Afro Celt Sound System - The Source

April 29th 2016
(CD Album Review)

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The Sound System is back!!!

Afro Celt Sound System have been around for a while now, twenty years in fact, although this is first release in ten years and a welcome return it is with ‘The Source’ and what a way to mark two decades in the business. As has always been there way this record is very much a collaborative effort with some of the best in the genre with inclusions as diverse as Irish vocalist and Flautist Rioghnach Connolly to work with Dhol Foundation, they are always one looking for the best sounds rather than fitting into the rigid boxes of a genre.

Opening track ‘Calling in the Horses’ gives you a feel for the mix of Irish/ African sound they fuse perfectly with a flute calling out over brooding sounds which continue into second offering ‘Beware Soul Brother’. Vocals are used sparsely but when they are, they have an impact in a range of languages which keeps you engaged and gives a different layer to the album.

It all really starts to come together for me on ‘The Magnificent Seven’ which is offers tribal sounds mixed with traditional Irish pipe sounds, so somewhere between exotic plains and a Dublin bar and making them both work side by side. The fiddles even break out on ‘Cascade’ and it feels like a lunch of biltong and Guinness is on the menu. But I don’t want to trivialise it, they really do take both cultural sounds and fuse them into something pretty amazing.

Along with mixing up the cultural sounds they offer a real range to the tunes on offer such as ‘Desert Billy’ which is just example of a tune that makes you want to get up and dance along with the more atmospheric numbers. Final number ‘Kalsi Breakbeat’ just gives you a bit of everything you have been enjoying, African harmonies and Celtic sounds once again mixing into the perfect recipe. This is a must for fans of World music and I for one can’t wait for their UK tour due in November. 

Review by Jon Cooper 

Check Out! the Video for 'Cascade' Below...

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