Baka Beyond ‘Beyond the Forest’ (March Hare) 3/5

Husband and wife couple Martin Cradick and Su Hart visited the Baka pygmies of Cameroon during 1982 and this inspired them to participate in recordings of traditional Central African music with additional acoustic instrumentation from Congo, Ghana and Nigeria, and even French and Irish folk influences. This latest project has a rootsy feel throughout and will be showcased during May at various dates in the UK. Of particular interest is the fusion of a traditional Irish language song in ‘Illa Dhuinn’ with the indigenous sounds of the ngombi instrument and Su Hart’s vocals. In general the Baka sing in wordless vocals as on the lilting ‘Nahwia’s dream’ and even engage in yodelling on the hypnotic groove of ‘Beyond the forest’ title track. Pleasant summer listening that will appeal to folk and roots fans alike.

Tim Stenhouse