The outcome of the 1992 annual weeklong recording sessions at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio in Wiltshire, England, the Jam Nation project was produced by Mark Rutherford (b. 14 April 1961, London, England) and John Gosling (b. 11 January 1963, Brighton, Sussex, England), previously best known for their work as dance music DJs and remixers. As is customary at these sessions, musicians from around the globe came together for the first time and, collaborating in various combinations, recorded an album over seven days. The musicians involved ranged from members of UK bands Galliano and World Party, to an er-hu (two-stringed Chinese fiddle) player, percussionists from Burkina Faso, Africa and the all-female string quartet, the Elektra Strings, as well as debutant vocalist Cleo Torres (b. September 1968, London, England). The result, Way Down Below Buffalo Hell, proved to be diverse, experimental and, aside from a couple of over-heated rock guitar workouts, entertaining. Although the basic sound was dance-orientated, Rutherford and Gosling added various unlikely cross-cultural combinations of instruments and voices, giving the album a multi-layered quality. Particularly impressive was the opening ‘First Time’, featuring South African reggae star Lucky Dube singing in a hitherto unheard soulful falsetto. ‘She Moved Through The Fair’, a traditional Irish folk song, was interpreted to include sultry vocals from cellist Caroline Lavelle, a Chinese harp, a reggae baseline, and master jazz drummer Billy Cobham, and ‘Harmonix’ featured Canadian vocalist Jane Siberry performing over a haunting, echo-laden dance track that highlights the lyre-like Nyatiti, played by Kenya’s Ayub Ogada.
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