Title - ‘The Hour of Two Lights’ (Astralwerks)
Artist - Terry Hall & Mushtaq
Most of you will know Terry Hall as a sort of journeyman songwriter / performer who first came to public attention with the Specials and later as a member of Fun Boy Three, the Colourfield and numerous other combos. Mushtaq is from the UK band Fun-Da-Mental and much less known to me. In any case, they've created a stellar work which rests entirely on its own merits. Aside from lyrics and a listing of participants, there's not much information on what this is supposed to be. One newspaper article claims the album features "a 12-year-old Lebanese girl singer, a blind Algerian rapper, a Syrian flautist, Hebrew vocalists, a group of Polish Gypsies and Damon Albarn". Sounds about right, even if Albarn is the only one I can absolutely confirm! Hall has a propensity to wander musically, but I'm hopeful that his partnership with Mushtaq will continue. About the only thing that this album lacks is one absolute monster track a la "Ghost Town" which transcends the time and place it was made. It definitely feels like it's around the corner though, so let's hope that we see another album in a year or so.