Mickey Hart was one-half of the rhythm devils tandem with Bill Kreutzmann which provided the heartbeat for the Grateful Dead for over 30 years. Since the end of the Dead in 1995, Hart has remained busy with his deep interest in world music and the sounds of global percussion. Global Drum Project is the long awaited follow-up to 1991’s Grammy winning Planet Drum.
The idea for a follow up was ignited in 2006 when Hart and Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain reunited for a Planet Drum tour. Enlisting the help of an army of world-renown musicians, Global Drum Project stays true to the ideals first mined by Hart and Hussain in the 1970s with their album Diga Rhythm Band and furthered on Planet Drum, incorporating a range of world percussion techniques and rhythms accented by Hart’s use of electronic programming to give each song shape and a deep, danceable beat.
Hart long has experimented with these hypnotic trance-like grooves, most notably during the second set of Grateful Dead shows. If Jerry Garcia had never ambled back on stage after a “Drumz” break, and Hart would have been allowed to continue evolving his journeys into rhythm and noise without interruption, he would have eventually found the sound of this album.
Hart describes the noise he makes as “a sound yoga of processed acoustic percussion headed straight for the trance zone that becomes a dance of ancient and modern worlds.” If his description left you asking yourself, “What did he just say?” it is OK, because, fortunately for us, Hart is better at playing his music than describing it. He should have just simply said, “Global Drum Project is an innovative take on World Beat Rhythms that is bound to make you get up and shake you ass.”
Global Drum Project is out now on Shout! Factory.