Badawi

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Badawi (aka Raz Mesinai, aka Bedouin Soundclash) and his host of drums, percussion instruments, synths, computers, and flutes rise up once more with notable collaborators such as Eyvind Kang, Marc Ribot, Mark Feldman, Jane Scarpantoni, Marcus Rojas, and Shahzad Ismaily to offer a new installation of the strange, foreign, and infectious. The best example of this is in the 13-plus-minute cut entitled "The Avenging Myth," where bass pulses, cello and violin drone, a sampler, and a series of piano chords open broodingly before giving way to a full-blown exploration of a Hebrew folk melody before Mesinai begins an interpolative piano break that ushers in Kang and Scarpantoni's strings ever more urgently. Percussion, ambient sounds, and the string throng -- to which a bowed bass now contributes -- make the piece swirl and twirl. Piano is used as a percussion instrument here, not as a melodic one. It continues building on the two-chord vamp in various ways and pairings of instruments until it gradually phases into ambient sound at about ten minutes. It's breathtaking, full of tension and drama, and yet brings about an absolute sense of peace, if not closure. There is also a remix from 2005 of "Ocean of Tears," which originally appeared on Jerusalem Under Fire. In essence, this is a mysterious, wildly musical, and innovative date from Badawi, one that is rooted much more in organic music-making than previous projects and that walks the line between improvisation, folk, and classical composition. Brilliant.

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