by Gavin Stok September 23 1995
It is unlikely that anyone outside of Australia has heard of this artist, and it is unlikely that anyone inside of Australia has heard of this artists unless they listen to the radio station Triple J which broadcasts across Australia. Promotional information described Nomad as "a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who left behind this background to embrace the sounds of the natural and indigenous world.". Don't let the description misguide you though - Nomad is not only a master of using natural sounds, he also knows how to use keyboards and create driving rhythms. As the blurb to the album states, Nomad is feet stomping beats, vocal chants & ambient dance. In fact, Billboard has gone as far to say that it is "the most refreshing releases to merge the ancient and the modern since Deep Forest. The driving force here is Nomad's didgeridoo magic... The album offers equal measure of appeal to world music afficionados, club denizens and anyone receptive to the stylist alchemies of trendsetters like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon.". Quite a statement!
The most apparently used sample on Nomad is the didgeridoo (didjeridu) - a sacred Aboriginal wind instrument. If you've ever seen the film Crocodile Dundee (1, 2 or 3) or listened to much Australian music you will know the instrument I'm talking about it! Sometimes the use of the instument is obvious, while at other times it is subtly heard in the background. Regardless of whether the track has an obvious use of the digeridoo, though, you will find that each track has some traditional Aboriginal chant or instrument, and it is for this reason that the inner sleeve of the CD casing states the meaning and background of each track.
Overall Nomad is music which is hard to describe yet easily to listen to - the rhythms and percussions are infectious, yet the traditional instrumentation also grabs the attention. This CD will not appeal to those wanting emotional music (which Enigma's second album has a lot of) but will appeal to those who want dance music with a different flavour, or fans of tradition Australian music presented in a different way.
Thanks go to MRA Entertainment Group for providing me this CD to review.