Terry Hall and Mushtaq

War, oppression, evil and greedy politicians have always been with us. So, too, have the musicians who rail against them. Terry Hall and Mushtaq (along with a United Nationsesque troupe of musicians and vocalists plus Blur frontman Damon Albarn) pull off their aural/lyrical protest with more skill than most on The Hour of Two Lights. Forget anything you know about Hall as singer of ska revivalists the Specials, Fun Boy Three and the Colourfield; he and ex-Fun-Da-Mental percussionist-keyboardist Mushtaq orchestrate piquantly melodic and powerfully rhythmic songs that weave Arabic, Jewish, Gypsy and funk threads with authority. They deliver a few centuries-of-woe chants; melismatic, exotic strings and wind instruments; and bold, rhythmic flourishes with darabukas, dhols and other drums, conjuring a pessimism-eroding vibe.

Categories: Music