Poi Dog Pondering
From Hawaii, then Austin, now Chicago comes Poi Dog Pondering, a musical concept planted and nurtured by Frank Orrall. Though the name has been around for over a decade, it’s outgrown its charming little “world beaty” cubbyhole a long time ago, and now it’s some sort of electronic, world beat, pop-dance-floor monster vine. To be honest, this sometimes gets a bit too slick and polished for me, but those moments are rare, and all criticism is sweated out once you get into the groove — Poi Dog Pondering’s music may be hard to categorize, but it’s most definitely dance music in its most primal sense. Highlights include a reworked version of Primal Scream’s “Come Together,” the low-key groove of the title track and the hypnotic renditions of Michael Brook’s “Tracery” and “Tana Dery Na.”
Like all Poi Dog Pondering albums, Natural Thing is a thesis in production, full of interesting subtle tricks and textbook examples of how to do things right. The packaging is also noteworthy for its abstract beauty, not unlike earlier 4AD releases. This album is a seven-course meal for extended musical consumption.