If much of today’s Afrobeat/dance fusion is the story of what happened to the music after it left its home continent and mixed with European influences as well as modern technologies, Afrikan Roots, as the name might imply, is the story of what happened as those heady West African beats found their way to South Africa. Afrikan Roots make a wonderfully nuanced, layered and textured music one which echoes the history and complexities of the country that they have grown up in.
And if those seductive Ghanaian and Nigerian rhythms lie at the heart of the music, it is what they thread through such a structure that builds their unique sound. Classical guitar from the Mediterranean shores add some unexpected musical motifs and the vocals come in the form of a wonderfully ethereal pop style and elsewhere traditional tribal sounds blend with cutting edge modern studio creations reminding us that music is an on-going, evolutionary process with those timeless sounds being carried along by new torch bearers.
Afrikan roots pull off an amazing trick with I Hear You Calling, it plays to history as well as future potential, it speaks to the roots aficionado as much as the young popster and it plays to the underground dance set as well as the mainstream. But more than that, within its music you can hear stories, of the history of people and places being carried along too. Who would have thought that you could do all of that by just writing a song?