CD The Meeting Pool (CD 196039),
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The Meeting Pool
2. Ancestor's Voice
5. Meeting of Tribes
7. Ndaweh's Dream
8. Booma Lena
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1388
Martin Cradick; Richard Haines
Baka Beyond: Su Hart, Kate Budd (vocals); Martin Cradick (guitar, kora, mandolin, balafon, vocals, percussion, ngombi); Paddy LeMercier (violin, dzourna, flute); Mark Robson (didgeridoo); Tom Green (keyboards, programming); Mark Pinto (acoustic & electric basses); Sam Pope (bodhran); John Ssekitoleko Ssempeke (skin drums, shaker); Sagar N'Gom (djembe, m'balax, n'doun n'doun, sabar); Ne-ne, Nahwia (waterdrums); Baka Forest People (bwambwa drums, vocals).
All songs written or co-written by Martin Cradick.
Composer: Martin Cradick.
Personnel: Martin Cradick (vocals, guitar, kora, mandolin, balafon, percussion); Su Hart, Kate Budd (vocals); Paddy le Mercier (violin, flute); Mark Robson (didjeridu); Tom Green (keyboards, programming, sampler); Mark Pinto (double bass, electric bass); Sam Pope (bodhran).
Audio Mixer: Tom Green.
Recording information: Brixton, London, England; Dungeon Studios, Warwickshire; March Hare Studios; South East Cameroon.
Arranger: Martin Cradick.
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. ~ Kurt Keefner
Down Beat (12/95, p.73) - 3.5 Stars - Good/Very Good - "...ethereal melodies and energetic rhythms..."
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Hannibal Records HNCD 1388
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