Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ancient Astronauts: Sonic Explorers

Although not new to the scene, having remixed tracks from Fort Knox Five, Up Bustle & Out, Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets, Zion I, and Dr. Rubberfunk, Ancient Astronauts released their debut album of original music last month. It's titled We Are to Answer, and I'm telling you, there's something mystical and magical about it. As their name suggests, their music is a divergent blend of new and old, resulting in an album that seems to travel from here to the edge of the solar system and back. Think Sun Ra brought into the 21st century, and you'll get something like Ancient Astronauts.

The album opens with From the Sky, in which the duo of Kabanjak and Dogu, who hail from Germany, mystically descend into this world, with a beat flaunting some Middle Eastern flair and sound snippets mixed in that previews what's to come. Those instrumental attributes continue into the next cut, I Came Running, and take you on a magical voyage that reminds me of an old group that you may or may not be familiar with, Enigma. Track three, Classic, brings the music down to earth with the Pharcyde laying down some rich rhymes.

From their the album continues, laying down some thick beats blending hip hop, funk, and dub, as well as other vocal visitors including Azeem, Tippa Irie, Bajka, Phat Old Mamas, Ulf Stricker, Raashan Ahmad and Entropik. At points things get sultry and sticky (A Hole to Swallow Us), other times take it back old skool style (Risin High), occasionally traveling dipping back into luxurious middle Eastern haziness (Lost In Marrakesh), heading to the islands for some reggae flavor (All of the Things You Do) getting downright funky (Everybody), dipping into some acid jazz (Seventh Planet), slowing down to some semi-spoken word reggae (Surfing the Silvatide), and heading back into space with the final track, Cresent Moon.

And all of this flows smoothly together like you wouldn't believe.

Visit their label Eighteenth Street Lounge Music and become their friend on MySpace.

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