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Electric Voodooland

Ex-Centric Sound System

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Album Review

It's a pretty rare band that can produce music equally suited to close listening, or dancing, or blissed-out, trancey contemplation. This Afro-Israeli ensemble accomplishes just such an unlikely feat with its debut album, which brilliantly combines elements of traditional West African music, dubwise reggae, funk, and techno. Rarely does a tune fit snugly into any one identifiable musical genre — "LeLe" sounds kind of like a tribal chant with a reggae bassline; "Latest" combines slightly ethereal, multi-tracked voices with a house beat and kalimba obbligato; and "Roots Detective" takes a heavy funk groove and weds it to faint choral backing vocals and North African-sounding ululations. The individual tracks do start to blur together somewhat by the end of the album, but not in a bad way; if the mood is pretty consistent, it's a pretty consistently good mood. High points include the very pretty (and incongruously funky) "Lullaby" and the equally pretty but very reggae-fied "Agbae." Particularly recommended to fans of African Head Charge.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Begun by Yossi Fine (an Israeli bassist who has been a session player since he was 16 and who has collaborated with David Bowie and Me'Shell NdegéOcello, among others) and Nana Dadzie (a prince of the Fante tribe in Ghana who founded Susuma, a well-known African drumming and dance troupe), Ex-Centric Sound System expanded to envelop a whole world of musical sounds. The contributions of fellow bandmembers Benjamin "Sai" Kouelho, a Ghanian percussionist, dancer, and flute player; Michael Avgil, a Moroccan-Israeli...
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Electric Voodooland, Ex-Centric Sound System
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Contemporaries