Sunday, February 03, 2008

Do The Funky Didgeridoo

I've always been fascinated by non-Western approaches to Western pop. I could write entire books on Nigerian funk, Cambodian rock, Eastern European rap, Antarctic death-metal, etc. I thought I'd heard it all, but this bizarre, wonderful recording of a native Australian performing a funky James Brown tribute is a new one to me.

The didgeridoo is a traditional Australian Aborigine wind instrument that's considered to be one of the oldest instruments in the world. It's groany sound is pretty weird to begin with, but it's usually only used in traditional musics, or by hippies. Tjupurru, however, is clearly no traditionalist - hippie/folkies might be distressed by his use of a "Didjeribone," which slides "through different notes and tones - a cross between a didj and a trombone."

Furthermore, he plays through a "sensor implanted inside his mouth. With the addition of sampling and electronic effects, Tjupurru has enabled himself to perform as a one man band creating live samples and looping them."

Well, Tjupurru is an Aborigine himself, so he has as much of a right to mess with a sacred traditional instrument as anyone, I suppose.

Tjupurru: "Unkol James Brown" - Play this for funky hip-hoppers, and watch big question marks appear over their heads.

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