CD Retro Fan Review
can listen to “Africa” by Toto and Graceland by Paul Simon
without thinking of Africa. When I listen to The Rhythmatist
by Police founder and drummer Stewart Copeland, I can’t help but
think of nothing but Africa.
beginning his prolific motion picture and television composing career
with Rumble Fish, Copeland (The Equalizer, Wall Street,
Rapa Nui) really hit it out of the park with The Rhythmatist,
his score to the docudrama of the same name.
this unique project, Copeland recorded the traditional chants and
rallying cries of various indigenous tribes, as well as the noises of
birds, bees, and numerous other beasts roaming the “dark”
these native sounds, Copeland lays down guitars, bass, keyboards, and
synthesizers (all played by himself), and especially his signature
drums, percussion, and hi-hat.
result is a colorful blend of exotic pop/rock instrumentals and songs
featuring African lyrics and vocals by Ray Lema, plus symphonic,
cinematic themes that convey the epic grandness of the vast African
landscape. Copeland also talks and kind of sings on “Serengeti Long
Walk” and the Copeland-Lema duet “African Dream,” giving both
tracks the feel of cheeky but highly informative and immersive audio
due to my interest in The Police, this was my first real introduction
to world music, and what Stewart Copeland accomplished here remains
as potent and impactful an intercultural force as when I heard it
initially upon its release way back in 1985.