Anima Sound System

Gipsy Sound Clash

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    8
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Starting out sounding like the Upsetters in the studio with Lee Perry on the opener, "Authar Manca," Anima Sound System seem to set the tone for the album -- a sound clash, after all, having its roots in reggae. But the mood shifts throughout the album. On tracks like "Még, Még" and "Sinsemillia," for example, airy female vocals and a chilled beat give a distinctly European feel, and the growling Roland 303 bass that introduces "Po Drom" leads into a beat that's more jungle than ragga and spends ten minutes working around ideas before heading into territory that's quite gypsy. In some ways, it's the sound of a band with a lot to say and not enough room for all the ideas. "Kallós" heads them back to reggae territory, with the accent on the off beat, but the ideas, floating between dub and ambience, are more abstract. This is music that hits you in the head more than in the gut. And they're not afraid of lightness and occasionally sounding quite poppy and accessible, as on "Tekerd," which seems more aimed at the chart than anything but works within the mad, varied context of this record. "Slow" doesn't exactly live up to its name, taking more of a sinewy weave through a groove, with brass and horns sliding in and out. But it makes a good end to a fabulous disc.

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