Reflections Of PalestineLabel: Riverboat Records / World Music Network
Genre: Traditional Palestinian
The same Ramzi Abu Redwan photographed as a bot throwing a rock at an Israeli tank in 1987, the image sparked an uprising. His grandfather was displaced in 1948 from his home to a refugee camp. Ramzi started to play when he was in his teens, and has switched tactics from hurtling rocks to promoting peace.
The music here starts out with a track whose title translate as Exile (Rahil). So there's obviously some of the youth left in the music - even if it doesn't sound angry. It sounds almost sad at times. The rest of the album is laced with traditional sounds, sound you might find coming out of a jazz bar, and the thing that very musicians can do: a kind of universal sound that's rooted nowhere. It's an excellent instrumental album.
Honestly, as I listen to this, and as I learned the artists story, it reaffirmed what I've always felt about music - it transcends other emotions to help heal, cleanse, focus, and bring us towards a batter emotional state. It certainly helped Ramzi, and we now have a light, melodic, though not quite ambient, body of work to share. Worth picking up.
The Killing KindLabel: Steamhammer (originally on Concrete Records)
Genre: Thrash Metal
Not quite moving to the opposite side of the spectrum, not entirely, but this is definitely harsher. At the height of their mid 90s style, which does deviate away from pure thrash metal into almost melodic medal at times, some even put it under groove-metal (a genre title I thoroughly ignore).
Compared to the previous album (W.F.O.) it's almost a return to form. The guitars crunch faster, and the drums pound harder. But it still slows down compared to some of the very early stuff. Blitz even attempts a kind of soft-melody style of singing, which his voice is absolutely not suited for. Still, compared to a lot of the stuff they put out in the 1990s, this is amongst the best of it. If you have to pick one post-Horrorscope album I recommend this one (well, at least I pick this one until we get to the mid-2000s where Overkill returns to full thrash-form).