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The Meeting Pool

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Album Review

Baka Beyond employs many different ethnic influences to create their unique style. The most noticeable elements are Celtic, exemplified by the fiddle of French musician Paddy LeMercier, and of course Baka. The Baka are the Pygmies of Cameroon. Guitarist and group leader Martin Cradick has spent a fair amount of time with them, and he incorporates samples of their music and environmental sounds onto several tracks. Even where the Baka themselves are not heard from, their music is. Several of the numbers are based on Baka tunes, and the two female vocalists, Su Hart and Kate Budd, strive to sing in a Baka style. The overall effect is upbeat but mellow. One thing that Craddick lost when he broke up with Outback bandmate Graham Wiggins is Wiggins' fire (Wiggins on the other hand lost Cradick's subtlety). Still, Meeting Pool has moments of real piquancy, as on "Ohureo," a traditional from the Western Isles of Scotland. This macabre lullaby, dressed up with African drums and LeMercier's fiddle commentary, is achingly entrancing. More propulsive is "Meeting of Tribes," a Cradick original that features music and instruments from four continents, including the didjeridu. On the surface this music may sound a bit mild, but at its heart lie deep emotions fueled by wonder. Beautiful.


Formed: 1992

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Baka Beyond reflects the multicultural vision of ex-Outback guitar, mandolin and bouzouki player Martin Cradick and his wife, Su Hart. A fusion of Celtic and West African musical traditions, the band represents a collaboration of musicians from northern Europe and West Africa. Cradick and Hart conceived Baka Beyond shortly after the breakup of Outback in 1992. Traveling to the rain forest of Cameroon, the couple lived with Baka pygmies and recorded their music. A field recording, Heart of the Forest:...
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The Meeting Pool, Baka Beyond
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Africa, Worldbeat
  • Released: Oct 1995

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