Afro Celt Sound System was a world music band based in the UK. As implied by the name, they played [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly a mix of]] Irish Celtic, West African, and [[ElectronicMusic electronic dance music]].
In 1991, producer Simon Emmerson was collaborating with Afro-pop star Baaba Maal when he heard an African melody, which struck him due to its similarity to an Irish air. Emmerson’s interest in the similarities between the two traditions was piqued further when he heard a theory that the nomadic Celts had lived in Africa prior to migrating to Europe.
In 1995, Emmerson brought traditional Irish musicians and members of Baaba Maal’s backing band to jam together at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios for a week. The experiment proved a rousing success, and the collective’s first album, ''Sound Magic'', was released the following year. A proper band was formed from these session musicians. Live shows and more albums followed, and Afro Celt Sound System grew to become the second best-selling artist on Real World Records (second only to Music/PeterGabriel himself).
The band went on hiatus in 2007, then reunited in 2010 to play a series of live shows and promote their GreatestHitsAlbum, ''Capture''.
* Simon Emmerson: guitars, cittern, programming, keyboards, mandolin, bouzouki, stapletone
* James [=McNally=]: whistles, keyboards, bodhran, accordion, piano, harmonium, programming
* N’faly Kouyate: kora, vocals, balafon, standing n’goma drum
* Jimmy Mahon: uilleann pipes, flute
* Johnny Kalsi: dhol, tablas, okeido drum, Kalsi kit, other percussion
* Ian Markin: electronic and acoustic drums
* Moussa Sissokho: djembe, talking drum
* Barbara Bangoura: djembe, talking drum
* Martin Russell: keyboards, programming
* Jo Bruce: keyboards
* Iara O Lionárd: vocals
* Myrdhin: Celtic harp
* Simon “Mass” Massey: programming, keyboards
* Emer Mayock: uilleann pipes, flute
* Ronan Brown: uilleann pipes, flute, harmonium, mandolin
* Ayub Ogada: vocals, nyatiti
* Kauwding Cissokho: kora
* Masamba Diop: talking drums
* ''Volume 1: Sound Magic'' (1996)
** “Sure-as-Not” single
** “Whirl-y-Reel” single
** ''Volume 1: Sound Magic'' promotional EP
* ''Volume 2: Release'' (1999)
** “Release” single
* ''Volume 3: Further in Time'' (2001)
** “When You’re Falling” single
** “Life Begin Again” promotional single
* ''Seed'' (2003)
** “Rise Above It” promotional single
* ''Pod'' (2004) A remix album.
* ''Volume 5: Anatomic'' (2005)
** ''Anatomic Radio Edit Sampler'' promotional EP
* ''Capture: 1995 – 2010'' (2010) A GreatestHitsAlbum.
They also composed original music for the 1999 PC game ''Videogame/MagicAndMayhem'' and the 2004 film ''Film/HotelRwanda''.
!!Provides examples of:
* BoleroEffect: Used numerous times. “Release” (and “Release It”, and the Rollo & Sister Bliss Remix), “Riding the Waves”, “Whirly 3 [Emmerson, [=McNally=], and Mass Remix]”, “Rise Above It”.
* BookEnds: ''Release'' opens with the title track, then ends with “Release It”, an instrumental mix of the same song.
* DeadPersonConversation: “Release”, in which the deceased tells the listener to be happy for him, rather than mourning or arguing.
* EpicRocking: Numerous extended songs. The longest are the 10-minute songs “Eistigh Liomsa Sealad / Listen to Me / Saor Reprise”, “Mojave”, and “Rise Above It”. (And if you include the latter’s ambient intro “Rise”, then its length gets bumped up to 13 minutes.)
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: Several examples from ''Pod''. In fact, everything from track 4, “Further in Time”, to track 8, “Whirly 3”, is a continuous mix.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Note how almost all albums featuring new studio material have their title preceded with a volume number. ''Seed'' is the only exception so far, and interestingly that was also the only album where they used an OfficiallyShortenedTitle version of their name.
* OfficiallyShortenedTitle: They billed themselves just as Afro Celts on ''Seed''. When the new name proved confusing, they switched back to their full name.
* RearrangeTheSong: Numerous remixes and radio edits appear on their singles. ''Pod'' collects the band’s favorites, and also features new remixes recorded specifically for that album. Both ''Release'' and ''Seed'' end with an instrumental mix of a vocal song from the album.
* SiameseTwinSongs: “Dark Moon, High Tide” and “Whirl-y-Reel 2” from ''Sound Magic''. “Urban Aire” and “Big Cat” from ''Release''. “Rise” and “Rise Above It” from ''Seed''.