|Baka Beyond / East to West|
|Add Date:||2003-04-28|| ||Pull Date:||2003-06-30|| ||Charts:||Reggae/World|
|Week Ending:||29 Jun||15 Jun||8 Jun||1 Jun||25 May||18 May||11 May||4 May|
BAKA BEYOND - "East to West"|
Narada World, 2003
This is the Afro-Celtic fusion group's fifth album, blending field recordings from villages in the Congolese rainforest with studio musicians, and mixing traditional African songs with Celtic jigs and reels. Few groups manage to make this sort of fusion work so well, perhaps because other groups keep trying to do it all with electronics rather than letting real instruments work together naturally. This may still be overproduced for some tastes, but it's pretty good stuff. And here's a bit of trivia: since the early '90s, the group has paid royalties to the Baka people for use in community improvement projects.
Fo's Picks: 5 & 9 (also 1, 2, 6, 7)
01. 7:04 - upbeat and uptempo song from Cameroon, nice vocals, rhythms, and flashes of fiddle
02. 5:37 - lovely Scottish song with music led by balafon and kora; pleasant vocal.
03. 5:30 - African percussion and uilleann pipes in a tune from Cornwall
04. 4:39 - another Scottish song with a relaxed Africanized rhythm; churns gently.
05. 5:17 - my favorite: two slipjigs fit seamlessly with a field recording of a tribal dance rhythm
06. 5:34 - lightly funky overlay on a sad Scottish song; it all sort of swirls together.
07. 4:57 - the only entirely original song: sounds like a jam session, very nice and low-key.
08. 4:35 - an Irish reel, with lots of percussion; good fiddling, but it's all a bit fluffy.
09. 5:36 - Jacobite song with nice vocals: everything flows together with perfect smoothness.
[Fo] - 4/26/03