175

Mike Ladd: Negrophilia - The Album

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Ladd: Negrophilia - The Album Mike Ladd's much anticipated followup to last year's highly praised In What Language reunites him with his collaborator on that project, keyboardist Vijay Iyer. What knocks this outing into unexpected sonic originality may be their co-collaborator, Guillermo E. Brown. Best known for his work with the David S. Ware Quartet and contributions to projects by Matthew Shipp and DJ Spooky, Brown released Soul At the Hands of the Machine, an atmospheric densely layered humid slab of electronica, three years ago. His remarkable ear blows back the walls of sonic possibility while adding his crisp, busy drum work.

The project was inspired in part by Petrine Archer-Straw's book of the same title that explored the ramifications of black American artists' influence on the Parisian avant-garde of the 1920's. With less text than his previous outing, Ladd often lets the band tell the story. A tape loop of an African stringed instrument mingles with Brown tapping the drum sides, suddenly morphing into a big-bassed urban stroll. Andrew Lamb (on tenor) and Roy Campbell, Jr. (on trumpet) chat over the back fence. Iyer hits his spindly high note ostinato chords, while Bruce Grant's tape loops haunt the outro. Driving synth bass and Brown's percolating drum line set the stage for Iyer's understated solo on "The French Dig Latinos, Too.

A loose, lovely dreamscape operates around "In Perspective. Iyer's gentle musings feel concrete poking around the swirling space sounds and loops. Campbell plays low down muted, and Lamb insinuates flute. Ladd recites, with voice processed, on "Shake It, the thick sound waves flowing and panning. Thick unyielding electro beats underscore Ladd on "Worldwide Shrinkwrap. An apparently tape-looped bassoon sets the pace on "Back at Ya, Campbell and Lamb improvising through the burbling machines.

"Blonde Negress has Ladd reciting again, with Lamb double-tracked and snaking around Brown's beats and the electronica. A textural ballad, "Sam and Milli Dine Out, features Iyer's judicious piano.

Mike Ladd continues to broaden the possibilities in collaboration between hip-hop, electronica, jazz, and spoken word. Negrophilia adds soundscape artist to his resume.


Track Listing: 1. Fieldwork; 2. The french dig latinos too; 3. In perspective; 4. Shake it; 5. Worldwide shrink wrap; 6. Back at ya; 7. Appropriate metro; 8. Blond negress; 9. Sam and milli dine out; 10. Nancy and carl go christmas shopping; 11. Sleep patterns of black expatriates circa 1960.

Personnel: Andrew Lamb-winds; Roy Campbell-Trumpet; Vijay Iyer-piano, organ and synthesizer; Guillermo E. Brown-drums and electronics; Bruce Grant-tape loops; Marguerite Ladd-sampled composition; Mike Ladd-etc.

Title: Negrophilia - The Album | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Special Night" CD/LP/Track Review Special Night
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 10, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.