People's Colony No. 1 is a pan-cultural ocean of fat, clubby beats, dub, Asian and Middle Eastern dissonance, and the rhythmic wail of Sufi tradition. Resultantly, this collaborative effort--between Trans-Global Underground's Neil Sparkes and Count Dubulah (here under the moniker Temple of Sound) and Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali, nephews of the world's finest and best-loved Qawwali singer, the late Nusrat--is a bewitching blend of dance-floor devotional music. Guest player Jah Wobble lays down the bones with his mighty bass, and Cuban violinist Omar Puente bows Arabic style. Tablas and stellar percussion fill layer upon layer while the Rizwan-Muazzam vocals burn with the ecstatic fervor of young men with a heavy torch. Missing the through-line warmth that'd put this release over the top, People's Colony No. 1 is an uneven though consistently intriguing offering. The singing nephews could use an expanded role throughout, as on the standout opening cut, "The Jewelled Heart." And the band, while always good, is its most shimmering version of gorgeous on the first and last compositions, both of which are, not coincidentally, co-written with Wobble. --Paige La Grone
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Nowhereman | 01/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this cd not having previously heard anything by its artists. However after listening to it once, I was hooked. The songs have hard-but-flowing beats, hauntingly beautiful vocals, and showcase a variety of different instruments ranging from the amazing tablas to sweet chimes to heavily distorted, rumbling bass. These provide the cd with a modern, dancey sound while still maintaining traditional Indian and East Asian melodies. The songs also lay down crisp details and smooth, circular backgrounds, giving the album a nicely balanced feel...almost like the genres were just waiting to be blended into one. The only drawback? A few of the songs (The Palace at 4 AM and Tears of Light) gave me the feeling they were trying to lead up to something, but couldn't quite reach whatever that something was....other than that this cd has earned itself a high mark. It has the ability to get you up and grooving, even before the beat truly kicks in!"
MIDDLE EASTERN DUB
G. L. Richardson | westfield new jersey | 05/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this album based on my previous satifaction with the Temple of sound with Jah Wobble. I was not dissappointed. The vibe is spacious grooves with jaw rattling wobble bass of course. No millisecond 64th notes on guitar to distract the flow. Well worth the trip."