Listen to this track by roots-reggae-meets-dance-meets-pop-meets-Middle-East outfit from Kingston Ontario, Canada – Bedouin Soundclash. It’s “Until We Burn in the Sun (The Kids Just Want a Love Song)”. The song is taken from the group’s 2007 record, Street Gospels.
I think taking music from various traditions and melding them together into something new, while making sure the seams don’t show , is a tricky thing. Pulling together music of different cultures often means a kind of cash-in, an obvious attempt to try to capture a niche. And sometimes, it comes off as sounding dishonest. It’s a difficult trap to avoid, and then come off with something artful in the end. But, on this track, Bedouin Soundclash have managed it with seemingly very little effort, evoking reggae and club music to great effect.
From the rubbery basslines, to the Beth Orton-esque vocal, this music is on the same level as Massive Attack and Primal Scream for moodiness and emotive sounds against a danceable beat. And I think too, it mirrors something of a growing concern of the millennial generation for the state of the world, without being too heavy-handed about it.
Speaking of this last point, Bedouin Soundclash have made no secret as to their interest in environmental issues, closely working with the David Suzuki Foundation.
For more information about that, and about the group in general, wander on down to the Bedouin Soundclash Website.