Title: Strange Cousin
Label: Evergreene Music
TRIBECASTAN’s Strange Cousin is a collection of songs or strains that subtly impress upon the listener’s ear, the sensation of possibility, tranquility, and reflection, with hints of lots of different styles. These rhythms come not (exactly) from Morocco, Turkey, India, the Balkans, or any one place, and neither do they make use of anything resembling the simplest of western instrumentation, but rather hail from a mystical part of NYC they call
Tribecastan (like the Vatican in Rome perhaps).
Strange Cousin features soundmaking tools like the Moldavian kavel, guiro, tupan, Bulgarian gaida, mandocello, sheng, Pakistani taxi horn, darbuka, kalimba, yayli tambur, Uileann chanter, crumhorn, steel drum, and bamboo flute – think tea or thick coffee in the desert for two (or four) at sunset, rising smoke from hand rolled cigarettes, shadows of caravans on some forgotten wall, overloaded pack animals leaving the market and the crowd ready to move.
Without the cliched drum – bass -guitar restraint, songs like Princess Rahsaanica, Lady Dez, Sunday Sunday and Black Ice, can flutter along or pulse or convulse. Notice the nod to Rahsaan Roland Kirk – the same spirit of experimentation and exultation that Rahsaan conveyed can also be felt here. It joyously roots into the primal source of vibration and music – if you can hear a heartbeat, you can bang on a drum, or if you can hear the wind, you can blow on a leaf and create the next wave. You don’t even have to have three saxes in your mouth and a flute up your nose to do it.
So there’s a natural joy in that. I imagine these musicians smiling or quizzical, not snarling or in a rage, and without the darkness of some others that draw from a similar well.