The Webster’s Dictionary defines a sound speaker as follows: a device consisting of a magnet and a diaphragm of paper, plastic, etc., for converting electrical signals to sound waves that are radiated into the air. After reading that definition and listening to consummate “Taste Maker” on Gilles Peterson’s latest Brownswood Bubblers compilation, I now know my answer to the question, “When you die, if you could come back once more, what would you choose to come back as?” My answer would be that I would chose to come back as Gilles Peterson’s speakers. I have no doubt that being one of Gilles Peterson’s speakers, would be the sonic equivalent to Nirvana; the absolute ecstasy that I would feel from the different sound vibrations which would radiate from my inner electrical veins. The converting and breathing of Gilles’s musical signals of delights into thousands of waves of sound. The grand boom in every listener’s room and the sonic whisper that wakes the human impulse to move.
In the sixth volume of Gilles’ Brownswood Bubblers collection, Gilles once again puts together an eclectic mix of music ranging from a “ragtime” like Jazz track by Raphael Gualazzi to the quietly beautiful and almost bare “Sunday Times,” by Elou Elan. Denmark’s “Fjorsoul” duo Quadron, consisting of vocalist Coco and Hannibal from the Boom Clap Bachelorsm are a stand out with the delightfully gorgeous single “Average Fruit” as is Mark De Clive Lowe (MdCL) and Rahel’s “Hope.” A Peterson favorite, Taylor MacFerrin also makes an appearance, featuring vocalist/producer Ryat on the haunting “A Place In My Heart.” Nick Rosen’s, Ancestral Echoes opens with a Donny Hathaway like arrangement that dissolves into a symphonic spiritual Jazz piece. Gilles, who is always wanting to find something for every musical connoisseur to enjoy, throws in bouncy tracks from Kissy Asplund and Javelin for those who would rather radiate physically rather than cerebrally.
The clever skill that Gilles has is that he is capable of putting together pieces of music that don’t appear to have a musical fit and make them work. The arbitrary way that he chooses his Bubblers is fascinating. Gilles is always having a party and he wants all listeners and sound speakers to be pleased.
-E. Esi Arthur