Music is proud to present two re-releases
from the world’s most famous female
guitarist Jennifer Batten in June 2008 –
“Jennifer Batten ~ Above, Below &
Beyond” and “Jennifer Batten’s
Tribal Rage ~ Momentum”.
Batten’s Tribal Rage - Momentum”
CD was a labour of love which was developed
over a period of several years. “Momentum”
is a hybrid of rock and very exotic sounds,
including African percussion, Australian
didgeridoo, Caribbean steel drums and Scottish
bag pipes all wrapped up in a inviting album
of diverse influences and sounds.
back on the album’s creation Jennifer
comments, “Glen Sobel, Ricky Wolking
and I set out to make this a rich sonic
journey for ourselves and the listener.
We wanted to take them around the globe
and included a lot of elements from different
cultures. We spent a lot of hours developing,
rehearsing and jamming in Glen's mother’s
shoe closet. You couldn’t fit more
than the 3 of us and our equipment in there,
but the price was right. We set out to be
as open minded and creative as possible”.
The title comes from a rivitingly inspiring
TV series on public TV called "Millennium"
(soundtrack CD by Hans Zimmer). Each segment
of the series deals with different indigenous
tribes around the world. One section in
particular dealt with the "Wodaabe"
tribe in Africa, who lead a difficult nomadic
life. For 11 months of the year, they travel
in search of food and water for themselves
and their animals and a lot of them die
in the process. On the 12th month of the
year they all gather at a specific place
and party their booties off! One ritual
of interest is that the men (who consider
themselves the most beautiful in the world),
dress up in the grandest garb and tribal
face paints and dance for display at night.
The women sit back and watch and choose
which ones they'll “take”. It’s
like a “man market”.
The track intro begins with tribe-like chanting
which then morphs into percussive guitar
tapping. The dynamics run from a whisper
"ELEPHANT STOMP": I started
this one back on Michael Jackson’s
Dangerous Tour in '92. I just had the main
groove for a while which made me visualize
elephants walking slowly so thus, the title.
(I obviously watched too many Tarzan movies
as a child.) There are a couple spots where
the guitar emulates a trumpeting elephant
(using Digitech's Whammy pedal). The elephants
in the intro are REAL however. The song
goes through various changes which all take
their time, as does the giant beast!
"ZULU WEDDING": This
is the bone chiller of the record. It's
one of my favorites as it was dredged up
from the depths of our collective emotional-tribal
spirit. Very exotic and hypnotic. Ricky
recorded himself while I was playing a gig
and upon my return, I heard his stuff and
said "it's perfect! Don't change ANYTHING!"
His bass growls with an incredible fierceness.
I actually got to play this in October 97
(during Michael Jackson's HIS tory Tour)
for some Zulus in South Africa during a
guitar clinic! That was never in my wildest
dreams when we wrote it.
"SCOTSMAN IN THE CARIBBEAN":
This one began as a groove the guys came
up with while I was on one of my many month
long guitar workshop trips to Europe. It's
very 'majory' sounding and I really dug
it as I tend to lean toward minor sounds
when I write. When I returned we got together
and the tune seemed to come together very
fast for the most part. This is also a dreamy
soundscape as is Zulu Wedding, but in a
very different, lighter way. It seemed natural
to combine bagpipe sounds with steel drums
though they come from different parts of
the planet. When it was done, it only seemed
appropriate to tap Chris Tervitt for the
spoken word intro, (a guy who I'd met working
on the “Bad Tour” in '87) for
his thick Scottish accent.
I used a Roland Guitar synth for the steel
drum solo in the middle. In the bagpipe
breaks I try to emulate a bagpipe by 2-hand
tapping on the strings. The song ends with
Glen the human octopus going OFFFFF , soloing
over an odd 13/8 groove.
My "bee theme" continues
on "THE SWARM".
I did a video for Flight of the Bumble Bee
in '92 for my 1st record where I was covered
with 150,000 live bees. I also got a bee
tattoo to commemorate the event. The main
guitar melody is all two-hand-tapping in
an effort to emulate a fluid mid-eastern
instrument. Ricky came up with this bee
swarm sounding bass line for the intro that
is relatively 'untranscribable' and I loved
it. This journey has a very moody movie-like
mid section break down and busts out full
force into the ending.
"GLOW" is another moody
one. I used a Digitech harmonizer to emulate
a 12 string guitar for this melody. The
main melody was actually inspired from my
many trips to Japan. The harmonics used
in comping play a big role in the light
texture of this track. The b section takes
a little trip into a reggae feel followed
by a taste of India with the vocal melody
in the bridge.
"UNPLUG THIS" This one
was just a title long before it was a tune.
It’s a satire of MTV’s marketing
push to sell all the top selling bands with
an unplugged acoustic album regardless of
how inappropriate it may have been. A talk
box effect was used in the chorus saying
Unplug...THIS! I sampled myself making the
nasty unplugging the guitar buzzy noise
in a few spots, as well as adding a "Joan
Baezy" acoustic hippie guitar strum
at the very end.