds of the Mills Sisters with their version of "Waltzing Matilda", or the laid back, relaxed Pigram Brothers with "Feel like Going Home".

The experience is well worth it. Journey around Australia using music as a vehicle and lose yourself in the "Culture".


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