Mickey Hart Planet Drum

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To Mickey Hart, the first drumbeat was no less than the Big Bang itself, and all rhythms that have come since are echoes of and prayers to that Prime Percussion. His mission with the Grateful Dead and especially in his own projects has been to unite all the succeeding rhythmic streams into one band. The quest has produced some rich results, perhaps never before as integrated as on this album, his second with musicians from around the globe under the Planet Drum banner. Hart uses electronics to synthesize rhythms and vocals into a remarkably organic whole that's as truly world music as it gets. Sometimes it's complex, as in the opening Angola, where seven musicians play 16 instruments, augmented by various processed sounds controlled by Hart along with a vocal sampling of the Gyuto Monks Tantric Choir. Other times it's remarkably simple, as in the closing Space Dust, with the same cast armed only with wood blocks, supplemented by the sound of crickets and a New Guinea rainforest, as if tapping in to the earth's own pulse. And that's the idea. FromEscape(Dec. 1999). Subscriptions: $18/yr. (4 issues) from Box 462255, Escondido, CA 92046.

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