Singing in Tongues is the sixth release from Canadian global fusion combo, Eccodek, and it delivers their most potent blend of dub, tribalism, electronica and the exotic to date. Bathed in the sound of Africa, the place that inspired Eccodek’s future globalism over 10 years ago, it is anchored by the vocal and instrumental double threat of Mali’s Jah Youssouf. These Eccodek/Youssouf collaborations are a visceral, poetic blend of African storytelling, deep bass, mile-high grooves, dubwise sensibilities and widescreen production.
The album picks up the trail from Eccodek’s Juno-nominated Shivaboom release and continues pushing the musical and geographic limit. Jah’s impassioned voice and furious ngoni playing sit at the heart of these songs, while Eccodek creator Andrew McPherson weaves together a musical travelogue with a stunning array of vocal and instrumental contributors.
The songs are seeded in the creative soil of Bamako Mali, teleport to Turkey’s seductive marketplaces, traverse the in-between worlds of the Middle East and South Asia, and land in the sweaty intoxication of Jamaica. Andrew is no stranger to this musical wanderlust, remixing and producing world class artists like Vieux Farka Touré, Real World
artists Dub Colossus and Syriana, Delhi 2 Dublin, Transglobal
Underground, Jane Siberry, Dubmatix and Desert Dwellers.
His deep grooves, signature texturalism and sacred treatment
of the human voice has landed his work on comps by key labels
like Six Degrees, Buddha Bar, One World Music, Modiba, White
Swan/Black Swan, Supperclub, and National Geographic.
Inspired by the new material, Eccodek live has also embraced a new direction, bringing to the stage with them longtime collaborator and classical Kirtan singer Onkar Singh. Last heard on Shivaboom and guesting on two new Indo-Afro jaw droppers, the North Indian vocalist continues to weave seamlessly into the Eccodek sound. Adding new sounds like double bass, oud, hang, baritone sax and one very fat Moog synth suggest the Canadian project are charging into fertile
new ground. The album also features the first appearance of vocals sung in English, with U.S. hip-hop threat MC Yogi seducing the mic on ‘My primitive heart’. Eccodek also welcomes back their longest
standing collaborator, Balkan singer Meral Mert, who weaves her mystical voice through two stunning tracks that also feature Canadian oud master Aaron Lightstone of Jaffa Road. ‘Permission to speak,’ the closing track, spotlights McPherson and LA/Toronto-based
drummer Morgan Doctor in an instrumental duet bridging the outerworld sounds of the Swiss hang and Hawaiian xaphoon - a beautiful and meditative final stop on an epic musical journey.
Perhaps the most interesting story behind Singing in Tongues is how this album came to be. Fellow Canadian producer and friend of Jah Youssouf, Lewis Melville, approached Andrew two years ago with a collection of songs by Jah Youssouf that had been loosely documented in a series of guerilla recording sessions. Largely improvised and jammed, the seeds of something greater could be felt in the material. Unable to develop the material beyond these early
sessions, Melville suggested they be given the Eccodek treatment by Andrew, as Jah had already collaborated with Eccodek on their Juno-nominated (Canada’s Grammys) Shivaboom release. Intending, at first, to simply add to what was there with dubwise treatments and additional instrumentation, it became clear the material would blossom to its fullest potential if approached as a straight up collaboration. Similar to what British downtempo master Gaudi did with archival
recordings of Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Dub Qawwali, Eccodek’s reimagining of Jah Youssouf’s songs has produced a similar outcome. Singing in Tongues is firmly rooted in its singer’s homeland of Mali but, in Eccodek’s care, it travels well beyond its African borders.
released May 6, 2014
Produced and directed by Andrew McPherson. Another Big Mind production.
Over 7 critically acclaimed albums, Canada’s Eccodek has become a leader in the world of global fusion. With a 2014 and 2009
Juno nomination (Canada’s Grammys), multiple Canadian Music Awards, releases on Buddha Bar, Six Degrees, White Swan Records, their dubwise mix of African, South Asian, Turkish and island sounds, stacked on monster grooves is intoxicating....more