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 ten 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.
Singing in Tongues 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 have landed his work on comps by tastemaking labels like Six Degrees, Buddha Bar, One World Music, Modiba, White Swan/Black Swan, Supperclub, National Geographic and more.
The list of artists and influences rounding out the sound on Singing In Tongues is even more impressive and diverse than Eccodek’s resumé. U.S. hip-hop threat MC Yogi seduces the mic on ‘My primitive heart.' Longtime collaborator Onkar Singh returns, with the North Indian vocalist guesting on two new Indo-Africa jaw droppers, while another longstanding collaborator, Balkan singer Meral Mert, 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. Mixing in new sounds like double bass, oud, hang, baritone sax and one very fat Moog synth makes it clear that this Ontario-based project is boldly charging into fertile new ground.
Similar to fellow Canadian producer Michael Brook's collaboration with Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the now-classic Mustt Mustt and Night Music albums, 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.
1.) Village in Me
2.) In Confidence
3.) Singing in Tongues
4.) My Primitive Heart (feat MC Yogi)
5.) Money Tree