Mwalim - The Liberation Sessions (2009)

Mwalim
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One thing is clear from listening to Mwalim's work as the keyboard player for the Bass Mint Bros and his work on the collaborative effort The Liberation Sessions: Mwalim (pronounced M-waaleem) really likes to make concept albums. The Bass Mint Bros' Sketches of a Neighborhood was basically a musical description of the ecology of an urban neighborhood. On The Liberation Sessions, Mwalim creates the fictional radio station WBAR (Black Ass Radio) in which the DJ's play records from a playlist that the DJ created. The criteria the DJs used to created this playlist appears to be whether the tunes were quality and interesting tracks that represented the breadth and depth of forms that influenced black music (imagine that). This might explain why Mwalim ends up being just one of several guests on his own record. He shares the disc with the Bass Mint Bros but also Robert Taylor Jr.
One thing is clear from listening to Mwalim's work as the keyboard player for the Bass Mint Bros and his work on the collaborative effort The Liberation Sessions: Mwalim (pronounced M-waaleem) really likes to make concept albums. The Bass Mint Bros' Sketches of a Neighborhood was basically a musical description of the ecology of an urban neighborhood. On The Liberation Sessions, Mwalim creates the fictional radio station WBAR (Black Ass Radio) in which the DJ's play records from a playlist that the DJ created. The criteria the DJs used to created this playlist appears to be whether the tunes were quality and interesting tracks that represented the breadth and depth of forms that influenced black music (imagine that). This might explain why Mwalim ends up being just one of several guests on his own record. He shares the disc with the Bass Mint Bros but also Robert Taylor Jr. Tah Phrum Duh Bush, Amaris and Tantra, to name just a few.

The one constant is Bob B., the fictional DJ, who has a clear and silky smooth delivery that takes me back to the days before the Clear Channels of the world recruited a bunch of on-air radio personalities to crack a bunch of (often funny) jokes during drive time in hopes of making listeners forget that (a) the station plays the same songs over and over and (b) that those radio personalities are syndicated jocks who don't live anywhere near the communities where the show is being heard.

On Mwalim's dream radio station, a funky/jazzy hip-hop joint such as "Micro PH 101" would follow up "Dem Big Girls," a dance hall ode to our Reubenesque sisters. "Life & Death," a philosophical overview of life's biggest questions fits comfortably on a playlist with "Lay That Pipe," where they serve as melodic confirmation that the best works address the extremes of sex and death. Then again, "Lay That Pipe" has another contrast in "You," a Latin tinged ode to monogamy. Listening to all these talented and eclectic artists who appear on The Liberation Sessions makes me want to tune into WBAR and tear off the knob. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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