PRINT December 1993


Andrew Ross' Weather Report

This summer’s most unlikely club hit took you by complete surprise by being uncannily familiar. This is what we’ve come to expect from pop hooks. It’s as if certain grooves had been lying dormant in some cryostasis of the collective acoustic memory, awaiting the signal to reactivate, like some techno-implanted recognition chip.

Record companies should be so lucky. In this case the hit was from the ambient house album Deep Forest (Celine Music Synsound/Epic), and the music had a very particular story to tell about technology’s capacity to summon up voices from other places. Sampling a cappella recordings (all purchased from UNESCO) of tribal chants by rainforest peoples from Zaire, the Cameroons, Senegal, Chad, Ghana, and the Solomon Islands, Frenchmen Michel Sanchez and Eric Mouquet looped these vocals into the synth-driven grooves of techno and deep house music. A chart hit in Europe and

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