YULDUZ

BILMADIM

  1/  Oyny Kutib (Wait for the Moon)             (Usmanova,Wobble)             5.17
  2/  Etishganlar Raksy (Dance for Happy People) (Wobble,Ranglin)              1.49 
  3/  Bilmadim (I Don't Know)                    (Usmanova)                    4.31 
  4/  Donna                                      (Usmanova)                    4.12
  5/  Ketmagyl (Don't Go Away)                   (Usmanova,Wobble,Cookson)     4.51 
  6/  Kiss Me                                    (Usmanova,Wobble)             3.42 
  7/  Druge (Friend)                             (Usmanova)                    4.00 
  8/  Sugur (Thank God)                          (Usmanova,Wobble)             3.25 
  9/  Oasis                                      (Ranglin,Wobble)              2.45 
  10/ Orol Dengyz Usmanova (Orol Sea)            (Usmanova,Wobble)             4.29 
  11/ Lola (Flower)                              (Usmanova)                    3.38
  12/ Ketmagyl Dub                               (Usmanova,Wobble)             5.08 
  13/ Bilmadim Dub                               (Usmanova)                    7.46 
  14/ Kiss Me - Bill Laswell Remix               (Usmanova,Wobble)             7.17 
  15/ Kiss Me - Philippe Verga Remix             (Usmanova,Wobble)             5.03 

          Recorded at Intimate Studios
          Tracks 1-11 mixed by Jah Wobble and Paul Madden at Intimate Studios 
          Tracks 12 and 13 mixed by Jah Wobble and Mark Angelo at Mark Angelo Studios
          Track 14 mixed by Bill Laswell at Orange Music, Orange, New Jersey
          Produced by Jah Wobble
          Mastered by Richard Dowling at Transfermation London
          Additional mastering by Jah Wobble for 30 Hertz
Ernest Ranglin: guitar; Jah Wobble: bass, keyboards (10); Clive Bell: accordion (3,4,6,13), flute (1,9,10), Japanese Pipe (10); Chris Cookson: programming (1,2,3,4,5,11,12,13), guitar (1), lead guitar (3,13), drone guitar (8); Dubulah: programming (6,7,8,14,15); Mark Sanders: drums (10); Jean-Pierre Rasle: pipe (4), bagpipes (10).

          2004 - 30 Hertz Records (UK), 30hzcd23 (CD)


REVIEWS :

Yulduz's Bilmadim (30 Hertz, 13.99) is an album of songs by Yulduz Usmanova and Jah Wobble. It has a pop feel, featuring the deep, repetitive bass that has become Wobble's principal trademark. We also get spunky rhythm guitar courtesy of jazz-reggae veteran Ernest Ranglin. Usmanova, originally from Usbekistan, yodels appealingly and the album noodles along nicely with a trancey, dubby atmosphere.

Connoisseurs of the novelty immigration songs (cf Goodness Gracious Me, or Walter Becker's Hat Too Flat) will be anxious to add Yulduz's Kiss Me to their collections: "Kiss me, kiss me, squeeze me tight/I don't speak English but I know my rights." There are two bonus remixes (by Bill Laswell and Philippe Verge) of this convincingly poptastic song, which also features a sparky accordion part by Clive Bell. Though Wobble's unfeasibly low bass is prominent throughout, this is definitely a pop album, with tunes that wouldn't be out of place at the Eurovision Song Contest. Not the British entry, I hasten to add.

courtesy of The Guardian, August 13, 2004

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The ethereal-ambient diva is now a familiar figure on the world music scene - her airy traditional stylings framed by lush, hi-tech production. Uzbek pop queen Sevara Nazarkham, who made a splash here last year, is a prime example. Now her longer established, multi-million-selling rival Yulduz Usmanova is having a stab at world music stardom in the unlikely company of East End bass maverick Jah Wobble.

While Nazarkhan's debut on Real World was a sumptuous, no-expense-spared affair, Wobble's approach to the world diva phenomenon is more rough- hewn and DIY - with his super-heavy bass and Ernest Ranglin's ringing reggae guitar well to the fore.

Much of Usmanova's previous work has been marred by bland Euro-pop, arrangements, but Wobble's dub-jazz grooves draw a wonderful versatility from her voice - a wavering Indian-sounding girlishness shading into something more powerful, throaty and soulful. The oddest track, the jaunty Kiss Me, sees her taking the role of an asylum-seeker singing in an English that she patently doesn't understand. It's at once cringe-making and wittily subversive.

Mark Hudson from the Daily Telegraph, July 10, 2004

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wonderfully fresh east-meets-west album

Yulduz Usmanova is the most renowned living female singer of her native Uzbekistan, and a major star in the Middle East and Central Asia (she left her home country a few years ago due to the political upheaval and the repressive regime). This record, however, is one she made in the space of a week, from starting pad to finish, with the British new-wave/dub professor Jah Wobble and the Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, who was past seventy at the time. That's about the extent of I knew before I bought the disc, on the strength of an appreciative review in 'Mojo'. And it really is exceptional. Maybe not a full-blown masterpiece, some of the tracks are sketchy ambient pieces with droning synth/bass lines, jangling guitars and slow, punching drums across a wide open range, but the whole totally escapes any trap of world music kitsch: Usmanova's singing is stunning, rich and clear, and Wobble's skilful production and sensitive basslines wind themselves around her and furnishes a frame that's got enough potent melodic force on its own to avoid melting off.

Both composing and production have a wonderful openness and an echoey, clear depth that evokes deserts, camel caravans ("Orol Denyz Usmanova" - the name referring to the Aral Sea), cities buried in sand and at the same time an urgent now. The whole thing was clearly a close collaboration, a meeting of minds, there is no feeling that Wobble is pushing his own production ideas over a gorgeous voice. This is a record that stays in one's mind long after listening, and which repays a hearing again and again.

5 stars out of 5

Mackinnon "on the move" (courtesy of the Amazon.co.uk website)