Pod

by: Afro Celt Sound System

Worldbeat ambassadors Afro Celt Sound System go the remix route on the two-disc set Pod. Essentially a career overview, Pod features 13 tracks culled from the group's ten-year history remixed by various bandmembers and DJs. Each song mixes in live bass and drums, adding a heavy backbeat to the band's swirling, genre-bending epics. Though each track is listed separately, the recording works as one solid piece with transitions that flow effortlessly into one another. The remixes themselves focus heavily on the thundering, tribal assault of the collective's live shows, occasionally veering off into ambient landscapes -- Rae & Christian's take on "Persistence of Memory" is like an audio version of the ocean floor. "Whirly 3" and "Eireann" do the best job at conveying the System's Celtic leanings, building a relentless pulse around serpentine uillean pipes. The rest is perfectly executed, occasionally innovative, and mostly unnecessary. Fans will be disappointed by the lack of "actual" new material, and listeners with distaste for Real World's militant attention to sonic detail will find little comfort. The real gem is the second disc, a beautifully crafted DVD that includes live footage in Seattle at the WOMAD festival and videos for "When You're Falling," "North," and "Persistence of Memory." ~ James Christopher Monger

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