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Album Review

Megadrums – “Terra Nova ” – [Intuition Records]

ArtCrimes   11/12/2008   A Library, CD

Reinhard Flatischler’s Megadrums concept brings percussionists from around the world together to build upon his rhythmic compositions. This installment, recorded in the Theater Casino Zug, Switzerland in November 1999 and released in 2000, features master players Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Milton Cardona, Leonard Eto, and Glen Velez (most have been bandleaders themselves in a variety of contexts, as well as key members of other ensembles) plus reeds from Wolfgang Puschnig and didgeridoo from Stephen Kent. Flatischler’s approach allows very different percussive styles to coexist, and he has the sense to use different subsets of the players to give a greater sense of variety throughout. Stephen Kent’s contribution adds drones as a counterpoint to the sometimes hyperactive percussion; his instrument is the first one heard on the opening track. The recording quality is clear and close-up to the action, with each fingertip, stick or mallet impact defined. Some chanted vocals are used, but primarily this is groove-oriented music with a focus on texture and transitions, evoking the passage of time and journeys both inside and out of the body.

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