Wednesday, May 02, 2007
AUTHENTICITE: THE SYLIPHONE YEARS (1965-80)
Here comes what is likely to be the African re-issue of the year. Its been lovingly compiled and detailed by Graeme Counsel and should be put directly onto your MUST BUY list.
"AUTHENTICITE: THE SYLIPHONE YEARS (1965-80)"
When the French colonial administration pulled out of Guinea in 1958, they took everything: all their medicines, blueprints to the electricity grid, furniture, telephones, even the cutlery. It seemed that the passionate cry of soon-to-be president, Sekou Toure - made while addressing a public rally and standing right next to De Gaulle - of "We prefer freedom in poverty to riches in chains" had become more true than perhaps even he had hoped.
Undaunted and with optimism and vigour, the new government set about rebuilding the country. They established a campaign that encouraged artists to create new works, but based on traditional African roots. The policy was called authenticite, music was its focus and Syliphone its record label. Thus Syliphone found itself in the right place at the right time - a special moment in African history when a new nation asserted itself and placed music at the forefront of its identity.
This 2CD set "Authenticite - the Syliphone Years" features gems from their catalogue, most of which are on CD for the first time, and gives you an insight into the incredible energy of the times. All the great bands are here, with key songs from such legendaries as Bembeya Jazz National, Keletigui et ses Tambourinis, and Balla et ses Balladins. Also here are rare recordings from their contemporaries such as Syli Authentic, and Kebendo Jazz; groups that battled for honours against more than 30 others in Guinea's renowned arts festivals, where a 1st Prize could launch a band to stardom.
Times like these can't last - and they didn't. But while they did, the party was jumping and the music was glorious.
at 6:45 AM