More Africa In Us

BY David DacksPublished Jun 1, 2004

It's pretty hard to make global groove that sounds distinctive nowadays. Between the Six Degrees label and Bill Laswell's many projects over the last 20-plus years, hybridisation of global grooves is pretty common. In general, the distinguishing features of the most successful examples are the same as for any music: are the ideas well thought out? Do these tracks stand alone as songs? Is there uniqueness to this particular blend? In the case of Andrew McPherson, aka Eccodek, the answer is yes, for the most part. McPherson takes vocals as the starting point for his sonic templates. The African vocals are the melodic drive to the songs, anchoring the inevitable groove fest of dubbed-out drums and percussion. Some songs ("Bodichitta Dub") use the rhythm of the vocals as signifiers for the delay settings — always a good idea to achieve that hyper-realistic feeling. Unlike Laswell, McPherson doesn't have players of the calibre of say, Zakir Hussain to work with, so some instrumental parts just aren't absolutely stunning, but the "team-oriented concept" is definitely in place. The studio craft is expertly rendered. This is a very good disc, very recommendable among the Afro-dub fusions that have been produced over the years.

Latest Coverage