A Mountain Thinkin the River Fire

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The first release of world music on the new Baboon label, this album features some eight years of recordings of Voudou ceremonies compiled into a single album. The album is designed rather specifically for the uninitiated, with unabashed remixing, remastering, distortion, equalizing, and such performed on the recordings themselves. The goal was to treat the recordings that same way the average rock or pop album would be treated before release, to help the ears of the uninitiated understand the music a little better than they might with the average ethnomusicological documentation. This is both good and bad, in that it may serve to present the music to ears that haven't heard it, but at the same time those who have heard the truer forms of Voudou ritual might notice a seeming disregard for the real essence of the ritual music. Still, the recording techniques are admirable for such a venture, and this shows in the sound quality of the drums. The goals of the production team are served well, as the album would be a perfect beginning point for someone looking to make inroads into the Haitian sounds. For the already initiated listener, though, other albums would most likely make for better points of reference.

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