Planet Electric - Delhi 2 Dublin
Back in 1991, after noticing similarities between an Irish air and an African melody by Baaba Maal, Simon Emmerson learned of speculation that the Celts once dwelled in Africa and India before migrating to Europe. Putting the theory to the test, musically-speaking, Emmerson and a multi culti core of musicians came together in Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios. A week later the Afro Celt Sound System was born and they immediately became the darlings of WOMAD and music festivals around the world. Delhi 2 Dublin owes much of their rapid success to the Afro Celt model of a league of nations-style, international coalition. They too have become festival darlings (sprung out of a thrown-together jam at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival). Hey, it’s a big world and plenty of sonic space for all. Capitalizing on a wave of fanatical popularity, D2D have released their second studio full-length called Planet Electric. Like most sophomore efforts, Planet Electric is a more homogenous collection than their first, most of the tracks rhythmically propelled by the rinky, tinky tink of Jaspaul Ravi Binning’s dhol with few divergences. But, D2D’s weapon of mass elation is the virtuosic acuity of their lone female and true fiddling pacesetter, Kytami. She shines through every tune, floating through the cuts with dizzying jigs and reels or layering massive semi-classical string sections. D2D do a fine job of highlighting the Celtic/Indian connection that is their namesake, wrapping those ethnic elements in bouncy programmed, dancefloor beats. Hired ringer/producer, Diamond ‘Swami’ Duggal polishes Planet Electric to gleaming radiance. Most encouraging is the final two part opus, Bodega Ridge which emphasizes the kind of soundscapes this diverse collective is able explore with the vehicle they’ve created, once they feel comfortable enough to leave the familiarity of earth’s tug in search of deeper space.