Gnawledge - Granada Doaba
NPR has recently drooled over Gnawledge, so maybe you've heard some it with your morning latte. Canyon Cody sent his orignal demo for this not to a label, but to the government , which gave him a Fulbright scholarship. With that he and rapper-producer Gnotes were off to Grenada, where he explored Southern Spanish music, as well as the music of those from Muslim and Jewish communities still intact there. That communal cross-pollination has resulted in "Granada Doaba," a record equally at home with Flamenco as hip-hop and Arab/Gypsy hybrid sounds.
Helped along by Richard Dudanski, English ex-pat now Grenadan bar owner, a drummer extraordinaire who played with both Joe Strummer and Johnny Rotten in the late 70s, and Flamaneco guitarist Hidetomo Nambu, who also relocated to Grenada, Cody & Gnotes get to work brilliantly mixing Flamenco, Andalousian and Moorish rhythms with hip-hop, trance, and Islamic vocal phrasing. The CD of remixes included in the set is almost superflous, as the set itself is pulsing with deep, rich grooves. Nowhere is that more in evidence than on the first track, "Flamencologia," which is exhilerating in its cross-cultural brew. Nambu adds depth and poignancy to the otherwise danceable "No Te Rebeles," while "Bohemia Al-Aldalus" and "La Lengua Del Rio" both pay homage to regional styles while creating something new with them. Pretty liberating stuff.
Canyon Coy and DJ Gnotes prove they have inspired, enlightened ears when it comes to the places where musics meet and spawn new sounds. "Grenada Doaba" is as brilliant a release as you'll hear this year, and one of the most intricate blending of styles this side of "Paul's Boutique."
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