There is a quiet revolution taking place in popular music led by artists interested in both the evolution of digital sound and the complexities offered by the rhythms and melodies of traditional cultural music. Pushing past the early pioneers of fusion, Paul Simon's Graceland, for example, recent bands such as Beirut and Beats Antique have eschewed any sense of Americanism and instead have modernized and digitized old-world sounds. Now, bands like Black Magdalene are taking the strong vocals and dominant guitar and bass that characterizes American rock and layering it with North African, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European rhythms, sounds, and mythology to create a wholly new, and wholly modern sound. They call it Organic Darkwave.
You can see Black Magdalene play live this week, Friday, at the Ninkasi home tasting room in Eugene, and Saturday at the Ash Street Saloon in Portland, Oregon.