La Terra Madre is Stereo Utopia’s detailed report of his first mission. The album surveys sonic travels around the globe accompanied by Stereo Utopia’s weapon of choice: phat beats. “Addis Ababa” opens with a sensuous vocal pean and heavy rhythms before punctuating horns drive the message home. The following “La Nuit” projects a musical timewarp, floating flutes and a beguiling chorus of vocals opening a door to the past. Later in the album is “Kormas,” a confident strut through Indian lands filled with jaunty percussion, rousing strings, and layers of exotica. And “Istanbul Rockers” delights with an off-kilter psychedelia as wild guitar riffs and tape-echo noises pursue its camel-led bounce.
These are only a few of the highlights — and secrets revealed — within La Terra Madre’s ten outstanding tracks. On this first mission, Stereo Utopia has opened a hidden world comprised of theatrical soundscapes and rhythmic intelligence. These shadowy beats and clandestine melodies are now yours to decipher as Stereo Utopia embarks on his next thrilling adventure.