Is this the most unusual and unlikely collaboration so far in folk and rock music? Simon Emmerson, leading light in both The Imagined Village and Afro Celt Sound System, teams up with Lush Cosmetics co-founder Mark Constantine for a set of CDs that draw deeply on both a love of folk music traditions and bird song.
Classically trained but a fusioneer by nature, sitarist Sheema Mukherjee has played with trance troupe Transglobal Underground and folk radicals the Imagined Village among others. This solo debut (vinyl/MP4 only) draws from her palette with panache. Slash Sitar is a showboating rock thrash (air sitar, anyone?); Sikkim Girls comes drenched in Bollywood strings; Morning Celeste is a dreamy neoclassical raga; and the driving Little Dragon sounds as though John Lee Hooker had mastered the sitar. More unexpected are sweetly sung covers of Radiohead and Françoise Hardy and playful evocations of 60s pop (Mrs Moo) and sodden samosas on an English beach (Bit God). A charming, altogether singular creation