A Tasteof NorthernTerritoryCulture
CD Review:   
"MEINMUK - Music from the Top End"
Various Arnhem Land Artists
National radio station Triple J is well known for its recording and promotion of new music, and along with ABC TV's 'Songlines', has brought many top end Aboriginal bands to national attention. 
Coordinated by Allen Murphy and produced by Tony Collins and Chris Thompson, 'Meinmuk', a 24 track compilation of 14 acts, was recorded at Maningida in September 1997.
'Meinmuk', is the phonetic spelling of 'manymuk', the Gumatj word meaning 'good' or 'that's cool' - one of the most commonly heard expressions in Arnhem Land. And this album is indeed very cool! Whether you are into Reggae, Rock, Roots, Country, Gospel or Heavy Metal, Meinmuk has a taste for you. My personal favourite band is Letterstick and the Colin Maxwell song, 'Bartpa', has been released as a single. Forerunners of the Saltwater Reggae Style, Letterstick has an easy flowing sound, great for dancing.
(Click HERE for a Letterstick tune !)
Tim Wilson's angelic tones on 'Love Is Like A Dream' and the Galiwinku Saltwater Band's sweet vocal harmonies create a counter balance for the raucous rock'n'roll and the rythnic reggae. 
Traditional pieces, by the Marrugeku Company, are scattered throughout. 'Road' is an example of the World Music genre, with violinist Mathew Fagher adding a Sufi mystical effect. The most experimental track on the CD is 'Final Judgement' by the Gamedi Outstation Choir. Blending mood music with singing and spoken word, under the direction of (The Sunrize Band's) Ben Pascoe, the track just oozes with message and meaning.
All in all, 'Meinmuk' is an interesting co-operation venture well worth exploring, and is
available through ABC shops and EMI outlets. 
Peter Dawson