Kodo: The Hunted - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Sony/TriStar WK 67202

Reviewed by Jack Donen

With 'Kodo - Live at the Acropolis', we're back to mainstream Kodo. Disciplined, hard-hitting, sometimes very fast. To me, the group is at its best when the individual drummers are intuitively weaving into and through each others' patterns, in a way that makes the whole group into just one living organism.
Recording Kodo's powerful drums live must have been a difficult task for the technicians, and compared to some of their previous (studio) recordings there is a slight loss of dynamics here.
Still being critical, I could have done without the last, 14 minute long number. Here the group takes up the clapping of the audience and starts a long, partly improvised session that makes more use of effects than art - constantly bringing back the clapping. The high enthusiasm of the audience at this stage seems to indicate that being there was more important than being present.
On the positive side, as a live recording, the album is infused with a sense of excitement that's not on their other recordings. One can easily hear the voices of the artists, shouting, sometimes driving each other on, and the excitement is infectious. So, if you're at all interested in drums and percussion, you'll easily forgive these master drummers for letting down their hair and playing up to their audience for the last quarter of this hour long session.

This review was originally published in print in Djembe Magazine, no. 16, April 1996.

Used with permission.

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