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The Beat

VOL. 25 #5, 2006

This is totally mad crazy: I did try to ignore Albert Kuvezin's Re-Covers (World Village). I really did resist but I could not. It kept coming back at me, giving my mind a right good ream­ing. Produced by Ben Mandelson, who knows a thing or two about craziness, this is one of the most off-the-wall releases that will fall into your lap in recent memory.

Recovering from a series of setbacks includ­ing a car crash, Tuvan Albert found solace in his music collection of rock and blues which inspired him to make an album of his fave songs. His throat singing is this side of pleasant a la Tom Waits or the current Bob Dylan. Albert takes on some of the classics of Western rock and popu­lar music and wins hands down. He has been wowing people for some time with his Yat Kha South Siberian growl. But this is different, this is craziness with a twist.

It's difficult to do but Hank Williams' "Ramblin Man" is just the other side of side of genius level, while "Man Machine" is a masterpiece of non­electronica. But the version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is one ofthe most wonderful renditions of this great song, a song so great in its original form it has been difficult to better it, but Albert has. The good Captain Beefheart donates "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles"-this is taken to a place where even Don Van Vliet could not en­visage. A whacked-out monster track whacked out quite a bit more. And as for "Wild Mountain Thyme" I am lost for words, all I can say is a feral "grrrr." Keep the candles burning because "Black Magic Woman" is a wild shit brujeria especial. "Exodus" is certainly one for the archives. It goes places the original never did but stays faithful and adds something new.

It is a major contribution to the world to take the Tuva style and inject these Western classics with another life. But as many commentators have said many other times that's what classic songs do. Re-Cover is one of those great albums. Cer­tainly a best-of-year, a total classic mad in extre­mis release. It makes perfect sense to me, a unique very psychedelic look into another dimension. Thank you, Albert, for bringing some sanity to the world.

Dave Hucker


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