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.
// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article