Music News

Macha

To most people, world beat music conjures the sounds of ethereal synthesizers mixed with tabla beats and finger cymbals. But few know the modern world beat of Macha, a trio from Athens, Georgia, that fuses alternative rock with Indonesian folk as seamlessly as Talking Heads merged post-punk with African music in the early '80s.

A mesh of influences as diverse as Asian island music mixed with Stereolab and Tortoise may seem far-fetched. However, the proof is in Forget Tomorrow. The group's third album opens with a barrage of zithers and vibraphones -- a sound that made its first two albums so compelling. The album also reveals a more mature, relaxed Macha, unafraid to add grooves to the mix. As much as the opening title track bangs along like a manic Indonesian street band, it also rides a funky rhythm guitar lick and slithery bass line. Macha eases up for moments of tranquility like "Calming Passengers," a piece that drones and builds on lush atmospheric guitars. Forget Tomorrow delivers a spicy kick to the numbing predictability of indie rock. -- Hans Morgenstern

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