Mr. Shane – Shaney Poo (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I think that you can make a fair argument for the idea that “world music” is dead! Though it was probably only ever a term coined by middle managers playing Bulgarian folk music at their dinner parties in an effort to make themselves seem more interesting. The world has become such a culturally cross-pollinated place, such a mix and match of conflicting and complimentary ideas and arts, sights and sounds that perhaps now everything is world music anyway.

Okay, that might be pushing the argument a bit too far but we are certainly heading that way and Mr. Shane, the latest e.p. from Shaney Poo, is an example of just such global genre-hopping and cultural collisions. Taking a very western, very cutting edge, R&B -infused pop sound, he uses exotic rhythms to underpin the melodies. As well as lacing the more ubiquitous sounds of rap, reggae and latin music through his contemporary sound, he also gathers more far flung grooves from lesser known musical styles such as Cape Verde’s Zouk and the merengue influenced Haitian Komba.

And as such the e.p. is a wonderful mix of the modern world and past traditions, western beats and more exotic rhythms, mainstream accessibility and a more niche appeal. The world is becoming an ever smaller place and as it does so culture clashes and creative collisions are throwing up some fascinating new music. And when it comes to the dance floor, Shaney Poo is the perfect example of this new, holistic attitude.

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