The mysterious afro-soul of the Shaolin Afronauts first echoed across dance floors in late 2008 and upon listening to their debut album on the UK's Freestyle label one might swear that they could not be of this land! But they are and Adelaide be their turf. And yes, they have graced the Womadelaide stage, winning hearts & minds along the way. Heavily inspired by the sounds of 1970's West Africa, Ethiopia and the pioneering avant-garde jazz artists of the same period, the Shaolin Afronauts draw on this innovative and sometimes volatile era in music, using it as inspiration to create the same fire and intensity. Though there is a refreshing and original air about the Afronauts, their music could be described as somewhere between Fela's heavy Afrobeat and the Ethio-Jazz of Mulatu Astatke. The key to the Afronauts' sound is an 11-strong line-up, which comprises a 3-piece horn section, 5-piece rhythm section and 3 percussionists. Their polyrhythmic approach layers the sound with mesmerizing and hypnotic textures.