Listen to one of the best albums of 2016, Cosmic Unity by Family Atlantica…
Mind-Blowing, Intoxicating Global Grooves
They’re a multi-cultural band based in London. Producer and multi-instrumental director, Jack Yglesias (also a core member of the underground Pysch-Jazz-Funk unit The Heliocentrics) leads the explosive ensemble. Alongside Jack, the band features the powerful vocals and poetry of Venezuelan diva Luzmira Zerpa and the percussive West African mastery of Nigerian/Ghanaian Kwame ‘natural power’ Crentsil as well as Adrian Owusu (Guitar).
Joining them as guests on the album are two musical legends: The Sun Ra Arkestra’s bandleader Marshall Allen on alto saxophone, ewi and vocals, and Nigerian Afrobeat colossus Orlando Julius on tenor sax who was at the time of the recording living with Yglesias and Zerpa. The diversity of the Family Atlantica project is reflected in the lyrics, with singing and poetry in Spanish, English, Yoruba and Portuguese.
On “Cacao” Zerpa sings a far out, potent Venezuelan tambor tune. The story is about a town called Chuao that’s only accessible by boat, and is home to a traditional Afro-Venezuelan village. It knocked me off my feet when I first heard it because it has special meaning for me.
I used to live in Caracas, and went to the “Cacao Coast,” specifically the beach town of Choroní, every chance I could. This long Caribbean coastline is home to Afro-Venezuelan communities that each have their unique drumming traditions. The fisherman play drums all night and sing an exhilarating call & response style, that gets everyone dancing & drinking rum along the malecón. It’s so much fun!
Watch this amazing video for Family Atlantica’s “Cacao.” It was filmed in Salt Pond, Ghana. It looks a lot like Chuao, Venezuela. It’s interesting to see the similarities.
The Ultimate Genre-Bending Record of 2016
“Puerta” opens your mind to the doors of perception via a psychedelic journey to the rhythm of Venezuelan coastal drums, conch shell horns, and chants. It’s like a Choroní mushroom trip (in the form of mind-blowing song) during the Feast of San Juan Bautista.
Prepare yourself for a brilliant blend of Caribbean & Ethiopian music on “Enjera.” It’s a funky Ethiopian Jazz groove with a splendid steel drum dancing on top of the syncopated beat, accompanied by a funky flute, and horny horns.
Breathtaking “Baião Infinito” is a trippy, percussive journey across Northeastern Brazil. This song fits perfectly with the thrilling music coming out of the Brazilian musical underground currently.
These guys must be awesome live! Watch Family Atlantica en vivo at the Kalakuta club in Toulouse, France…