Various Artists

Music from Rudy Maxa's World

by Charles A. Hohman

26 June 2008


Rudy Maxa is a revered writer, but as the tie-in soundtrack Music from Rudy Maxa’s World suggests, he’s not much of an ethnomusicologist. Flutes, polyrhythms, foreign chanting and other standard world music signifiers abound. For such a planet-spanning roster (courtesy solely of acts signed with Six Degrees Records), this music grows stunningly homogeneous over seventy-three minutes. This is comfortably ambient background music that wouldn’t sound out of place in a free-trade coffee shop or a posh department store—fitting for Maxa’s social-climbing NPR demographic. The performances are stellar: well played, intriguing and enjoyable, but it’s also a safe imperial whitewash of often unsafe aesthetics. While widespread and often subversive global sounds fail to reach American ears, emphasizing these Moby-fied interpretations (over half of which feature Anglo-Saxon writing credits) bungles the opportunity to present some truly exotic sounds to an often complacent American public.

Music from Rudy Maxa's World


//Mixed media

Notes, Hoaxes, and Jokes: Silkworm's 'Lifestyle' - "Ooh La La"

// Sound Affects

"Lifestyle's penultimate track eases the pace and finds fresh nuance and depth in a rock classic, as Silkworm offer their take on the Faces' "Ooh La La".

READ the article