An 11-track travelogue of rhythmic sorcery, Mondo Beat 2 touches on Indian, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, African, and modern Western styles. It's an earnest, NPRish lesson in global-beat schematics, but there are moments of fiery brilliance. Taufiq and Tabla Beat Science give Indian tablas sizzling workouts, Greg Ellis/VAS builds a storm of taiko thunder to rival the famous Japanese Kodo ensemble, and Sikuru Adepoju and Afrika Heartbeat offer intricately layered and chunky articulations on talking drums. This percussion primer teaches listeners that a brute physical act like hitting a drum can communicate profound spiritual feelings.
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