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

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article