COMPOSERS: Mushtaq,Terry Hall
LABELS: Honest Jon’s Records
WORKS: The Hour of Two Lights
PERFORMER: Terry Hall (voice), Mushtaq (production), etc
CATALOGUE NO: HJRCDDJ 5
So many nations’ musicians show up in THE HOUR OF TWO LIGHTS that you might wonder how it ever became a powerful, coherent statement.
A shared passion for justice steers this encounter between post-rock singer Terry Hall’s open mind and sometime FunDaMental sound wizard Mushtaq’s musical intelligence, but the crucial factor is a genius for using performers who have lived the passion and can transfer it into their music.
You can note the prevailing Arab and gypsy strands, the Algerian rap in ‘Ten Eleven’ (what’s he talking about?), the touches of tango and flamenco and Jewish content and, in ‘Stand Together’, a song of Lennon-like insistence over a kind of Tibetan chant.
You will be overwhelmed, temporarily, by the vocal flourishes of Abdul Latif Asili. They all add up because the makers have cast them wisely and produced them generously. Hall’s droning delivery takes on the role of an Everyman in a world driven to despair by unsupported wars and sexed-up justifications.