Family Atlantica’s Cosmic Unity has been named as winner in the 2016 Dead Albatross Music Prize, during a finale show on Reel Rebels Radio last night (26 October).
The album, which was described by The Independent as: “A borderline chaotic mix of highlife, Ethiopian jazz and Cuban rumba along with a surface shimmer of 1960s psychedelia”, was released via Soundway Records in May, and is a follow up to the London band’s 2013 self-titled debut.
Their label described the record as: “psychedelic highlife, steel- pan Ethio-funk, calypso, biao and scorching equatorial jazz underpinned by deep afro-Atlantic dance rhythms, they have created a cohesive, forward-looking sound that echoes classic tropical recordings of the past whilst still sounding fresh and contemporary. Lush string and horn arrangements give way to acidic commentary on the immigration system and slavery as well as incantations of unity.”
The Dead Albatross Music Prize celebrates the best of the underground and is voted on by industry folk and music fans. Previous winners have included Ibibio Sound Machine, Annabel (lee) and Ela Orleans.
From a shortlist of twenty releases the top five in 2016 were winner Family Atlantica along with Onoe Caponoe – Vapours In Abyss; Gonzo – Dies (excerpt); Ela Orleans – Beatrice; and Matthew Collings – Collect It All.
You can see the full countdown and find out more about each of the albums and artists on the Dead Albatross website.