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The punningly named Baka Beyond began as a collaboration between former Outback guitarist Martin Cradick and the denizens of Cameroons rain forests, the Baka pygmies. Using their traditional rhythmic patterns alongside Western technology and musicianship, the projects 1993 debut Spirit Of The Forest managed to amalgamate these disparate sources into a series of haunting soundscapes. That it sustained its emotive dynamism was undoubtedly due to the sensitivity of Cradicks approach, with the Bakas viewed as co-writers rather than merely creative adjuncts: Theyve got an incredible, special awareness of sound. They have all these interlocking rhythms and melodies and things. When they are playing their music, they are part of the forest.
Cradicks interest in the Baka people dated back to the late 80s when he saw a documentary on their activities, and, indeed, a previous Outback album was titled Baka. He...