In the wake of previous albums The Sorcerers and the Mulatu Astatke-approved In Search of The Lost City of The Monkey God, comes new LP, I Too Am A Stranger from Leeds’ most Ethio crew, The Sorcerers. I say ‘Ethio’ but other influences include Moondog, samurai movie score don Fumio Hayasuka, jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton and a clear love of retro library music resulting (as you’ll expect if you’ve heard any of this album’s predecessors) in a heady exotic brew. Recorded at ATA Studios in completely analogue format, the nine-track set finds the band’s central trio of Neil Innes, Richard Ormrod and Joost Hendrick augmented at times by an additional drummer and trumpeter. Soundtrack vibes are pretty much omnipresent in terms of sound though sometimes the link is overt. The Hayasuka influence for example is consciously at work on cuts like the jaunty Yasuke In Roppongi and Oromo while the Gary Burton-influenced He Who Kills With One Leap and The Warrior Code get especially martial arts-sounding names to go with an atmospheric nature well-suited to the milieu of martial arts movies. Of the balance of tracks, head for Moth and The Road Forward to spot Moondog style woodblocks while it’s all about the Ethio-sound on the rest of which the best is the sinuously funky Kid Mahout.
(Out 9 February on ATA Records)