Mecca Bodega
Live

review = B

Listening to Mecca Bodega is like playing in that secret drum circle you always heard about in college but were never invited to join. Itís a tribal thing. A percussion and didjeridoo bonfire of rhythmic spirituality that is primal, yet far from primitive. Savage sophistication, if you will. The contradiction fits. Although their earthy, polytextured music has a third world soulfulness that should be indigenous to a distant, exotic land, Mecca Bodega actually hails from deep within the concrete jungle of New York City. Youíd never guess. Thereís no hint of urban DJ culture. No high tech, looped and sampled house electronica. Not even close. Mecca Bodegaís music beats with a much more natural rhythm. In fact, of the bandís eight members, only the didjeridoo player, a bass player who sings, and another vocalist who plays sitar and trumpet, donít play a drum at some point during -Live-.

But Mecca Bodega does alot more than just bang drums. Several of the percussionists bring more to the mix than simply keeping time. Backing vocals, guitar, and a hammered dulcimer, add depth to the variety of hand drums and percussion devices in use at any given time. Sometimes the mood is ethereal and serene, others wild eyed and fierce. Even though the energy levels ebb and flow throughout -Live-, Mecca Bodegaís intensity is a constant.