Exposé Online banner

Mawwal — This Is All There Is, There Is No Other Place
(Ancient Records no#, 2008, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2009-07-01

This Is All There Is, There Is No Other Place Cover art

The first Mawwal release was one of the highlights of 2007, and here they’ve done it again for 2008, and not by simply remaking the first album. While many of the things that made Black Flies so great are still here (Jim Matus composing, playing guitar and singing, Percy Jones on bass, lots of great violin and percussion), the overall sound is more acoustic, replacing the electric guitar with a variety of stringed instruments from around the world. The surprising thing is that this does not lead to any loss of impact. These tunes kick world music butt just like the electric ones. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whose voice graced the earlier album, is represented by two of his compositions. Matus and Co. are on a roll – this is one of those rare second albums that actually improves upon the debut. I just love to crank this and imagine a world where governments get along as well as musical styles do. Plus there’s something really infectious about tablas well played. I suppose you could raise all the old arguments about “cultural appropriation” that tend to come up when American and European musicians play in the styles of other cultures, and they are valid concerns, but this is art, and really only the quality of the result matters. Here, that quality is pretty high. But I would urge anyone who likes this and hasn’t heard some of the more “authentic” practitioners to check into them.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Mawwal, Jim Matus, Percy Jones

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Steensland - Fat Again – Steensland's is a musical world of sharp edges, intense contrasts, brutal aggression and mysterious beauty all served up in an expressive way that is both challenging and engaging. This makes around...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues