A new album titled The Source by Afro Celt Sound System is the focus of a dispute between various members of the band. According to The Source’s publicist, “The current line-up of the band features original members including founder Simon Emmerson, N’Faly Kouyaté, Johnny Kalsi and Jamie Reid and they have also included Moussa and Mass as part of the band as they’ve been with ACSS since the second album.
There are 14 Afro Celt musicians on the new album The Source who have played with the band past, present and future. Jamie Reid has returned as their visualizer and in house artist. Griogair has joined as the new member and is a core part of the band and there are other world class musicians who join them on stage.
The press release continues: “Simon Emmerson believes that as the founding member of ACSS he has rights to the name and to the ACSS partnership but unfortunately, the partnership has come to an end. He is continuing to perform as ACSS because he believes he has rights to the name. He made repeated attempts to resolve the matter but due to the refusal of the others to work toward unity; it has become a matter to be decided by the Courts.
The new Afro Celt Sound System website has lots of information about the band, live shows and the new album The Source: www.afroceltsoundsystem.ORG.UK”
The name of the band of The Source appears as 2016: Afro Celt Sound System. Meanwhile, World Music Central received a statement from another version of Afro Celt Sound System that states the following:
“For the record, we wish to state that the soon-to-be-released album ‘The Source’, originated by departed co-founder Simon Emmerson and two other former members of this band, will never be accepted or recognised by us as a legitimate Afro Celt Sound System album.
As many are already aware, this was a recording project started in secrecy, an act that not only threatened the livelihood and careers of the remaining Afro Celt Sound System band members, but also, as we now know, has saddened and disillusioned many of our friends, fans and business associates around the world.
There is very little to celebrate about music made in such a manner.
We had no objection to Emmerson’s recording project being released under his name with the addition of “formerly of Afro Celt Sound System” or something consistent with his withdrawal from the band. Instead he has chosen to use only the band name and release his album on his own record label, ECC Records, set up with multi-millionaire Mark Constantine of Lush Cosmetics. The damage and confusion being caused by this, as well as the betrayal felt by his former colleagues and fellow musicians, could easily have been avoided had this new group been called by another name. This issue of who is entitled to the name is now being dealt with in the UK High Court.
Afro Celt Sound System has always been about creating its own original music. This is the main reason why the band has become internationally renowned, not because of any one individual. Our unique blend of musical integrity, innovation and craftsmanship has been the single most important factor behind the band’s achievements over the past two decades.
The release continues: “The remaining co-founders of the group, James McNally and Martin Russell, have been responsible for the creation of the majority of the band’s music. Without their involvement it comes as no surprise that ‘The Source’ contains non-original material – music that has already been performed and recorded numerous times by others. It is also no surprise to find this recently-formed line-up performing very little music from the back catalogue in their ongoing live shows.
We’d like to thank the distinguished previewers of this album, recent concert-goers and many others who have contacted us to show support and share their disappointment, not only in what has happened, but also with regard to what they have heard so far. It is obvious that three ex-members of the band does not Afro Celt Sound System make.
As stated, this unfortunate dispute will have to be resolved in the UK High Court where we believe that justice and truth will prevail, but whatever the final outcome of the situation, we categorically state our belief that ‘The Source’ will never merit a legitimate place alongside our previous work – music that was once made with love, honesty, respect and integrity.”
The James McNally and Martin Russell version of Afro Celt Sound System has announced the release of a new album titled Born.