Kalashnik Love - Speed Caravan
World music scores points for speaking to the universality of humankind. But we aren’t always the world and we aren’t always the children. Sometimes we can be frustrated, angry or even seething in a blind rage. Spock (Mr. not Dr.) would tell you it’s those fascinating emotions that make us human. Mehdi Haddab has plenty of experience plugging in the teardrop-shaped oud for extra attitude. It’s the normally muted lute of Arabia that Haddab has commandeered and contemporized through his work with Ekova, DuOud and now Speed Caravan. On their debut Kalashnik Love however, he holds little back. "I've always had this rage that I need to express; rage against injustice, inequality … the system. And, loud music is the thing that helps me channel it." The title is an instrumental ode to the firearm of choice for terrorists, freedom fighters and pirates around the world; the Russian-built AK-47 automatic rifle. Tension is always near the surface throughout the album as Speed Caravan heist The Cure’s ‘Killing An Arab’ and return it with new Arab relevance. Chemical Brothers’ Galvanize is also driven to heightened context and potency, while Dubai draws back the veil to expose the inner ugliness of that seeming oasis. Added fire power comes from fellow Algerian rocker, Rachid Taha and members of the always incendiary Asian Dub Foundation. Angst is essential to heavy music. Taken to global proportions as Speed Caravan does with Kalashnik Love, it can fray nerves or inflame passions, but it will let you know, in no uncertain terms that you are very much alive.