Perhaps the greatest record in the Suns of Arqa discography, Seven was released in 1987 and was in fact the band’s fifth LP. With its stunning cover design and outlandishly ambitious sound, steeped in dub but festooned with plainchant and Indian music, it was alone in the market, its closest relatives maybe African Head Charge or New Age Steppers, but with a host of original ideas and musical intersections and an incredible, almost unthinkable cast of participants. Among the singers is the British singer-songwriter Helen Watson, punk poet John Cooper Clarke, talk-over star Prince Hammer, and comedic genius Professor Stanley Unwin, all of whom offer their unique and unconventional words to the dub stew. A powerhouse Jamaican rhythm section is filtered through sitar, shenai, santoor, and tabla, hurdy-gurdy and pennywhistle, strings and saxophone, all orchestrated by the inimitable Michael Wadada, founding father of Suns of Arqa. On this reissue, Seven’s first time available in the U.S., the LP’s cover has been restored to its initial glory for the first time on CD, and the original music is available complete in one package for the first time, adding five extra tracks not included on the LP.
1. Kyrie (3:22)
2. Ishwara (5:31)
3. The Truth lies, there in (5:36)
4. He did not die (2:19)
5. Pardisium in Dub (3:20)
6. Sunarqastra (4:13)
7. Give Love (Ras Michael) (4:33)
8. La Pucelle d’Orleans (3:07)
9. Kaliotalove (4:25)
10. Ark of the Arqans (4:45)
11. In Paradisium (3:19)
12. Les Anciens Mystiques (2:39)
13. Sisters of Wyrd (2:57)
14. Libera Me (3:31)
15. Govinda (I Wait Each Day To See You) (4:00)
16. Erasmus Meets the Earthling (5:49)
John Cooper Clarke (3, 4), Daniel Broad (1, 5, 11), Sanyogita Kumari (13), Prince Hammer (14); Professor Stanley Unwin (16); Helen Watson (7, 8, 9), Sarah Wildwitch (13), Denyse Macnamara (12); Colin Wood, cello (4); Moot Beret, saxophone, Hammond organ; John Perkins, (13, 15), Khalid (16), sitar; Cliff Stapleton, hurdy gurdy (12); Dids, percussion (5, 11); Danny Sheals, drums, penny whistle; Lizard Logan (3, 7, 9, 10, 16), Kendal Ernest (3, 8, 12, 13, 16), Wayne Worm (1, 4, 5, 11, 14), bass; James Young, (1, 5, 11), Steve Hopkins (14), keyboards; Wadada, sitar, sajoe, vocals; Gayan Uttejak Orchestra (2, 6).
Recorded at Sawmill Studio, Cornwall, and Elephant Studio, London. Mixed at Sawmill (except track 19, mixed at The Kitchen, Hulme, Manchester. Sleeve by Steve Cummings.
First released in 1987 on Arka Sound (Arka 7).
Prepared for CD release by Alex Inglezian, Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago.
CD design by David Giordano.
Publication editor, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Emily Letourneau.
CD produced by John Corbett.