Should there ever be a study into the very history of music and the very origins of the art, and I’m sure there has been, it would become increasingly clear that many of our modern, Western-influenced works are all derived from ancient African machinations meant to bring to life the rhythms and expressions found in the mind of primitive man. I don’t know about you, but I find that very interesting to see such a legacy live on into today. Even more so interesting is the how we’ve come full circle to see music birthed in Western civilization influence African music in such a way that the esteemed Unexplained Sounds Group has managed to create quite a sampler to showcase that very phenomenon.
Yet another thing that I find quite fascinating about the world of music is how truly widespread it is in how styles that we’d never expect to see in certain places of the world having rich and well-populated communities even if they’re far from large. It’s always been something I love about metal, and it’s clear to me now that it also applies to the world of ambient music as well as African ambient has taken a unique root where there’s plenty of room for both exploration and experimentation. Unexplained Sounds Group has managed to bring together fourteen separate acts for their latest compilation, “Anthology of Contemporary Music from Africa” (what a mouthful), to create a spectacular tour through just a brief section of African ambient in all of its glory. While I was expecting a bit more traditional African instrumentation worked in, you can clearly tell just from listening to these textures and soundscapes that this is from somewhere different than what we normally hear from ambient in Western society. We get quick peeks of various African languages, hypnotic instrumentation that I can only imagine is Arabic in nature, and so much more but throughout all of it we see these acts converge upon the world of ambient in a way that’s familiar to those of us who’ve become acquainted with the style, and it’s refreshing to see something like this even if it’s only a little different ultimately.
This compilation literally opens up an entirely new continent for many of us fans of the style, and I can only see it gaining speed as the possibilities feel even more endless than they did before. Much like how I see metal in India, it’s with ambient in Africa that I’d be incredibly keen to see more of in the future, and I’ve no doubt it will surely happen.
LISTEN to “Anthology of Contemporary Music from Africa” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Unexplained Sounds Group on Facebook here.