A Tribe Called Red A Tribe Called Red

A Tribe Called Red A Tribe Called Red
Ottawa, ON's A Tribe Called Red are more than just a music act; they are an audio-visual, cultural phenomenon. In releasing conventional full-length albums, minus the visuals and other live accoutrements, they invite people to judge them solely on their intense pow wow step and moombahton constructions. This collection is largely composed of Soundcloud tracks and holds up better than one would expect from a clutch of disconnected one-offs. They've hit upon an excellent running order, where each track builds upon the next and the listener gets an idea where they might use a number like "Electric Pow Wow Drum" (a set-builder) or breakout track "Red Skinned Girl" (the set peak). The one track that holds this album back somewhat is "Woodcarver." As a story, the murder of woodcarver John T. Williams at the hands of Seattle police is both sad and infuriating, but musically it's a return to the inert agit-hip-hop of the '80s and '90s, juxtaposing narrative vocal collages against place holding beats. Despite this one misstep, the album holds up quite well, even if it's best experienced collectively in a live setting. (Independent)