Award-winning, London-based Family Atlantica are back with their far-reaching second album 'Cosmic Unity', released on May 13th via Soundway Records.
It follows on from their 2013 eponymous debut - an album that won the band a range of awards including Songlines Magazine's Best Newcomers 2015.
'Cosmic Unity', like the band itself, mirrors the mixed-up, intercontinental terrain of their home town. Moving through genres as diverse as psychedelic highlife, steel-pan Ethio-funk, calypso, baião and scorching equatorial jazz underpinned by deep afro-Atlantic dance rhythms, they have created a cohesive, forward-looking sound that echoes classic tropical recordings of the past whilst still sounding fresh and contemporary. Lush string and horn arrangements give way to acidic commentary on the immigration system and slavery as well as incantations of unity.
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 Afro-beat 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. This is a rapid-fire, rhythm-heavy journey, simultaneously moving between the past and future of trans-Atlantic roots music.