Mendi & Keith Obadike Present Crosstalk

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All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Word play set to a musical backdrop has evolved into its own unique art form in different directions, from all forms of pop music, beat poetry with jazz, electronically enhanced sounds, and rap with hip-hop. Crosstalk is a collection of pieces that speak to all of these disciplines at one point or another, a storytelling extravaganza ranging from insular accounts of human endeavor, existential musings, artistic depictions of beauty and nature, and poetic justice meted out in blunt measures of modern jurisprudence. Mendi Obadike and Keith Obadike who perform on two tracks and have organized these recordings, offer future visions of what spoken word might sound like on ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Word play set to a musical backdrop has evolved into its own unique art form in different directions, from all forms of pop music, beat poetry with jazz, electronically enhanced sounds, and rap with hip-hop. Crosstalk is a collection of pieces that speak to all of these disciplines at one point or another, a storytelling extravaganza ranging from insular accounts of human endeavor, existential musings, artistic depictions of beauty and nature, and poetic justice meted out in blunt measures of modern jurisprudence. Mendi Obadike and Keith Obadike who perform on two tracks and have organized these recordings, offer future visions of what spoken word might sound like on earth, in the atmosphere and the outer limits. Live instrumental music and solos are kept to a minimum, but at the cusp of these recordings are dense abstractions, technologically primitive or advanced, and mutated to the point of being alien and strange, yet beautiful and refined. If you are a creative improvised music maven, you'll likely gravitate to the selections by Guillermo E. Brown, George E. Lewis, and the Vijay Iyer/Mike Ladd duo. Drummer Brown offers a hard beat funk underneath his gibberish poetry which sounds Arabic, Lewis solos in real time on his familiar trombone over dense, underground laptop sampled sounds from world-wide videos taken during his travels, and Iyer's keenly degrading keyboard and harmonium musings with Ladd's beats are superimposed over spoken word war newscasts during "Redemption Chant 2.0." Jazz fans might know vocalist Shelly Hirsch, and may be surprised at her maniacal and sexual ode to Dad "In the Basement," sung and rapped in live performance at The Kitchen. Violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain offers "Blimp/Sky" in a purely evocative and mainly tuneful mural of laughter, voices of the past, and images of a gray horizon. One of two at length pieces developed in their own time, guitarist Paul Lansky's stunning "Chatter Of Pins" is a minimalist, multi-tracked texture/trance piece, replete with plucked Asian elements, looped electronics, static rhythms, and a quaint feel as he and his wife recite an English folk song of rejection. "The Society Architect Ponders The Golden Gate Bridge" by Peter Gordon and Lawrence Weiner is the transcription of a car accident trial, presided over by a prejudiced judge to a tambourine beat as arguing prosecutor Joan LaBarbara proffers rebuttals against the artistic endeavors of Weiner, played by Jeffrey Reynolds. Pamela Z adopts a Laurie Anderson poetry/electronic stance on the insular "I" driven "Declaratives In The First Person," Tracie Morris sounds like Cassandra Wilson on acid for the multi-layered jazz/hip-hop "African," DJ Spooky and "Ursula Rucker" wax on race over a marimba sample for "Being Black," while the Obadike's expound in a 2/4 beat with mbira in a tale of "Mark the Cook" prior to a fox hunt during "The Pink of Stealth," and are on their own flattened effect trip for the blood color on "Rodeo Red." This diverse, oddish, and comely music goes far beyond what one might expect, and should prompt you to explore the works of each and every one of these artists' work, regardless of how they approach mere verbalized language.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/9/2008
  • Label: Bridge
  • UPC: 090404928529
  • Catalog Number: 9285

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Guillermo E. Brown Primary Artist, Vocals, electronics
Paul Lansky Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part, Track Performer
Shelley Hirsch Vocals
Mike Ladd Synthesizer
Hannah MacKay Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Ursula Rucker Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Vijay Iyer Vocals
Paul D. Miller Sampling
Lawrence Weiner Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Tracie Morris Vocals, Track Performer
Pamela Z Track Performer, electronics
Matthew Ostrowski Sampling
Kevin Zoernig Keyboards
Daniel Bernard Roumain Sampling, Track Performer, electronics
Mendi Obadike Vocals
Keith Obadike Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Drums
John Link Track Performer, electronics
George E. Lewis Trombone, electronics
Helen Vendler Recitation
Orchester Generation Berlin Choir, Chorus
Peter Gordon electronics
Joan La Barbara Vocals
Jeffrey Reynolds Vocals
Technical Credits
Paul Lansky Composer
Mike Ladd Lyricist
David Starobin Executive Producer, Audio Production
DJ Spooky Composer
Vijay Iyer Composer, Programming, Producer
Becky Starobin Executive Producer, Audio Production
William Shakespeare Text
Lawrence Weiner Direction, Text
Tracie Morris Composer
Pamela Z Composer, Voice Sample, Engineering
Charlie Post Mastering
Guillermo E. Brown Composer
Daniel Bernard Roumain Composer, Interviewer
Mendi Obadike Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
Keith Obadike Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Michael Fossenkemper Mastering
John Link Composer
Ingrid Buschmann Concept
Charles Post Mastering
Peter Gordon Remixing
Christian von Borries Direction
Gabriele Kapstein Concept
Torkwase Dyson Artwork
Matthias Osterwald Concept
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