Various Folk And Pop Music Of Burma Part 3: Music Of Nat Pwe

In Sublime Frequencies’ third volume of Burmese music, they’ve uncovered yet another fascinating and challenging musical language. The music of Nat Pwe is an orchestral sound associated with festivals called "Pwe,” which appease the "Nat” spirits believed to govern the lives of true believers. Sonically, Javanese gamelan music is the best comparison. Cascading tuned percussion, gongs, metal, hand drums and bamboo-reeded aerophones weave around call and response vocals. The psych factor is demonstrated by the shrieking, possessed vocals and the swells of reverb and tape delay. Yet considering this is ecstatic possession music, there’s a great degree of deliberation with this style, featuring intricate arrangements and relatively steady tempos outweighing the "manic outburst” factor. If you crossed Konono No. 1 with Morocco’s Master Musicians of Jajouka, you’d be getting there. (Sublime Frequencies)