Joe Rainey is a Pow Wow singer. He is not used to singing solo, because pow wow is inherently communal, but this debut is every bit as powerful. The album is Niineta, released on Justin Vernon and the Dessner brothers’ 37d03d label, showcases his command of the style – faithful to tradition – accompanied by cinematic, bass-heavy production from Andrew Broder.
Join Sonosphere as we dive into the sounds of contemporary pow wow fused with vast experimental and electronic oceans of sound. Joe Rainey lent his voice and experience to this episode and I think him for sharing his story through his learning of, preservation of and lifting up of pow wow and indigenous music. Friday, May 26, 2023, Joe will perform at Crosstown Arts in the Green Room.
“The record is an unusual proposition: A rare fusion of pow wow—an Indigenous culture of music and dance—and experimental electronic production that pairs Rainey’s singing with Broder’s synths and wildly abstract beats. Holding it all together are sampled live recordings of pow wow singing and drumming stretching back decades, many of them made by Rainey himself.” – Pitchfork
Check out his archive on Soundcloud and YouTube.