Unit Of Resistance
Just about everyone has an opinion on the state of the world post-9/11, and "sound alchemist" Raz Mesinai is no different, as evidenced by his 2007 offering, Unit of Resistance (his first album to be credited to both Raz Mesinai and Badawi). The album was inspired by Mesinai's unhappiness of George W. Bush being re-elected for a second term, but his discontent peaked when the Republican National Convention visited New York's Madison Square Garden in 2004. Instead of joining protesters in the street who felt the same way, Mesinai tried a different tactic -- he booked a recording studio that was only a few blocks from MSG, invited some of the "most powerful musicians" Mesinai had played with over the years, recorded for ten hours, and voilà, Unit of Resistance. While the album contains soundbites of Mr. Bush himself as well as TV news reporters doing their thing, the album sonically is not unlike other Mesinai releases -- that is, it's a conglomeration of hip-hop, dub, soundscapes, and speed-dance. And also, there are tracks such as "Market Place" that bring to mind Miles Davis' early-'70s fusion period and Fela Kuti. Inspiration for artists can come from some unlikely places, but few could have guessed a Republican National Convention.