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Italy’s Clap! Clap!, aka Cristiano Crisci, returns with an ambitious second album for Black Acre, following up on his 2014 debut, ‘Tayi Bebba’. With ‘A Thousand Skies’, Clap! Clap! ventures deeper into the bold territory staked out by the debut, investigating and handling the melodies, textures, colours, and rhythms of Africa with further confidence, rigour, and daring.
For Crisci, Clap! Clap! is something of a research project, or rather, an explorative sampling project that uncovers and draws upon a profusion of source material recorded from the African continent. Throughout this album, recordings of traditional music, bands, singers, tribal ceremonies, nature, and urban soundscapes are all intricately woven into a vibrant, rich, pulsating, and invigorating musical tapestry, fused together with drum machines and synths. Evocatively titled tracks like ‘Nguwe’, ‘Ar-Raqis’, and ‘Betelgeuse’s Endless Bamboo Oceans’ encapsulate the delicate aesthetic balancing act that underpins Crisci’s work, bringing together and bridging a disparate range of influences and cultural referents to engender a unique, exciting, and multi-faceted listening experience.