MegaDrums: Terra Nova

Drumming is at the core, not surprisingly, of the new album by the entity known as Megadrums. But Terra Nova is more than just a massive cross-cultural drum-groove celebration: the project, instigated by German percussionist Reinhard Flatischler, relates to some extent to Mickey Hart’s drummer confab, Planet Drum, in that it brings together such luminous percussionists as Airto Moreira, Glen Velez, Milton Cardona and Zakir Hussain. But we also hear tonal textures from space-sensitive reed player Wolfgang Puschnig-sometimes overdubbed into layered chordal pads-and atmosphere-loving didgeridoo player Stephen Kent. The sum effect puts drums up front, for a change, colored by what we traditionally call tonal instruments. But percussionists, keen on tone, know better.