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Bedouin Soundclash - Sounding A Mosaic (Cover Artwork)

Bedouin Soundclash

Bedouin Soundclash: Sounding A MosaicSounding A Mosaic (2004)
Union Label Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: adamAdam
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I had been mostly unaware of this band until last summer. I knew them in name only, being "that dub band on Stomp's roster" and not much else. The little recorded material I sampled I had long ago written off as being too unfocused and overlong. However an absolutely surreal and mind blowing set ope.
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I had been mostly unaware of this band until last summer. I knew them in name only, being "that dub band on Stomp's roster" and not much else. The little recorded material I sampled I had long ago written off as being too unfocused and overlong. However an absolutely surreal and mind blowing set opening for The Slackers turned me around. Their new material was captivating, soulful, timeless sounding stuff. If they could pull off on record what they had demonstrated live they would have truly captured something special.

Enter Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jennifer. As producer Jennifer provided the focus and the grounding influence needed. To his credit Sounding A Mosaic sounds amazing, it has a haunting sense of space that perfectly suits acoustic driven songs like "When The Night Feels My Song" or "Jeb Rand" and gives the band's denser arrangements room to explore. I can't say whether it was his doing or not, but to the album's ultimate benefit the band's more experimental genre fusions are reigned in and never loose their direction.

Working with Jennifer is just another smart association this band's made in recent years. They've shared the stage with not only the aforementioned Slackers but also ska founders The Skatalites and The Maytones' Vernon Buckley. Buckley even makes an appearance on the record for a reworking of his band's "Money Worries." The lessons learned on these "lucky opening gigs" were certainly not lost on the band. Sounding A Mosaic moves from the bouncing ska of "Shelter" to shades of drum & bass in "Rude Boy Don't Cry." "Immigrant Workforce" brings in a touch of early new wave guitar while the dancehall "Living In Jungles" sneaks in more than a few lyrical tributes to Buju Banton. Jay Malinowski's vocals sound remarkably authentic as he channels Dekker and Marley with ease, if one didn't know the band's history this could easily pass for something out of Kingston Jamaica rather than Kingston Ontario. I feel reviewers might namedrop "Walking On The Moon" style Police when describing this, but that's really a superficial observation and slights the band of the commitment they're showing to the true roots of this genre.

I've got a really good feeling about this album. It hits the sweet spot between the roots ska / reggae and progressive, original song writing; The two remixes of "Money Worries" and "Rude Boy Don't Cry" that cap the album drive this point home. This is one of those records that, given the right time and place, could make a huge impact. How it will fare in today's climate remains to be seen, but I highly recommend you check it out.

 

 
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The Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseBedouin Soundclash - Street GospelsThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaBouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer VacationThe Loved Ones - Keep Your Heart

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 22, 2006)

Bedouin soundclash sucks!!! 'nuff said.

pasha (October 24, 2005)

awsome CD, one of my favorite reggae records ever

Medley (September 9, 2005)

After months of seeing the buzz for this band, and this album, grow, I finally picked up the album a couple weeks ago. Overall very good and worthy of the hype surrounding it. The only thing I don't like about the album are the two remixes at the end. "Nothing To Say" sounds natural as a closing track, but then there are the two remixes, which I don't particularly care for and feel the album would be more cohesive without. The remixes would be better suited as b-sides of a single or as 'unrealeased' tracks to put on compilations. I'm not one to ever skip tracks on an album - ever - but for this album I make an exception. Still a great album.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

after letting sounding a mosaic grow on me for a few months of listening, I went out and got their previous release, Root Fire. Aside from the ear worminess of "when the night feels my song", i'd have to say root fire delivers to the same degree if not more so.

Anonymous (July 10, 2005)

Best cd ive ever herd in my life ever

Anonymous (July 7, 2005)

Love It

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

Bedouin Soundclash has played a HUGE role in my life for the past 4 years. They were at one time...just a band from Kingston. I can actually remember the first time I saw them live. The experience was amazing. They are awesome and I really wish Pat, Eon and Jay the best of luck...I cannot believe that they have came this far in such a short time. Oh and wicked stuff...your soundtracked on the Zellers commercial. AWESOME. If anyone is just getting into Bedouin you've missed a lot. Hopefully you'll catch up!

Anonymous (January 27, 2005)

Damn i should have checked these guys out after reading this review, Itwo months later and i just found out how good these guys are

Anonymous (November 28, 2004)

Just got my al-blum in the mail…it is rocking my socks off. Get it.

hstisgod (November 12, 2004)

The Bottom Line Jay and his band Bedouin Soundclash have just finished their education are headed into the states sometime next year. ..Check out their latest album...Sounding A Mosaic you WONT be disappointed.

For a fortunate number of years in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the world was blessed to be united under one music, one man, one name…Bob Marley. Though we are no longer blessed with his physical presence, we will always feel his spiritual presence. It is possible however that we are in the presence of the second coming .

Jay Malinowski doesn’t agree with past media “The White Bob Marley” labels. “I think its really stupid. Obviously I’m not. We’re just trying to do our own thing. The Police, Bob Marley, The Clash…Yeah, they’re all influences. It's nice to be compared to people like that, but it sounds ridiculous.” The ‘we’re’ Jay is referring to is the artistic formation known as Bedouin Soundclash.

