Trans-Global Underground,
Impossible Broadcasting
(Troika, 2005)

Trans-Global Underground blends electronica and worldbeat to form the pieces of Impossible Broadcasting, following an arc that returns you to a similar point from where you started.

The short introductory piece, "7-5," slides into the next song so seamlessly it can be hard to tell when the switch happens. There is a Middle-Eastern feel to the music of "The Khaleegi Stomp" that you can feel through the electronic sounds that are woven with it. Reggae swirls into the mix through the delivery of the lyrics of "Yellow & Black Taxi Cab," and the music swirls around them. The vocals on "Stoyane/Male-le" are strong and clear, they are the heart of this track. It is one of two songs in which the Trio Bulgaria with Yanka Rupkina joins the mix. (The other is "Isis K.") You are led down a strange road in "Drinking in Gomorrah," and it is the tone of voice used that makes it work. The beat drives the opening and closing sections of "The Sikhman & the Rasta," which bookend a slower bridge that ties in nicely. The vocals shape the sound of "Isis K" as the twine around the music.

Tatapound joins them for "Cikan -- le Message," and it would be nice to have the lyrics translated into English; the delivery implies there is a message I'm missing.

In places the music of "Take the A Train" echoes from the previous two songs; the lyrics are more spoken than sung. The melody that starts off "Vanilka" is smooth and snakes its way through the track. "Radio Unfree Europe" begins strangely, and there is this sense of unreality that the music helps craft. The mood carries over in "Sentinel," which also ties back into the first song.

The music created by Trans-Global Underground ranges from ethereal to strange. While various elements come out stronger in some places than others, there is a cohesiveness to Impossible Underground that holds it fast together.

by Paul de Bruijn
9 June 2007

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