Mundi – In The Blink Of An Eye (Monkey) CD REVIEW

Mundi are a multicultural music collective from Christchurch. In The Blink Of An Eye is their second album, and it’s a sprawling, epic endeavour (71 minutes) in which a predominantly African and Afro-American spirit is conjured.
In fact, these long grooves have a lot in common with the music of African legend Fela Kuti, and like his long-form pieces, those of Mundi are often percussion-based, and quite happy to slowly build their fire over an extended period of time. While Africa looms large in this picture, this music would also be impossible without jazz, so that other celestial journeyman Sun Ra must share some space in their musical cosmology. There’s a detectable Malian desert blues guitar in here too, on several occasions.
In The Blink Of An Eye is at its most endearing when its organic, earthy nature is most apparent; when acoustic instruments are heard at their fullest. It can sound a little clumpy at times, especially when everything’s going for broke, but perhaps that’s the signature of a studio not quite equipped to deal with a band of this nature, rather than any deficiencies in musical ability.
It’s an enjoyable album, although I think they could do even better with a sympathetic producer/engineer, and time to rehearse until the cracks don’t show. Of course, a certain looseness can benefit music like this, but when you listen to Fela Kuti, that looseness is also tight. Certainly, it’s more than a worthy souvenir. GARY STEEL
MUSIC = 3.5
* Mundi are touring the traps this month. An earlier tour was postponed because of the destructive Christchurch “after-shock”.

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