A Tribe Called Red

Nation II Nation

BY David DacksPublished May 7, 2013

On their second full-length release, A Tribe Called Red have improved in every way. This nation's foundation is derived from access to the rare assets of multi-tracked pow wow drums and vocals. On the group's first record, they dealt with straight samples, but given stems to work with, the music has become deeper and richer, to say nothing of their ability to craft better songs from these ingredients. It's not even the unique qualities of pow wow drums that make the difference; it's their use of vocals. At times angry, pleading, testifying and celebrating, it's hard not to get swept up in vocals with this much power, particularly culturally novel songs such as "Sisters," which features lead female voices for the first time ever in pow wow music. It truly is a cultural remix. Programming-wise, without the earthy drumming, this might sound like a mix of trap and trance; however, both jacked-up genres gain a great deal of substance in this context. The slow jams felt forced on the first album, but "PBC" has a simple elegance that works. There are emotions expressed on this record that I've never heard in any other dance music; it's exciting and fulfilling at the same time.
(Tribal Spirit)

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