The Source Afro Celt Sound System ECC/Planet The excessive wait for an album of fresh material from the Afro Celt Sound System, prolonged by what appears to be an irreconcilable schism between band personnel, has exasperated fans. Their frustration has been relieved by the release of a 20th-anniversary offering — the first studio recording under the collective moniker since 2005’s 10th birthday album, Anatomic. Further cause for optimism comes with reports that it’ll be followed soon by a counter-release from the breakaway Afro Celts, led by several original members. If Born is half as good as The Source, long-time followers should be ecstatic. Founder Simon Emmerson’s decision to augment his core band with a stellar guest list has more than offset the absence of the aforementioned players. The resident West African section of djembe/talking drum and kora/balafon virtuosos has been consolidated with a Guinean female vocal quintet. The Irish component of the Celtic part of the equation is expanded via cameos from three distinguished uillean pipers/whistle players and a gun fiddler. Members of Shooglenifty boost the Scottish presence, along with an eight-piece female Glaswegian choral group and a new resident bagpiper cum Gaelic rapper, Griogair Labhruidh. Johnny Kalsi’s dynamic dhol drumming continues to add Indian spice to the mix. If the arranging is a tad unbalanced on the opening three tracks, producer Emmerson’s deployment of this not inconsiderable firepower is spot on thereafter. All elements combine magnificently in the meditative, moody and multi-phased Where Two Rivers Meet and the suitably climactic finale, Kalsi Breakbeat. The Afro Celt Sound System’s most expansive album to date retains the band’s renowned energy while tapping fresh creative inspiration.