After 20 years of mixing African and Celtic music in equal measures Baka Beyond has become one of the finest danceable bands around, creating the sound of the global village.Not just a touring band, Baka Beyond have a unique relationship with their inspiration – the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon – ...
World Music/Contemporary | World Music/Traditional
It has been 21 years since Baka Beyond’s debut CD “Spirit of the Forest” was released helping to define the genre “World Music”. They have been constantly touring and releasing new albums since then, although their last release, “Beyond the Forest” was nearly 5 years ago. Now they return with the upcoming release (May 21st, 2014) After the Tempest.
Their work with the Baka Forest People, who originally inspired their sound, has meant that key players, Martin Cradick and Su Hart have taken several months off each year to work with the Baka in Cameroon, repaying the debt of their music. They set up the charity Global Music Exchange to facilitate this. Martin & Clyde Kramer have just returned from working with the Baka musicians in Cameroon. (www.forestvoices.com)
Recently Baka Beyond have had something of a renaissance. The injection of some young blood in the form of Clyde Kramer on drums (who has spent several months himself playing music with the Baka in the forests of Cameroon) and Ellie Jamison on vocals (who 10 years ago at the age of 18 toured with Baka Beyond and is on their album “East to West”) has invigorated their sound.
Baka Beyond’s tour last November around Britain was very well received. Once it was over they went straight to Penpont Estate in Wales to provide live music for a version of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, a first for them. 2 tracks on the new album, “Ariel’s Song” and “Full Fathom Five” are from this production. Baka Beyond’s interpretations of the Baka women’s magical singing is perfect for setting the scene in this most mystic and musical of Shakespeare’s plays.
The new album is more of a “band album” than their last release “Beyond the Forest”. They will be performing all of the songs at their forthcoming tours in UK in the spring and in Canada this summer. The interplay between Clyde’s drumming and Ayo’s percussion particularly give the album a vibrant “live”feel.
The live band features the following artists:
Martin Cradick: guitar
Su Hart: vocals
Kibisingo Douglas (long-time bass player for Kanda Bongo Man & Baka Beyond bassist since 2005): bass guitar
Ayodele Scott: percussion
Paddy Le Mercier: violin
Clyde Kramer: drums
Ellie Jamison: vocals
Also on the album are guest appearances from:
Molara (ex Zion Train, who toured with Baka Beyond between 2008 and 2011): lead vocals ("Mosumana Collé" & "Imbayé")
Daniel Waples: Hang (Hand Pan) ("Shoheen Sho Lo")
Baka Forest People: still play their part in writing some of the songs and providing vocals and traditional instruments on several tracks.
All royalties owed to the Baka musicians go to them via the registered charity Global Music Exchange www.1heart.org
More information at www.bakabeyond.net