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"The Voice of Your Heart" Reviews


There is a lot of drivel marketed under the 'world music' banner, but every once in a while a CD comes along which really does blend global cultures in an exciting original way. Hottentot Party, from Byron Bay in northern NSW, mix up Brazilian, Township and Salsa grooves in an eminently danceable fashion, and obviously have a huge amount of fun in the process. There are shades of the late-lamented Three Mustaphas Three, which is praise indeed. Amongst the polyrhythmic exuberance there is some real sensitivity as well, and lots of great playing and singing. I don't often play ten minute tracks on my show, but I couldn't go past the title track.

Highly recommended, and my pick of the Australian releases that came my way in 1997.

Steve Barnes Folk West, 1998


'The Voice of your Heart' was recorded in 1997-98 and is probably a bit more focused than 'A Small World' in that The Hottentots seem to refer just a smidgen more to their base Aussie sound. That's not to say that Voice doesn't fairly brim with all sorts of influences as the hypnotic beats of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe, the Brazilian colours of Trem Mineiro or any number of tropical beats and sounds might indicate. Special mention should also go to the evocative violin playing of Julie Metcalfe that helps unify the disparate elements, the cast of fine backing musicians and here as on all the Hottentots releases Parissa's superb vocals that seem capable of finding an emotional context for every genre.

Also every song on this work is an original composition. For instance, My Spirit, a deeply contemplative Gaelic-like chant with didgeridoo accompaniment works perfectly without nary a hint of the dreaded new age. Waiting in the sand is another fine composition, sort of acoustic latino cum gaelic pop with a mariachi brass sound. Even so I was tending towards 'A Small World', before the final number 'The Voice of your Heart', an extended summation of pure hottentottalia. This rollicking masterpiece almost tilted the scales the other way. When the duo sings "You have to find your own voice" you know that they have touched on a theme of crucial importance in this era of mindless conformity.

Richard Jasiutowics Diaspora world Beat Magazine, Spring 2002