As lead vocals for this Vancouver, British Columbia bred talent, Jay takes the brunt of the media comparisons. But after talking to Jay for a few minutes it was clear to me the hype and comparisons have been a bit misconstrued. If there is any shadow of similarity between Bob Marley and Bedouin Soundclash worth speaking on, it's more of a spiritual similarity than a physical likeness. Almost sounding irritated but not quite, Jay talks a little about the state of Reggae. “In North America, Reggae gets pushed to the side as hippie music. Everywhere else, it's like worker music….Blue collar, but it's everyone’s music. There’s something really powerful about reggae. I think in the future the music (Reggae) is going be considered more important."

Discovered by Stomp Records during their 1st year @ Queens University,Jay Malinowski, Pat Penngelly (Drums), and Eon Sinclair (Bass) released their debut L.P. “Root Fire”. Though Root Fire (self-produced) created a slight Canadian heat wave, when it came time to record "Sounding A Mosaic"
Bedouin Soundclash, the trio chose Daryl Jennifer to sit at the helm of the controls. Most famously known for his work with NYC Punk Rock innovators, Bad Brains, Jay explained what the presence of Jennifer meant to the project. “It was amazing, he really understood what we we’re trying to do in terms of bringing in different influences, and pushing things forward."

Often times on an artist's second release, whispers of a sophomore jinx float around. I asked Jay if this was an existing pressure during the recordings. “The pressure was mainly from ourselves. We wanted to show people who were doubting; show some people in the scene who are credible, that they were wrong. I think a lot of the scene is stuck in a rut. We wanted to write a lot of things that were progressive, while staying true to the roots of the genre.”

Progressive is just not as easy as it used to be in these the days post September 11th, 2001. It's hard to do anything without the day of infamy’s direct effect shading the result. According to Jay, the making of this record was no exception. “We really couldn’t avoid the subject. Songs like ‘Murder on the Midnight Wire’ look at the prospective of the Bush administration. Right after 9.11, everyone was looking for a scapegoat for the human tragedy. Unfortunately people get blamed. ‘Criminal’ is the same way. They’re kind of accusatory(songs)

Named after the Israeli producer, Badawi’s 1996 LP release, Bedouin Soundclash mesh together the lines of diverse musical genres. “We all came together cause we loved Reggae music. We all kind of take different avenues, then try to bring all of our other things and slip everything in.” With influences ranging from Bob Dylan to The Streets and back across the creative pendulum to The Specials, one would think Jay yearns to bring back a fallen influence or two. “Joe Strummer just so I could meet him, just 'cause I’m selfish. I would love to sit down for an hour with him and ask him questions. I would just love to hear his stories. He is one of the biggest influences on me as a musician."

Usually a sensitive topic amongst artists, I asked the man with the golden pipes how he would cure the wounds between consumers and distributors created by mp3‘s over the last few years. “The only people who change things are the people who are buying it, they’re the ones who have the power. But I don’t know….maybe a resurgence of mix tapes (laughs)."

While Jay and the boys have enjoyed sharing the stage with legendary artists like The Slackers, things are not always peachy on the road. “The shows keep you alive yeah, but the late nights and the early mornings…(He says Questionably to himself)…….. I really enjoy being in one place, and I can’t write when I'm on the road. I feel like I'm living hand to mouth. Being kind of homeless is really draining when you really don’t have a place to shut the door and say 'See ya.”

I also asked Jay what advice does he have for those who aspire to be on the road and live the artist life. “Become involved because you're passionate. It should be straight forward. Find a way to get involved. Start promoting a show of a band that you really like. Just get involved locally before thinking beyond that, and usually it all follows in time."

Sure, comparisons can be made between Jay and the severely missed fallen hero Marley. Sure, he and his band mates make some of the most invigorating Punk, Neo, Soul, Rock, HipHop, and Electro Dancehall Reggae. Sure, they’re popularity is spreading quicker than a brushfire on a scorching California summer day. But Jay insists the drive behind this thing called music will always be simple. “We don’t have any one thing in particular. There's so many things. We always strongly believe people should say something different; something that hasn’t been said before. Stand up for what you believe in. A lot of bands out there follow what's already been said. I guess the biggest thing is if you have something to say stand up and say it."

"Sounding A Mosaic"



Sign up for the Official Bedouin Soundclash Yahoo! Groups

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Contact the writer for any comments
hstisgod2000@yahoo.com

Ted_The_Bellhop (April 28, 2004)

I listened to some clips from this album on the bands website. It sounds excellent, I definitley am going to get this.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

"No MP3 makes me slightly irritated."

go to their website and listen to the clips

losingstreakca (April 27, 2004)

"If this had better production, it would be an amazing release"

im the other way around. i love ska releases where the recordings arent perfect, and im sure i am going to become a big fan of this band.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Buju Banton is a true badman.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Can you order this from Amazon?

ElVaquero (April 27, 2004)

No MP3 makes me slightly irritated.

Jesse (April 27, 2004)

If this had better production, it would be an amazing release.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

security device enclosed.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

first. w00t-fucking-zor.

i got it this time.

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