17 March 2006

Hazmat Modine: Bahamut (CD Review)

Hazmat Modine: Bahamut
(Geckophonic / Zpsygoat)

artist site : buy CD/hear samples
Bahamut: This monstrous fish comes from Muslim traditions. The legend goes that it floats in a vast sea. A giant bull rides on its back and on the bull is a ruby mountain. There is an angel on the mountain over which are six hells, then the Earth, and then seven heavens. The bahamut is so huge and dazzling that human beings cannot look upon it.

While their own description of the creature on the title track reveals different details, dazzling also seems an appropriate adjective for this wildly eclectic NYC band. At first blush, Hazmat Modine is a blues band: harmonicas, resonator/slide guitars, drums, some horns. But then there's the throat singing (courtesy of Huun Huur Tu) and Alexander Fedoriouk's cimbalom. A disorienting moment later, you settle into a mysterious undiscovered country, a crossroad where the collision of Tuvan, Roma, and Americana not only makes sense, it's inevitable. Imagine a plane carrying the Squrrel Nut Zippers and Bob Brozman crashing among a troupe of Roma encamped on the Tuvan steppe, and you'll start to get the idea. It's world music for blues/swing fans, Americana for world music junkies, and just damn good.

[mp3] Hazmat Modine with Huun Huur Tu: "It Calls Me"
Hear more full songs from Bahamut at hazmatmodine.com
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