"Big News From The Red Planet" - Red Planet Rhythm the new album by John Hackett and Moodi Drury reviewed by Alan Hewitt.

It certainly ain't Rock 'n' Roll but I like it! That statement is certainly a good place to start this look at John's latest offering. John's partnership with Moodi Drury, a prime exponent of experimental dance music, would seem an unlikely pairing, but here it is.

The album opens with Worlds Within Worlds, an apt title where Moodi's use of insistent percussion loops and ambient noise is coupled with some soaring flute lines from John to good effect. This is followed by Acceptance, a track which at first might seem to owe some of its inspiration to one P Gabriel but soon evolves into something completely different.

Life's A Ridiculous Solo opens with some sampled railway noises and accompanying bongos before John's flute - played in a style very reminiscent of one Ian Anderson here takes up the rhythm with jaunty rhythms and added percussion and noises by Moodi making an extremely effective and catchy track. This is followed by The Thirty Nine Steps - Industrial noise and percussive effects meet some understated flute giving an added ambience to the track.

Sweet Leaf merges some further examples of Moodi's experimental dance grooves, tablas and flute to create a heady mix, with lyrics added at some point I am sure this would be a hit on the UK dance floors. Open Promise to me evokes vistas of Indian landscapes with the incessant percussive rhythm being that of the train on which the listener is being taken on their journey. An aural landscape full of both drama and humour brilliantly evoked by both musicians.

The rest of the album continues this mix of elements which are seldom if ever heard in combinations such as this. The result is an album that is as refreshing as it is unexpected. The partnership between these exponents of two entirely different schools of musical thought and expression works far better than I ever imagined. If the purpose of art is to challenge people's preconceptions; then this album succeeds on all levels and is a magnificent achievement by both participants.

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