Mickey Hart's exploration of world rhythms has taken him on some wild journeys. With his new Global Drum Project, a collaboration with longtime co-conspirator and Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, the former Grateful Dead percussionist heads for uncharted terrain.
A wild, poly-rhythmic orgy softened by the incorporation of electronic elements Hart's wanted to play with for a long time, Global Drum Project brings together a variety of percussive styles in a world-music melting pot of sorts.
"I've been waiting for a long time to dance with these machines," says Hart.
Improved technology allows for deeper, more meaningful conversations between man and musical machine, and that's helped Hart create trance-inducing, dreamlike settings such as "Heartspace," "Tars" and "I Can Tell You More," three tracks off the new album.
Nigerian talking drum specialist Sikuru Adepoju and conga master Giovanni Hidalgo help create the record's exotic soundscapes. Some have a strong Middle Eastern vibe. Others wallow in a swampy kind of voodoo atmosphere. These passing scenes pervade Global Drum Project, making it a journey of the senses that's far more interesting than the destination — wherever that may be.
Put out by Shout! Factory, Global Drum Project is working its way up through the world-music chart jungle like a single-minded python. It was released Oct. 2. For more on the album, and the group's incredible live recreation of it, stay tuned to Goldmine for more of the Mickey Hart interview. Or visit www.shoutfactory.com.