Saturday, December 19, 2009
WAX AUDIO: 9 COUNTRIES
"9 Countries was recorded on location in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Tibet, India, Egypt and Greece between October 2005 and March 2007 by Tom Compagnoni. What you hear has been entirely assembled from these field recordings, no additional samples used."
Australia's Wax Audio made a splash with his politically-themed sound collages that even graced commercial talk-radio airwaves, as well as his party-ready mashups. But this production, literally years in the making, blows all that stuff out of the water. For one thing, the sound quality is amazing. No more hissy tape recordings in the field. And it rocks - it isn't just the New Age ambient wallpaper so often found in the well-meaning-but-dull "world music" crowd, but assembled with a pop musician's ear for looping compelling rhythms. The mixing of various sounds, voices, and beats is smoothly blended - all the laws of mashups still apply so far as getting everything on time and in a compatible key.
It's a trip - literally. You'll hear things like airport announcements, tv audio snippets, and street dialogue, which can get pretty funny. By leaving in the goofy stuff that one actually encounters while traveling, he gives it a personal touch, so that it doesn't feel like a generic National Geographic special.
He took plenty of good pictures, too.
This tune features, among other elements: a procession, and street hawkers in Myanmar; streets at dawn (with goat bell) in Tibet; temple drums and music in India; a monk chanting in Laos...
Wax Audio - Belur