1) Wodaabe Dancer
2) Elephant Stomp
3) Zulu Wedding
4) Scottsman in the Caribean
5) The Swarm
6) Glow
7) Unplug THIS

Jennifer Batten - guitar and guitar synth
Ricky Wolking - bass
Glen Sobel - drums


Jennifer Batten

Jennifer Batten
Above, Below and Beyond


Lion 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”.

“Jennifer 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.

Looking 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 to 11.

2) "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!

3) "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.

4) "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.

5) 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.

6) "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.

7) "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.