Drumplay's latest is world music in the truest sense: The album was recorded in Belgium, features Egyptian architecture on its sleeve, and pulses with African and Asian instrumentation. And much like the band's superb Beachland, recorded live at the club of the same name and released earlier this year, Under the Map features Cuyahoga County poet laureate Daniel Thompson delivering manic prose over swirling rhythms.
Unlike Beachland, however, Under the Map melds Thompson's words with Drumplay's percussive thrust to much better effect. Whereas Beachland simply counterpoised the two, yielding an incongruous sound, Under the Map intermingles Thompson's incautious, often chilling recitations with playing that's just as unbounded. Recorded during the troupe's European tour last summer, Under the Map captures the wayward, improvised spirit of Drumplay, with conch shells, djembe, gongs, and sleigh bells forming a sprawling sound that spans continents and convention.