David Corter,
Didgeridoo Mania II: Goin' Walkabout
(ARC, 2003)

David Corter says he wanted to do something different from the average didgeridoo music that is found in the mainstream. He describes the way we hear the didgeridoo being backed by tribal beats and demonstrating the extended techniques of the players. He wanted to "break out of the mold" with his latest collection.

He has succeeded. This recording is like no other I have heard.

Corter wanted his music to illustrate the way the aboriginal elders are caught between preserving their traditional ways and living with the modern. He alternates the music between the older, traditional style that he was taught when he studied with an aboriginal elder and the modern, full-bodied world style he has developed on his own. For his "didge" solos, he uses only those rhythms taught to him by the elder.

Throughout this collection, Corter has juxtaposed the old ways against the new ones for an intriguing and thought-provoking effect. The vocals are often eerie and even downright spine-chilling in a couple of places.

Corter plays didgeridoos, synth/rodes piano, clarinet, organ, drums, electric guitar, bass, berimban, clapsticks and bullroarer. Byron joins him on the 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar and National resophonic guitar. Ian Pai plays drums, percussion, synth and bass. Josh Matthews plays drums.

The vocals are not mentioned, but certainly deserve credit. The man singing made me want to sleep with the lights on.

I liked the entire collection, but especially enjoyed "Dusk" for its didge work. There are some great rhythms and some nice world fusion contained in this collection, but overall, it has an eerie and heavy, depressive, somber tone. It is almost a lament for a dying culture. It is haunting.

Cooee, a CD by Paul Taylor and Don Spencer, is a much better display of didgeridoo talent, has more variety of technique and is by far more entertaining. It uplifts where this one brings your mood down. If you want variety and something distinctly different, get Taylor's Walkabout and check the guy playing the horse trailer for percussion. It doesn't get more entertaining than that.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 10 July 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.