The brainchild of electronic musician Eddie Mackel, 'Middle Passage' is a collective of musicians and vocal artists who perform music conceived, written, arranged & produced by this super talented percussionist and synthesist! The first CD, 'Diaspora', released in 2002 on BOCEPHUS Records, features such hits as 'Deep, 'Reparation', 'Ansari', 'Free' & 'Ordeal'. This great CD is just the beginning of some very cool music to come. The second CD, 'Stone Jungle' is soon to be completed and promises to be another tour-de-force! The synthesizer work alone on both these gems is enough to warrant a good listen. Eddie Mackel has finally brought his musical vision to the masses! The Middle Passage Story: As anyone who knows Eddie Mackel can attest, he's been known primarily as a percussionist in the Chicago music scene. His reputation as a drumming prodigy goes way back to his pre-teen years, having played with many of the city's best musicians. But these days it's more of a recording thing with him. 'In the studio I'm able to work with the players I admire most as artists without interference and with utmost confidence', says Eddie. He began playing samplers and synthesizers several years ago as a new way to express himself musically and sonically. Having a pretty good knowledge of the keyboard it was a natural progression. A lot of what you hear on 'Diaspora', was created using synths, samplers, controllers, guitars, ethnic percussion, effects, vocals and a Mac computer. 'I also wanted to make sure the drums on this recording represented my own drumming style as much as possible, yet, I didn't want this to be just a drummers record'. 'I wanted to make a recording that represents my musical mentality at the time'. The name 'Middle Passage' originated as a term given to the slave trade routes by slave ship captains. The word 'Diaspora' is an ancient Hebrew term meaning 'the scattering of a people'. The reasons for naming the band 'Middle Passage' and this first recording 'Diaspora' are significant and culturally relevant. As a sort of slave trade still exists in the world today depending on how you look at it. Musically, it's a reflection of the many influences of a true music visionary!