CD Review: Chet Singh, Recessionary Revolutionaries


Chet SinghChet Singh, Recessionary Revolutionaries, 2010
www.myspace.com/chetsingh

Perhaps revolution itself is in a recession these days. There are so many significant problems requiring revolutionary solutions, but it’s difficult to demonstrate that great strides are being made with any regularity or promise of lasting success. Not that intelligent, concerned, talented people aren’t involving themselves in the struggle. It’s just that the issues are so numerous and complex, and that the forces for the ultimately destructive status quo are so entrenched. Or so it seems to some of us.

Chet Singh is one of those talented, concerned, intelligent individuals who hasn’t given up, and fortunately his voice is heard with great clarity and passion on his latest musical offering, Recessionary Revolutionaries. The vehicle for his highly political and highly charged lyrics is a bass-heavy dub style (with loads of dense electronic textures as well) – fittingly enough, because there’s nothing easy-listening or pop-oriented about the messages he lays on the world. The reggae element is also fitting because, although now based in the Toronto area, Singh is Jamaican by birth, with stylistic touches that bring to mind not only L. K. Johnson and Mutabaruka, but even Prince Far I. And you should know that the targets of his stinging critiques are the deserving ones, not necessarily just the easy ones you might expect.

With Singh’s didactic purpose coupled with his declamatory vocal approach, you might assume this goes beyond heavy into ponderous or even tiresome, but no, you also have to consider the wealth of wit, rhythmic variations, unique insights and musical values at play. So in fact the album is extremely listenable. Intellectually confrontational perhaps, but enjoyable too.



About Ted Boothroyd :

Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete. Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood. | View all posts by Ted Boothroyd

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Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete.

Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood.

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