Early in 2007, a trip to the Gambia kick-started a chain of events which ultimately resulted in the release of this album..
Funded by the U.K. arts council the trip was a songwriters cultural exchange allowing a variety of British based musicians to live and work closely with musicians and performers from the Wolof, Jola, Mandinka and Karandinka tribes.
The result of these collaborations became the ongoing Xam Xam project (for more info see www.xamxam.com…)
The experience encouraged me to branch out and make an album of music inspired by tribal cultures from around the world. As this idea developed the focus shifted towards Eastern European folklore and the ‘tribal’ dance styles emerging from the USA.
Having previously been inspired by the recording process instigated during the 'Egypt' series of albums (which was based around recording sessions in Cairo with my good friend Hossam Ramzy the Egyptian master percussion), inspired me to instigate a similar but more open ended plan, collaborating with performers on location in preference to bringing them in to the studio.
Starting with a couple of small 'try out' gigs in NYC world music / fusion theme began to develop.
Material from this first phase ended up appearing on the album as 'Yah Wahley' (written with Lilith) and 'Edelezi Trance' (which became the backdrop for Dalinda to overlay a traditional Romany song).
By Christmas 2007, I found myself in San Francisco getting to know the tribal belly-dancing scene, (American Tribal Style in particular) At this point the album became more centred around music suitable for this type of performance,
Carolina Nericcio (Founder member of dance troupe Fat Chance Belly Dance and inventor of ATS) in particular proved invaluable in guiding me towards a suitable style.