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Indians Indians

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Album Review

With Indians Indians, Robert Mirabal trades off songs and spoken word monologues to shape a story about the modern Native American communities around him. The songs are mainly based around Mirabal's flute playing and husky vocals over a bed of acoustic guitar, cello, bass, and percussion, and while there is some influence of the '90s Native American new age movement, Mirabal's explorations mostly sit alongside that of the contemporary folk world. The most intriguing aspect of this recording, however, is the evenly dispersed spoken word sections. Mirabal tends to experiment on these tracks with tumbling drum programming, soundscapes, and samples underneath his stories of the modern Native American lifestyle. An eloquent storyteller, Mirabal touches — passionately and without contempt — on a variety of issues within the Native American community, like its involvement in the national political struggles of the '70s, and self-imposed segregation among grade-school children of different ethnic descent. Parallels could easily be drawn between acts of Native American history traditionally passed down through oral history and Mirabal as a modern-day historian, who also documents through stories of acute observation.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The traditional flute music of Native Americans has been fused with rock, folk, hip-hop, African, and techno influences by Robert Mirabal. The result is a sound that the Village Voice described as "ancestral drumming and ritualistic chanting [that] create an intoxicating swirl as they intermingle with contemporary ideas and sounds." A member of the Taos Pueblo tribe of New Mexico, Mirabal began making traditional Native American flutes at the age of 19. Borrowing money from his grandmother, he...
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Indians Indians, Robert Mirabal
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