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Baka Beyond


Country of origin:

Congo, Australia

Type of music generally:

A world music cross between Celtic folk and the African sounds of the Baka people

Status:

Most recent release, Live in UK, Autumn 2014 (live, 2014); most recent studio release, After the Tempest (2014)

See also:

Baka Beyond's site

Comparisons:

Loreena McKennitt's live band. (meth@smoe.org)

Deep Forest, Afro Celt Sound System

General comments:

Apparently the group was formed after guitarist Martin Cradick had lived with the Baka people for a while in the African rainforest.

I've heard four or five tracks off their new album, and each time I've sat up straight and gone, "wow, what is that?". Seriously cool stuff, some of which reminds me of Loreena McKennitt's live band when they really get going. The vocal tracks I have heard have been very cool, I think in Gaelic: female vox, the essence of ectophilic music. :) (meth@smoe.org)

I have their 1st cd. These guys wanted to jam w/ the pygmys of the Congo. They took 2 years to get there and the Baka said, "What kept you?" The cd was mostly these guys jamming with themselves after being immersed in the real thing, 'tho a few cuts did have the real thing. (zzkwhite@ktwu.wuacc.edu)

Recordings:

  • Spirit of the Forest (1993)
  • The Meeting Pool (1995)
  • Live & Pedal-Powered (1996, only available from website)
  • Journey Between (1998)
  • Unplugged e.p. (1999, only available from website)
  • Sogo (2000)
  • Official Bootleg Series (2000, only available from website)
  • East to West (2002)
  • Rhythm Tree (2005)
  • Beyond the Forest (digital compilation, 2006)
  • After the Tempest (2014)
  • Live in UK, Autumn 2014 (live, 2014)

The Meeting Pool

Release info:

1995—Rykodisc—HNCD 1388

Availability:

Wide

Group members:

Martin Cradick—guitar (1-8), kora (2, 3), mandolin (6), balafon (4, 6), vocal (3)
Paddy Le Mercier—violin (1, 2, 4-6, 8), dzouma (5), flute (6)
Tom Green—keyboards and samples (1-3, 7, 8), rhythm programming (8)
Su Hart—vocals (1-4, 6, 7)
Kate Budd—vocals (1-4, 6, 7)
Sagar N'Gom—djembe (1, 6), m'balax (2, 3), n'doun n'doun (1), sabar (6)
Mark Pinto—electric bass (1, 3, 4), double bass (2)
Sam Pope—bodhran (2)
John Ssekitoleko Ssempeke—skin drums (2), shaker (3, 7)
Mark Robson—didgeridoo (4-6)
Né-né and Nahwia—waterdrums (2)
Baka Forest People—bwambwa drums (5), vocals (8)

Journey Between

Release info:

1998—Hannibal Records—HNCD 1415

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Martin Cradick—guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, woodblocks, marimba, arrangements
Paddy Le Mercier—violin, flutes, whistles, bombarde, gambarde
Marcus Pinto—electric and double bass
Kate Hardy—vocals
Su Hart—vocals
Alassane N'Gom—vocals
Nii Tettey Tetteh (Kakatsitsi)—percussion leader, aslatua (shaker made from 2 seed pods joined by string), blekete (bass drum), ashiwa (thumb piano)
Addoteh Richter (Kakatsitsi)—percussion, djembe, kpanlogo (drum), shaker, dondondo (thumb bell)
Annor Asanioah (Kakatsitsi)—percussion, gongon (cowbell), slaman (drum), talking drum
Petit Robert Diatta—konti, vocals

Comments:

More wonderful music, perhaps a bit more subdued than previous albums, but just as spirited. (JoAnn Whetsell)

East to West

Release info:

2002—Narada World—72435-43725-2-0

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Martin Cradick—guitars, mandolin, backing vocals, programming & arrangements
Su Hart—vocals
Paddy Le Mercier—violin, whistle
Nii Tagoe—balafon, djembe, panlogo, sogo, balafon, gomez, cabasa, vocals
Ayodele Scott—woodblocks, ning nong, cabasa, djun djun
Sam Djengue—bass
Seckou Keita—kora, djembe, drumkit, vocals
Denise Rowe—vocals
Eleanor Churchlow—backing vocals
Lakh Niasse—drums
Alan Burton—Uilleann pipes, low whistle
Baka at Lupé—percussion, vocals
Tim Robinson—drumkit on tour

Comments:

More lively Afro-Celt music from Baka Beyond. This album is upbeat and joyous, and it makes me feel happy whenever I listen to it. If you enjoy previous Baka albums, I highly recommend adding East to West to your collection. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Martin Cradick is the guitarist for the Australian group, Outback.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-05-21 19:41:13.
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