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Ethnomixocology Review

by Rick Anderson

The Outernationalists are Simon Emmerson (a founding member of the Afro-Celts, formerly known as the Afro-Celt Sound System) and DJ/journalist/producer Phil Meadley. For this project, the two pulled together a grab bag of rare and obscure recordings from around the world, muscling them all up with various kinds of club beats and smearing them together into a continuous DJ mix. Musicians from Africa, India, the Middle East, Europe, the British Isles, and Latin America are all represented, and the result is a thick and spicy stew of styles and influences that coalesces nicely into a single kaleidoscopic dance experience. The Belgian folk-fusion group Urban Trad gets a sturdy house treatment on "Berim Dance," United Eye's "Ska East of the West" gets thoroughly dubbed up and clubbed out, Spiritual South contributes a slightly monotonous Afro-beat anthem called "Green Gold," Fun^Da^Mental combines Zulu chants and Asian breaks, and the Afro-Celts round things out with some athletic Uilleann piping and double-time house beats. Exhausting, yes, but isn't that how dance music is supposed to be?

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