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Album Review

It would be easy, and not entirely wrong, to think of Baka Beyond as an acoustic Afro-Celt Sound System. They certainly cover a lot of the same territory, mixing Celtic and West/Central African music. But Baka Beyond has strong roots in both Cameroon (where the group has been close with the Pygmies) and Scotland, and both show up on this disc. "Ra-Li-O" and "Wandering Spirit" both take a turn into Gaelic mouth music, while "Awaya Baka" is a definite trip to the heart of the Cameroonian jungle with wonderful, loping beats. In a lot of ways, East to West is a continuation and refinement of what they've done on their last albums, although there's less reliance than ever on the samples of the Baka people (which only occur on two tracks). There's also more of an edge to the material. The years of integrating Africa and the Celts has made them smooth operators, able to shift gears and styles in a heartbeat, and without the seams showing. Satisfying, if not necessarily deep, East to West is never less than a pleasant listen.

Customer Reviews

great songs

these songs have great tribal feel to them!


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:...
Full Bio
East to West, Baka Beyond
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