Pioneers in the global music mash up business that wrested ‘world music’ from the hands of a self-appointed clique of experts and splattered it all over the world’s dancefloors in the nineties, Transglobal Underground are back with their seventh album
Musically this is faultless stuff, full of melodic fragments, found sounds and thumping beats. If London is a global city then this is the soundtrack of that city. Take ‘Emotional Yoyo’, a driving beat, thumping bass, Middle Eastern melodies, poptastic/Bollywood female vocals courtesy Krupa, toasting and some great hooks — this is London.
While the music never slips, some of the lyrics are less assured. The hippy ‘Moonshout’ chorus has a faint whiff of Galliano about it. I mean Galliano were a great band but why did they have to sing about Earthboots and shit? MC Rise FM from Hungary manages to save the track though with his no-messing Magyar rap over some sinister bass.
‘It’s a Sitar’ is another track with a slightly daft chorus but a great pop-plus backing. The sitar also shows up on ‘Quit Mumblin”, think ‘Not Fade Away’ with exotic instrumentation and the vocal touches added by a Qawalli singer.
The album features an impressive and eclectic range of accomplices. Bulgarian traditional vocalist, Yanka Rupkina, Senegalese Burama Badji, members of Aiwa, Natacha Atlas, South African Doreen Thobekile, Portugal’s Blasted Mechanism, India’s Nalini Pattni and many more.
Released on their own label, Mule Satellite Recordings, this is the sound of a band comfortable enough with their sound to keep on reaching out and trying all kinds of new capers. Not all of them work out 100% but there are some belting tracks on here and something worthwhile in every one.
Transglobal Underground — Moonshout is out on 4 June, 2007
Transglobal Underground live in the UK:
- Saturday, 2 June Wychwood Music Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse
- Sunday, 3 June Festival, Southsea (afternoon show)
- Thursday, 14 June Trinity, Bristol
- Friday, 15 June Brewery Arts Centre, Kendall
- Saturday, 16 June The Big Session Festival, De Montfort Hall, Leicester
- Tuesday, 26 June Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, Kingsland Viaduct, Shoreditch, London
- Thursday, 28 June Komedia, 44 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UN
- Friday, 29 June Beatherder Festival, Gisburn (near Colne)
- Saturday, 30 June Workhouse Festival, Wales
- Sunday, 1 July The Point, The Point & Leigh Road recreation ground, Leigh Road, Eastleigh with TGU headlining from 9pm — 10.30pm
- Friday, 13 July Larmer Tree Festival
- Sunday, 15 July Middlesborough Mela
- Friday, 20 July Sesiwn Fawr, Dolgellau, Wales
- Saturday, 21 July Brampton Festival, Carlisle