RCD 10124 At The Edge
Produced by Mickey Hart
Released on September 1990
Find it at GEMM
RCD 10124 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 6.0: ANCIENT HARTSTORY. This is the musical companion to Hart’s autobiographic/academic exploration of the ancient history of percussion, Drumming At The Edge of Magic. Recorded with Zakir Hussain, Babatunde Olatunji, Sikiru Adepoju, Jerry Garcia and Airto Moreira, At The Edge mixes world percussion and electronics to create an ambient album that more often sounds like the work of Brian Eno (“Eliminators”), Tangerine Dream (“Cougar Run”) or Cluster (“Slow Sailing”) than the Grateful Dead. It’s a pretty spacey album some of the time, and I wouldn’t put it past Hart to have conceived this as a soundtrack for the creation/evolution of man (although, if that’s the case, we’ll be babbling idiots in our final stage). Of course, this disc is best appreciated by the percussively inclined. If you don’t dig drums, you won’t find any hidden treasure here. But if you’re already on familiar and friendly terms with the work of Hussain or Olatunji, then At The Edge may be of more than peripheral interest. Hart’s soundscapes, several of them written with Hussain, are interesting, evocative and no doubt conducive to contemplating your navel (as opposed to, say, operating heavy machinery). In the wider panethnic percussion circle that includes Hussain, Olatunji, Moreira, Acuna, etc., Hart may be our best North American ambassador. Although I found the followup fare of Planet Drum more to my tastes, the decision to engage the services of Jerry Garcia on At The Edge may give it the edge for Deadheads. Both are worth hearing and possibly owning at some point, presuming that forty minutes of pure percussion doesn’t beat you down.


  1. #4 FOR GAIA    (Mickey Hart)    4:46
  2. SKY WATER    (Mickey Hart/Zakir Hussain)    8:15
  3. SLOW SAILING    (Mickey Hart/Zakir Hussain)    5:01
  4. LONESOME HERO    (Mickey Hart)    6:19
  5. FAST SAILING    (Mickey Hart/Zakir Hussain)    5:04
  6. COUGAR RUN    (Mickey Hart)    3:39
  7. THE ELIMINATORS    (Creek Hart/Mickey Hart/Taro S. Hart/Jerry Garcia)    6:01
  8. BRAINSTORM    (Mickey Hart/Babtunde Olatunji)    4:12
  9. PIGS IN SPACE    (Airto Moreira)    4:39


MICKEY HART -- agogo (double bell), balafon (pentatonic marimba), bass drum, cowbells, devil chasers (bamboo concussion sticks), dundun (talking drum), Emulator II, Englehart cornet bells (metal percussion), Forest Zone (processed crickets), kalimba (thumb piano), Matrix-12, panpipes, processed bell, raindrops, rainstick, rattles, Remo toms, Roland D-50, shekere (beaded gourd rattle), slit gongs (hollow log), spatial processing, tar, trap set, whistles, wood blocks
ZAKIR HUSSAIN -- dholak (double-headed cylinder drum), duggi tarang (tuned metal drums), processed tabla, shakers, tabla, tar (frame drum)
BABATUNDE OLATUNJI -- cowbell, djembe (wooden hourglass drum), Engelhart hex bells, shekere (beaded-gourd rattle), slit gong
Sikiru Adepoju -- dundun
Jerry Garcia -- electric guitar, Forest Zone, guitar synthesizer
Creek Hart -- Linn 9000 drum samples (7)
Taro S. Hart -- Kawasaki electronic drums (7)
Joze Lorenzo -- berimbau (musical bow) (4)
Airto Moreira -- extended voice and beast (9)
Tom Flye -- engineer, mixing
Jeff Sterling -- engineer, mixing, computer processing
Phil Kaffel -- additional engineering
Tom Size -- additional engineering
Nancy Nimoy -- cover art
Howard Jacobsen/Triad -- art direction
Steve Jurgensmeyer -- package design

US September 1990 Rykodisc CD/CS RCD 10124/RACS 0124  
US April 15, 2008 Shout Factory CD 10839-2  


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