Umbra Sumus

Umbra Sumus

by Jah Wobble
     
 

The strange, spiritual album that is Umbra Sumus is one of the more interesting items released in 1998. Bassist and composer Jah Wobble creates strangely compelling soundscapes that draw textures from a variety of ethnic traditions without explicitly evoking any one of them. The first cut, "Il Jevedro il Oblanco," sets the pace with a duet for what sounds like…  See more details below

Overview

The strange, spiritual album that is Umbra Sumus is one of the more interesting items released in 1998. Bassist and composer Jah Wobble creates strangely compelling soundscapes that draw textures from a variety of ethnic traditions without explicitly evoking any one of them. The first cut, "Il Jevedro il Oblanco," sets the pace with a duet for what sounds like a toy music box and fuzz bass, but suddenly becomes a lush electronica-pop track as vocalist Amila Sulejmanovic begins singing in Bosnian. Elsewhere, Natacha Atlas croons in Arabic over a texture not of ouds and doumbeks, but of synthesized percussion, keyboards, and Wobble's own throbbing bass, and it sounds perfectly natural. "I Offer You Everything" blends reggae percussion, piano, and B.J. Cole's wonderful pedal steel guitar to create something that should have been a crossover pop hit. At times, Jah Wobble's music verges on art-jazz, at times electronica with melodic sound effects, and at times it is in territory that doesn't have a name because nobody else sounds quite like this. Whatever you call this music, it is interesting throughout. Though styles shift continuously, there isn't a dud track on Umbra Sumus, and it's a must-have for those who like intelligent and highly textured pop. The name of this album translates as "We Are Shadows," but many listeners will find that this music sheds welcome light on the possibilities of musical fusion.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/15/2000
Label:
30 Hertz Records
UPC:
0637791700521
catalogNumber:
5

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jah Wobble   Primary Artist,Organ,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Accordion,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals,Voices
Harry Beckett   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Clive Bell   Flute,Voices,Khen
Baluji Shrivastav   Sitar,Tambura
Natacha Atlas   Voices
B.J. Cole   Pedal Steel Guitar
Mark Ferda   Drums,Keyboards
Neville Murray   Percussion
Jean-Pierre Rasle   Bagpipes
Abdel Ali Slimani   Percussion,Voices
Spikey Tee   Voices
Jaki Liebezeit   Drums
Gordon Kerr   Voices
Amila Sulejmanovic   Voices
Justin Adams   Guitar

Technical Credits

Mark Ferda   Engineer,Orchestration,Atmosphere
Jah Wobble   Producer,Orchestration
Hugo Scholten   Engineer

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