Ancient Astronauts, We Are to Answer

I have had this album on repeat in my car and elsewhere for the last couple of weeks now. Periodically I switch back to some 60’s on the radio or some other CD’s I need to listen to, but then I throw this back in. My process for review is like this. I listen several times, some thoughts come to me, I start to write them down, I read over the bio again and look up some information on the artist and perhaps other artists in the genre if they are a little out of my league, then I listen some more, write some more, and eventually I have my review. With Ancient Astronauts I have to say I am just stumped. I listen over and over again, I do my research… and yet, I am blank. I think I have them classified, I think I know what I should say, but then it all seems wrong then next time I listen. They really defy my normal means of classification and order.

Ancient Astronauts is made up of Kabanjak and Dogu, two guys who base themselves out of Cologne, Germany. This is their debut on ESL and information on them really is sparse, and I think they like it that way. They have this sort of fantastic story about being a meld of the past and future, and that perhaps there is something a little other-worldly about them. So there is nothing truly solid to go off, which I suppose makes their album all that much clearer… in a way.

Each track is different, yet they do fit within each other. They have all the essence of each influence they claim: Raw Funk, True School Hip Hop, Afro, Jazz, Reggae & Dub, Blues, and Rock. There is a good deal of production on the album; many effects which really play to the Dub styling. So you can feel trance, house, hip-hop, electronic; you can feel relaxed or you can feel like you need to be on a dance floor.

A wide array of guest artists are present on the album, making for further diversity. One of my favorites has to be track 5, “A Hole to Swallow Us” which is performed with Phat Old Mamas. Many of the tracks don’t include primary vocals, but the few that do are quite powerful.

We Are to Answer was a bit out of my ordinary range, but I can honestly say I enjoyed the challenge. Even if now I am still unsure quite of the details of what to say other than: I enjoyed it.

1. From the Sky
2. I Came Running
3. Classic (with The Pharcyde)
4. Dark Green Rod (With Ulf Stricker)
5. A Hole to Swallow Us (with Phat Old Mamas)
6. Risin High (with Raashan Ahmad)
7. Lost in Marrakesh (with Entropik)
8. All of the Things You Do (with Tippa Irie)
9. Everybody
10. Seventh Planet Skit
11. Oblivion (with Azeem & DJ Zeph)
12. Surfing the Silvatide (with Bajka)
13. Crescent Moon

Released 09 June 2009