UNITE: A Gathering of Strangers is the latest ambitious world fusion project from Hamid Man Tu and Tim Whelan of Transglobal Underground. UNITE stands for URBAN NATIVE INTEGRATED TRADITIONS OF EUROPE. Taking stock of their group of collaborators and co-conspirators across Europe, they were looking to create something that reflected both that network and the growth of the contacts and movements that have taken place over the time that Trans-Global Underground has moved back and forth across the continent.
As immigration and emigration make front page news UNITE attempt to take things back to the traditions and cultures of those countries, a great reminder of the beauty in what uniqueness can brings us. Most of the music here is some sort of journey; a journey of emigration, transportation, across land or sea and sometimes a journey of the original songwriters themselves. On that journey are some big names:
Jim Moray, who has just released In Modern History;
Yanka Rupkina, one of Bulgaria’s most famous folk singers;
Martin Furey, a well established singer, musician and songwriter, born into one of Irelands best known musical families;
Village Kollektiv, formed in 2002 by members of few Polish folk/fushion groups: Warsaw Village Band, Masala, Stara Lipa & Swoja Droga;
Stuart A. Staples of Tindersticks;
Songlines Magazine have selected it as their Top of the World album for the Fusion category in their latest issue. Just have a listen:
UNITE>GATHERING OF STRANGERS itself is at the beginning of a journey…the journey to the eventual gathering itself. The route‘s worked out and the album ‘A Gathering of Strangers’ is the map, but we don’t know what any of the travellers are going to see and experience along the way. We hope the prospect of the journey excites you as much as it’s exciting us and that you’ll be joining us somewhere along the way.