Every now and again you listen to an album for the first time and it makes you fall in love with music all over again. Afro Celt Sound System’s new album, Flight, is one of them for me. This is not a random collection of songs designed to fill up 60 minutes of your time or with the aim to launch that next chart topping single. This is an hour of pure musical joy.
It should not really be a surprise as Afro Celt Sound System have been masters at blending different sounds and styles together since their inception back in 1995. Flight really is a masterclass in how to mash things up and make a great record. To start with, it is rammed full of diversity drifting effortlessly from the sounds of the Scottish highlands to the Moroccan dessert before whisking you off to a West African beach. This is not done in a crude way like changing the tune on the crash of a symbol. Instead, the layers of music drift into one another like the scenery outside a train window smoothly transitioning from one to another.
In fact, the whole album is a bit like a soundtrack to a round the world trip. There are parts that sound like background street sounds, while other noises could be markets in different areas of the world. It’s the sort of album where you can close your eyes and the music will conjure up a stream of images from all over the world.
Also, as you would expect, the production quality is top notch. Everything sounds beautifully recorded, mixed and arranged perfectly. There are plenty of hidden gems in the music too, so each time you listen to it you notice something you had not realised was there on previous listens.
There is so much diversity in the album, from the gently melodic parts to the full on techno type dance parts that it’s almost impossible to explain in a few paragraphs, it’s one of those albums you just have to hear if you want to appreciate it.