LOTUS BLOSSOM (MZA 006)
Pops Mohamed, Greg Hunter, Gloria Bosman, Suzan Hendricks Johannesburg to London via Cairo
Traditional African music has grown in popularity rapidly over the last decade. Unlocking the inspiring and healing qualities of African rhythms and melodies (both ancient and new) from the Mother continent as well as the diaspora, is a job still in its infancy. Yet a greater challenge perhaps, remains not just the locating and preserving of the old songs and chants, but significantly finding ways of informing the hearts, minds and technologies of the 21st century with the spirituality and timeless wisdom of the older musics. African music doesnt simply belong in a museum or on the shelves of the Smithsonian Institute. It dwells on the streets and in the temples, churches and clubs of the diaspora of which we are all part - whether observers or participants. The MOOD AFRICA© series seeks to advance just such an agenda. Listen to how the uplifting creativity plays out here on LOTUS BLOSSOM.
1. ELEVATOR MUSIC (7.00) 2. DELUXE CLOCK (7.31)
3. HEALING BROADWAY (8.23)
4. FREE LUNCH (7.00)
5. SEKUNJALO (7.00)
6. CHILLI SCAN (7.11)
7. NO MORE GURUS (2.55)
Extracts from a review by Richard Rumney published courtesy of MIO
South Africa's Music Industry Information Portal (published February 28th, 2006)
Mood Africa © Lotus Blossom is a collection of ambient, multi-layered compositions featuring a
collective of accomplished musicians. The idea behind the album is to combine traditional African
sounds and music with 21st century creative technology. The entire project has been produced
and directed by Greg Hunter and Pops Mohammed, and while Greg provides the album with
technological modernity, Pops delivers elements of traditional African music with kora, flute, mbira
and his trademark vocal chants. Theres a plethora of other contributors, including Egyptian
musicians, Kris Weston of infamous ambient band the Orb, and local singers, Gloria Bosman and
Susan Hendricks, who round off the South African talent.
The songs are amazing spiritual soundscapes, full of bubbling electronica blended with hypnotic
African instruments. But they have to be appreciated in a certain context. If you dont take time to
properly listen without being distracted by almost anything else, it comes across as repetitive and
indistinct. Dont be fooled. If you turn off the lights, lie down and take time to actually do nothing
else other than think and listen, the intricate details in the production and composition of the
music become apparent and the songs become simply intoxicating.
Now I know Im sounding esoteric by suggesting meditating to this music in the dark and letting it
take you on a journey. But thats the way to appreciate this music. Tracks like Healing Broadway
beautifully combine transparent electronic arpeggios with the acoustically electrifying sound of the
Kora. Chilli Scan is contemplatively mellow while No More Gurus is minimal and haunting.
If you want music that you can listen to while driving, working, cooking or any other activity that
requires an in-your-face soundtrack then this is not for you. Even if you like the combination of
electronica and African sounds, but dig pounding beats thrown in for good measure, this is still
not for you. Its gentle, expertly, yet subtly crafted music that will appeal to hippies, intellectuals
and anyone whos got the time to chill out and do nothing other than listen.
Cover/Art: 4/5 | Sound/Technical: 4/5 | I like it factor: 7/10