Afro Celt sound system's fifth studio album sweeps an incredible sonic range, from their unmistakably beat driven and cinematic dance epics to emotive, melodic ballads radiant with the bands trademark fusion of soaring Celtic reels and syncopated African vocals and drum. Guests include Rwanden singer Dorothee Munyaneza and Uzbeki star Sevara Nazarkhan. Real World. 2005.
Their debut album
broke down many tediously outdated barriers. Now the Afro-Celts are back with another genre-bursting, non-preachy, multi-culti soundscape. There has never been anything bland or generic about the ensemble's output as their concept of one-world music is less color-blind than color-appreciative; in other words, they don't ignore our differences but celebrate them. Anatomic
continues an ongoing pilgrimage of respectful collaboration, wherein Western studio mastery abuts Irish flutes and percussion, harp-like West African koras
, keening bagpipes, and gutty Greek bouzoukis
, all presented over a resonant, crunchy bottom with beats and electronica for days. Iarla Ó Lionáird sings in English and Gaelic, sitting in with Sevara Nazarkhan from Uzbekistan (who is lovely if disembodied on "My Secret Bliss") and Dorothee Munyaneza, a genocide survivor whose soulful pipes made such a strong impression on the soundtrack to Hotel Rwanda
. As always, Simon Emmerson's guitar fulfills dual roles as a melodic vector and tireless rhythmic powerhouse. --Christina Roden