Koonyum Sun - Xavier Rudd
Salt X. Records
Xavier Rudd and Iron Man have a lot in common. Sure, Tony Stark would never neglect to wear shoes to work like the barefoot surfer dude from the Gold Coast cum West Coast. And, Xavier Rudd would be the last person you’d expect to suit up and kick badass butt. But, both reveal their true selves through an outer shell. In the case of Tony Stark, the Iron Man exoskeleton is a technological, multi-functional marvel. Xavier’s, on the other hand, is a battery of ancient, vintage musical instruments which he literally surrounds himself with; hand drums, percussion, yidakis (digeridoos), harmonica and a Weissenborn lap slide guitar. Through this musical prosthesis and his own emotive tenor he’s crafted a personal vision of the human condition and our impact on the planet; both the light of it and the dark. His last album, Dark Shades of Blue was exactly that; dark and blue. On Koonyum Sun however, he’s transitioned over to the light of a spiritual and emotional rebirth in the fellowship of some new friends. Bassist, Tio Moloantoa and drummer, Adile Nqubezelo used to be the rhythm section for slain South African reggae giant, Lucky Dube. Xavier and friends call the new collaboration “Izintaba” which means ‘mountains’ in Zulu, because, in Rudd’s words, when he’s playing with his new pals, he “feels like he’s standing on a mountain”. The African rhythmic influence is unmistakable on the new disc and so is the return to shinier, happier melodies, albeit intertwined with moodier, psychedelic slide numbers. Time To Smile may just be the global group hug of the summer!