WRCU Review: World Music Review

Sarah Poulette

You might recognize the name Derrick Jordan from the review of his album Brazilliance a few weeks ago on the double CD set of sambas and bossa novas, on which he played about ten different instruments. On another recent album, he performs under the name “Superstring Theory” and plays an instrument not heard on Brazilliance: the five-string violin.

Derrick Jordan is a little weird. He includes bits of his New Age poetry on the album sleeve of Superstring Theory and dedicated the CD to “The Great Mystery.” He writes so many songs and plays so many instruments that it raises the question of when he finds time to eat. For all his weirdness, however, he is a strong musician, and this album shows him at his best.

All of the tracks on Superstring Theory are instrumental and feature the five-string violin. Though the album has sixteen tracks, Jordan manages to keep each track distinct from the others and interesting enough to keep listening. The song “Food Chain” features a clean-sounding violin with minimal back-up, whereas “Friend of Darkness” has guest Nebulai on Didgeridoo and “Bay Ridge Raga” has Barry Hyman on sitar and tamboura. “Hive Mind,” one of the best tracks on the album, features only the violin, but Jordan plays it in such a way that it sounds like bees swarming, while still retaming it musically. He varies song length, too – some last less than a minute and others are nearly ten minutes long.

Even if you’re squeamish about a sixteen-track CD of violin music or about New-Age musicians in general, Superstring Theory is a deceptively good album, and worth listening to, or at least requesting from your favorite DJ at WRCU.