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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM

By Stacy Meyn
Published June 27, 2006

Volume 5: Anatomic
Real World Records

Founder Simon Emmerson had worked with Baaba Maal before branching out with his guitar, bouzouki and compositional chops over a decade ago. He buddied up with ex-Pogue James McNally, sean-nos singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and programming wiz Martin Russell, to much success. The collaborators included Robert Plant, Sinéad O’Connor, Davy Spillane and Peter Gabriel, among others. Four albums begat soundtrack contributions and Grammy nominations, as well as kicking global butt live. The collective’s formula, which mined the similarities between African and Celtic music, worked. Entry number five heads back to the component parts that had much to do with the acceptance of global beat. Tabla, bodhran, whistles, keyboards and drum loops snuggle together in a comfy ethno-groove, joined by two more vocalists: Uzbeki singing star Sevara Nazarkhan and Dorothee Munyaneza, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. There’s even a touch of Native American influence and it would not be a surprise if the Afro Celts dabble in “more minimalism.” Anatomic goes for the good gut feeling with two previously unrecorded concert faves.