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Volume 1: Sound Magic

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Audio CD, September 24, 1996
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Amazon's Afro Celt Sound System Store


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It has been an extraordinary journey for the Afro Celt Sound System - one of the most innovative music collectives of its time. In that period there have been many lesser imitators and the global beat movement they pioneered has entered the mainstream.

When Simon Emmerson began to piece together the Afro Celt Sound System in 1992 he had no idea where the journey would take him. But ... Read more in Amazon's Afro Celt Sound System Store

Visit Amazon's Afro Celt Sound System Store
for 33 albums, and 6 full streaming songs.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B000000HPO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,941 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Saor/Free/News From Nowhere
2. Whirl-y-reel 1 (Beard And Sandals Mix)
3. Inion/Daughter
4. Sure-As-Not/Sure-As-Knot (Jungle Segue)
5. Nil Cead Againn Dul Abhaile/We Cannot Go Home
6. Dark Moon, High Tide (Including Farewell To Eireann)
7. Whirl-y-reel 2 (Folk Police Mix)
8. House Of The Ancestors
9. Eistigh Liomsa Sealad/Listen To Me/Saor Reprise

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Afro Celt Sound System ~ Volume 1: Sound Magic

Bodhran and kora? Talking drums and Uilleann pipes? Echoing ancient trade roots from a thousand years ago, Sound Magic reunites two seemingly disparate music traditions in a contemporary setting, reaching for a dance-oriented but spiritual hybrid that takes on a life of its own. Producer Simon Emmerson assembles some noteworthy artists including Ayub Ogada, Davy Spillane, Manu Katche, Caroline Lavelle, James McNally (of the Pogues), Iarla O Lionaird, and Masamba Diop to create evocative, clubby grooves that also incorporate samples and flavors from Armenia and the East. With its multilayered rich textures, Sound Magic grafts cultural respect and urban hipness for the global village of the '90s. --Derek Rath

Customer Reviews

Great Music!... Get it, listen, and drive.
Despite the poor editorial, buying this CD will be worth the money.
A blend of trance, Celtic and African instruments, WOW!
Distant Voyageur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By K. N. Nelson VINE VOICE on July 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard Song 3 "Inion" on the ultra hip TV show La Femme Nikita and was instantly captivated by the crystalline voice of Iarla O'Lionaird. This album is so totally different than the main stream corporate junk that is being shoved down the throats of the public in the guise of music that I thought I had died and gone to "music heaven".
The sheer mastry of their incredible array of irish and africal instruments by this ensemble tells it's own story of true musicianship. Each of the musical themes are enhanced by the power of the various personalities who contribute their own unique cultural enrichment of two very different worlds of experiences and it resonates in this album.
As an example, you can hear the artist's gut level understanding of celtic history and its music under the flying fingers of harpist Myrydhin. The way he handles his celtic harp with it's haunting voice sends rippling thrills shivvering up and down the spine. This music is addictive.
The grooves are hypnotic and intense. I found myself dancing all over the place for that is how powerful the african beat is that drives this music. One can hear the intense connection of the african artists and how they talk in that language of their deeply rich drumming history of story telling.
I love the use of gallic words. Hearing their native tongue evokes a sense of the joy and longing felt by the artists' toward their homeland and it's unique cultural echo weaves a certain magic and inspires their songs .
This is music that restores faith for those of us who are aching to hear the art of real live musicians who are not under the control of power drunk, greedy, corporate music tin heads in suits.
And it is a CD that one will play over and over and never get sick of for with each hearing the listener discovers fresh nuances in each track. It is a knock out album.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on July 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Imagine Irish jigs and reels powered by a heavy jungle beat, African jazz supported by Irish pipes, whistles and fiddles, songs of prayer combined with high-kicking dance tunes, delicate harp melodies with synthesized accents -- all linked together by driving African percussion and an electric rock sensibility. That's the Afro Celt Sound System, but it doesn't begin to cover their sound.
The Afro Celt Sound System isn't a band so much as a cooperative of musicians intrigued by an idea. United under the umbrella of Peter Gabriel's Real World label, nearly two dozen musicians added their personal touch to make the idea a reality.
The initial product of their joining is Volume 1: Sound Magic. It cannot be described as Celtic or African in nature; yet, both styles are evident in spades. Sound Magic is a true union of two completely dissimilar musical genres.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yahn Van de Walle on April 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you're anything like me, you're saying "who the hell are they?". When I picked up their first volume, Sound Magic, at a cheesy CD store in Switzerland, I just assumed they were some no-name band that runs around small European countries playing in clubs and whatnot. The album is excellent, pairing African drums with Celtic moods on an electronic core to create a beat worthy of any club, yet melodic enough for casual listening. These guys truly rock, so on a whim I checked them out at (where else?), and lo, they have three albums released in the U.S. on a major label, and their third and latest creation, Further in Time, goes so far as to include world music champion Peter Gabriel and rock legend Robert Plant.
Check these guys out, it's worth it. I suggest Volume one first, to get a great intro to this truly different groove, and if you like what you hear, move on to the bigger (and harder) volume three. Hope you enjoy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on June 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Well, over seven years since it's release and much has been said about this first release by A.C.S.S. They are everything good said and more. There are not enough superlatives to describe this hybrid sound that evokes Highlander images, a morning mist shrouded in a damp dew, revealing glistening mountain tops beyond the vibrant green forest or a red sky sunset, breaking through the clouds, highlighting the shimmering crytaline waters, taking the listener to far away lands, known and unknown. The music is magical, it has a feel of aborigines dancing with the elves in a hipnotic, capricious rhythmical motion , swirling and joining together to form an elongated celtic knot. The music is undescribable, it is like Enya to a pounding ancient rhythmic beat, Celtic harps weaving with programmed keyboards, uilleann pipes, various flutes combined with talking and programmed drums, fiddles, banjos, mandolins, cellos and violas thrashing with bongos, doudouk and kora precussion, it is old world meshing with technology, it is music for a new age. As suggested by others, if you are just getting into Afro Celt Sound System, start your listening experience with this first and most excellent release, then move in progression with the band. The music is as worthy now as then so do yourself a favor and buy this disc. Later put this disc on and travel within your mind to magical lands beyond, all within the confines of your home. The space between your ears will thank you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr Lawrence Hauser on March 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I get the same feeling of discovery listening to Vol 1., Sound Magic, as I once got listening to early Grateful Dead albums in the late 1960s. The free form structure is the same as is the reliance on solo instrumental virtuosity to provide an illusion of otherworldliness. Afro-Celt Sound System features the influence and creative fusion of ancient musical traditions tightly wrapped around driving bass riffs and accentuated via electronic overlay. A jubilant spirit pervades the set which is primarily rooted in hypnotically alluring African and Celtic idioms but which takes a good deal of flavor from Middle Eastern sources as well. There are several tracks on this miraculous CD that really take off. The others are always interesting to become reacquainted with. The next CD by Afro-Celt Sound System, Vol 2., Release, extends the scintillating work begun here. It offers another focused journey into a trans-cultural, tribally grounded rock that is totally fresh and emotionally invigorating.
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