Badawi Soldier Of Midian

Once again, Badawi takes charge with his aggressive polyrhythms. The man known as Raz Mesinai is an outstanding percussionist, and he re-samples himself to maximum trance effect in the best sense of the word. Soldier of Midian is almost completely devoid of Jamaican influence, much more so than any of Mesinai's other projects, but you can't really call it a dub album either, because it isn't redolent with effects. It's more like a sequenced version of Morrocco's Gnawa musicians. This is not polite world fusion; these are challenging tunes with lots of atonality, but are irresistible. Most songs are under four minutes, making for a tidy 46-minute playing time. Dispensing with long intros, Badawi gets right into complex, obsessive hand drum and Middle Eastern horn samples, draws them out just the right amount of time then moves on to the next assault. Subtle touches of electronic bass lines, filter sweeps and tuned compression don't dub things out so much as they heighten the reality of these samples. The sounds on Soldier of Midian are almost entirely acoustic, but this is unmistakably an electronic album in composition and sonic impact. (ROIR)