17/02/2008

Geoffrey Oryema - Beat the Border (1993)

«There's a quiet, contemplative side to African music, and it is from this lineage that Geoffrey Oryema's music emerges. Although his musical roots lie in Uganda, his work has been inspired by a myriad of influences, including those from other regions of Africa, a complete understanding of Western pop music and the need to define his own unique musical identity. Singing in both English and Acholi, Geoffrey possesses a silky-smooth, sumptuous voice that can flow from lower to upper registers like water. His songs range from moody ballads to tender soul musings - an orchestral mix of organic and electronic music. […]

Geoffrey's music is as affecting as his personal history. Growing up in war-torn Uganda during the height of Idi Amin's Reign of Terror, Geoffrey was the son of a governmental minister. Every night as a child in Kampala, Geoffrey would sit by his father's side and listen to him playing the nanga, a seven-string harp. He was lucky enough to grow up absorbing both the folk music of his culture through traditional routes and Western techniques through his schooling. However his family's position in Uganda's ruling class proved disastrous. In February 1977, at the age of twenty-four, Geoffrey's father was secretly assassinated and Geoffrey was forced to spend hours in the trunk of a car until he crossed the border safely into Kenya. Today, exiled in France, Oryema has emerged as the one of the most respected songwriters in Paris. […]

Geoffrey's sophomore release, Beat The Border, surrounds Oryema's soothing vocals with a spacious and virginal bed of synthesized and acoustic sounds. It was with Beat The Border that Geoffrey became one of the first world musicians to crossover into mainstream markets.» (RealworldUSA, read more)

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7 comments:

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Moses said...

I have had this album for several years, and I have to say that it is one of my absolute favorites. This never fails to elevate me beyond the mundane, to take me literally out of myself. Thanks for posting it!

Errol said...

thank you.

Pablo said...

Conocí a G Oryema a traves de su disco Exile, indescriptible, altamente recomendado.

Monica said...

Just stumbled upon this album. It's awesome. I lived in Uganda at the time as George. Does anyone know if he has two sisters, Margaret and Irene. They were good friends but lost contact after I left the country.

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arun said...

Oryema has emerged as the one of the most respected songwriters in Paris.
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