Sunday, July 4, 2010

Exuma - Exuma (1970)

Exuma was the alter-ego of one McFarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey of the Bahamas; his brand of Caribbean freak folk gives the impression that these tunes were all recorded next to a campfire on some deserted island, guided by the spirits encircling and protecting the revelers. Armed with deep soul, shells, triangles, hand drums; it sounds more like a religious ritual (tribal folk tales interspersed with secret voodoo rites or even a seance perhaps?) than a music recording- this is an album for the true music adventurer.

I can go on with all the adjectives I want; spooky, haunting, etc- but really it's a keystone in the freak folk genre; what we would call freak folk (Comus' First Utterance would be a great place to start as well, recorded in 1971; or the earlier work of Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom,
Akron/Family, CocoRosie or Ben Chasny's Six Organs of Admittance project and the most recent album celebrated as a landmark in the genre; Animal Collective's Sung Tongs). You can trace the lineage right down through to today- I'd say the best place to start would be right here with Exuma. A perfect blend of traditional Caribbean music styles (reggae, junkanoo and calypso) mixed with field hollers and traditional folk.

This is his debut album, and it features backing from The Junk Band and Daddy Ya Ya. Check it out!

Exuma - Exuma (1970; Mercury Records)
90.8 mb, ripped at 320 kbps


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