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The combination of music, poetry and song on this highly recommended, decidedly downbeat CD is as disturbing as its subject matter, the dreams of American war veterans of colour. Each track is stalked by the fear, guilt and surrealism of the post-traumatic dreams that were culled from scores of interviews.

Mike Ladd and fellow poet/vocalists Maurice Decaul and Lynn Hill give them lyrical form, add rap inflections and break into song, and pianist/composer/programmer Vijay Iyer creates haunting, rhythmically sparse, ultimately life-affirming soundscapes to match.

Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd

Holding it Down: The Veterans Dream Project

(Pi Recordings)

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