Suns of Arqa
|U.K., Jamaica, India, Middle East, pan-Africa
|Indian fusion, Middle Eastern fusion, reggae, dub, Indian vibes, chillout, world groove, Balkan fusion, funk, ambient-dark, psychedelic, folk, neo-folk, Celtic fusion
|Over 60 releases
Full discography here.
|Suns of Arqa are what many late 1960s early 1970s bands wanted to be. Perhaps the first true world fusion band, Suns of Arqa captured that sense of alternative-world mysticism and musical innovation of the psychedelic era. As their fanciful origin myth shows, they inhabit a different sensibility and walk a different path than most musicians.
The slightly bizarre but always fascinating world music collective Suns of Arqa was founded by Michael Wadada in 1979. They are one of the oldest world fusion groups, but still largely unknown – enigmatically a curse from which they have always suffered. As a post-hippieish Indian vibes band with a hint of reggae, they released Revenge of the Mozabites, an interesting album that went virtually unnoticed until Peter Gabriel came across a copy in 1982 as he was putting together the very first World of Music and Dance festival (WOMAD), and asked Suns of Arqa to come and perform. Ever since, Suns of Arqa have been a favorite at summer outdoor festivals, their music running the gambit from India to Africa to Jamaica to Ireland.
Suns of Arqa has always been a world fusion festival jam band. Over 200 members from across the globe has passed through its ranks, many of them met by Wadada during his extensive travels and sharing his interest in indigenous, tribal, folk and classical music traditions. Suns of Arqa has been quite prolific, recording several hundred songs live and in the studio and remixing or being remixed on dozens more. They have released at least 60 albums, more if you count repackaged releases from previous decades. No two albums are similar and many distinct musical styles can be found in their music. I doubt any other artist listed on this site will have as many musical styles listed as Suns of Arqa. Wadada has always been a bit reclusive and when not frequently playing at summer outdoor festivals he assuredly is in his studio recording his next album.