Review: Joe Claussell's Sacred Rhythm Music is back to present new music under his alias The Bayara Citizens. Elektrik Afrika is his second full length of the project, where he pursues yet more of his idiosyncratic style of 'spiritual life music'. By fusing acoustic and electronic together as one, the project represents evolution - producing its own genetics and speaking an individual dialect of rhythm and sound. Traces can be heard in "Zainabu" (Spirit Dancer) which fuses electronic harmonizing on the skins of traditional folkloric rhythms, or the soul power of "Mofo Congoietric" (Joaquin's Sacred Rhythm version), through to the tunnelling and hypnotic power of "Bambara" (The Tribes Of Distortion dub) and the truly life-affirming "Diamonds" (It's Time To Let Our People Go).
Review: Bolla's Afrikan Basement debuted with a warm welcome in 2008 as a limited 7" and is one of the many essential projects Joe Clasusell has been involved with over the years. Now it gets revisited on this tasty 7". The a-side is a special edit of "Makkusa", a steamy, spiritual, deeply layered and emotional house track that is lead by a standout sax line. Joaquin's Sacred Rhythm dub is just that on the flip-side, a punchy rework with groaning vocals and a tribal feel, marching drums and plenty of the steam and sweat that makes his music so unique and powerful.
Review: Whereas the first volume in Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's "Cosmicdelic Africa" series focused on sneaky re-edits by the Sacred Rhythm founder, this second instalment focuses on original productions "for the dancefloor and the head". In other words, Clausell has offered up DJ-friendly extended versions of some of his most cosmic, Afro-centric creations. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the psychedelic rock guitar solos, restless bass, layered Latin house rhythms and rainforest sounds of Cosmic Ritual's "Abraxas (Demo Sketch Mix)", to the piano sporting cosmic house positivity of Mampo's "Emarofo Tech (Extended Sketch Mix)", via the spaced-out electronics, hallucinatory synth lines and sparse drums of intoxicating downtempo workout "Mundo De Agua (Psyxchdelic Transfusion Mix)".
Review: Joe Claussell's Sacred Rhythm label is a vessel for him to explore the deep rooted culture behind his most prominent output in the house world. Travelling far and wide into African musical tradition, Claussell and select like-minded souls often present their most profound work through this outlet, and so it goes on this enchanting collection of rhythm studies, folk spirituals and works in progress. It's a compelling insight into the working practices of a musical master, a meaningful journey into the origins of so much modern music, and an inventive new expression all in one, scattered out like a sketchbook we're privileged to take a peep at.