Baka Beyond is a UK-based group/collective consisting of musicians and singers from Cameroon, Ghana, France, the UK, Sierra Leone and Senegal. Their specialty is co-mingling trad folk sounds of West Africa and the British and Irish Isles - and for such a large group, they perform with a refreshing lightness of touch as well as an understated passion. Unlike some cross-cultural world-fusion ensembles, the Bakas forego bombast and facile eclecticism, and there are no hints that material or performances have been dumbed-down or pop-ified, nor are there any holier-than-thou notions of "purism." They’ve simply discovered a common ground/comfort zone where uillean pipes and subtly effervescent electric guitar can soulfully wail over ebullient percussion (balafon and djembe), and Gaelic and West African languages sound perfectly natural side-by-side. The vocals are sung in an alluringly low-key manner, as if they were unravelling a story from across the table rather than from atop a stage. BB’s performances have the sparse, wide-open sound of Malian music and some of the plaintive, Emerald Isle lushness of The Chieftains. For those that love Celtic and West/Central African folk sounds or copacetic cultural collisions, East To West is one sumptuous moveable smorgasbord.