Magazine article New Internationalist

Naked

Magazine article New Internationalist

Naked

Article excerpt

Naked

by Benjamin Zephaniah (One Little Indian TPLP403CDL CD)

Nakedness, for dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, is something akin to a state of absolute truth. 'Dis is me, revolting in front of you / I'm not much but I give a damn,' he chants on the epic poem that gives this album, the first one to move away from his habitual reggae backbeats, its title.

To this end, Zephaniah has assembled a formidable array of musical collaborators to put their own rhythms to his words. Any album that brings together tabla player Aref Durvesh, Rick Smith, from the Underworld dance duo, and the great reggae bass player Dennis Bovell, deserves consideration, especially when it's been knitted together by drummer and programmer Trevor Morais. The result is an album where words and music assume a perfect fit: 'Naked' is all electro, scattering beats; 'Uptown Downtown' is powered by a well-aimed staccato rhythm; while (for perversity's sake) 'Slowmotion' has an intense, trancey feel - maybe its own plea that we take life at a different pace. …

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