Thursday, January 25, 2007

Charlie A - Broken China

Hear The Track Here

Charlie Armour (for it is he) supplied me with the prime LOL musical moment of 2006 when I reviewed his stunningly good Bebee Bubba (July 2006), a track that I saved instantly and still play to this day. Put it like this, the man just missed getting one of my tracks of the year last year and - if the competition had been less fierce - he would have deserved it. Bebee Bubba is a rare treat; a track with ideas, intelligence and a wicked sense of style. It also has the distinction of having the youngest vocalist one Soundclick: one year old Lauren, Charlie's neice. When I reviewed it I gave it a Highly Recommended rating and see no reason whatsoever to go back on that especially seeing as the track has grown more on me in the intervening few months.

Mind you, I get weird fetishes like that...

Broken China is, as you would expect, a musical dissertation about China's lamentable lack of human rights - or at least that is the impression Charlie give sin the song comments. Its a given then that you should expect a strong, forthright peice of music but - to be honest - I wasn't expecting something that had the authority and authenticity that the musical portion of this track conveys. As with his previous track, it's obvious that Charlie has learned about music presentation and as good as Bebee Bubba was in that respect, Broken China is about as good as it gets. Take, for example, the tone and tenor of the cello that introduces the track; hear how fat that thing is?? The little touches of kodo drum behind that sound show that here is an artist who thinks about every move.

Broken China develops rapidly into the powerful track the intro suggests, as muscular in the musical construction as it is in the technical aspects. Charlie A has a very adept touch with electronica and over the space of a couple of tracks has impressed me no end, but this track completely blows me away the more I hear it. Not just for the addition of proper Chinese instrumentation (as you know a staple of my diet) but for the self assured, highly competent manner in which all these goodies ended up in the same package. If tracks like Bebee Bubba and Broken China are any indication of the kind of material to be expected from this source, 2007 is shaping up to be a really good year.

Top class electronica. Top class World Music. Top class. MUST HAVE.

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