Transglobal Underground have returned like a band of cosmic mutant rebels...
Tim Nelson 2007-05-31
Operating not only out of a shifting location, but shifting identity, the Transglobal Underground have returned like a band of cosmic mutant rebels with Moonshout, not so much a nod to their roots in festivals as a salute to the lunacy within us all, a possibly terminal (for us perhaps more so than the band) effort to summon up the will to act and change things. Because the Transglobal Underground, brilliant as they are musically, are as much about community politics, as the division of the album into distinct sections reveals. And then again, maybe not, as the TGU shifts once more.
The first section concentrates on the dancefloor with “Dancehall Operator”, a mix of Brazilian drum and bass and Indian rhythm, the title track (including the astonishing Hungarian MC Rise), and the return of Natacha Atlas with Iraqi rapper Naufalle on “Awal” and the insanely catchy Bollywood pop style of “Emotional Yoyo” with vocalist Krupa. Suitably exorcised, the listener is now ready for the harder styles and message of part two.
The second section moves into a more political realm with the excellent “Total Rebellion” (a collaboration with Portugal’s Blasted Mechanism), the haunting “Swampland” and the nightmarish “Cape Thunder”. By this time the procession of brilliant guest stars from around the world has rendered you pretty much putty in TGU’s hands, but that turns out to be okay, too, as the next four tracks are beautiful soundscapes, beginning with “Mehra Jhumka” featuring Indian ghazal singing star Nalini Pattni and ending with the epic “Spice Garden” featuring legendary Bulgarian vocalist Yanka Rupkina.
The finale is perhaps the most surprising transformation of all but I’ve run out of room, so you’ll just have to get it for yourself to find out… if you can locate it, that is. The Underground are already moving on.