Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

NII OTOO ANNAN AND STEVEN FELD

Bufo Variations

2009-09-06

When Steven Feld traveled to Ghana in 2004, for musical studies, he took notice of the croaking of the frogs (Bufo regularis) emanating from the city's sewers. He recorded them and called it his "Bufo Aria". There, he also met multi-instrumentalist Nii Otoo Annan. Their collaboration consisted of Nii Otoo listening to the bufo aria in headphones, while recording his drummed responses. Essentially, this album consists of the Bufo Aria as the first song. The succeeding variations are all Nii Otoo drumming to the frogs, but with the frog track removed. The drums used are most often traditiona African hand drums with occassional use of guitar (Variation 6) or with the addition of sax and voice (Variation 10). This album is an interesting concept as experimentalist music, but it's not altogether radio-friendly. Rebecca Ruth.

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