April 30, 2010

Xème Festival

I will try and control myself with the superlatives on this one. This is not easy when dealing with a release on the Syliphone label.

I was recently reading an article* about what appears to be one of the side-effects of the digital 'revolution' of the last twenty years: the enormous loss in dynamics. In digitising older lp's and cassettes I am used to seeing quite a wide dynamic range in the recording tool. When I first heard the digital conversions of the Syliphone records by Syllart, I was immediately struck by the enormous loss of dynamics compared to the vinyl versions. Here you can find an example of "Gön Bia Bia" by le Nimba de N'Zerekore. There are certainly more spectacular examples; personally I have difficulty surpressing my tears when I hear the seriously mauled Syllart versions of Sory Kandia Kouyaté's songs. But I think the versions of the Nimba song should give you an idea of how compression can (in my opinion: dramatically) change a song.

All this brings me to the subject of this post: another superior release on the Syliphone label. In this case another collection from the Festival Culturel National. Again the album features federal orchestras; in order of appearance: Sombory Jazz from Fria, Bafing Jazz from Mamou, Palm Jazz from Macenta, Camayenne Sofa from Conakry II, Niandan Jazz from Kissidougou, Kolima Jazz from Labé and Sorsonnet Rythm from Boké.

This is a nice album all round, but if I have to name favourites I would mention "Zimai" by Palm Jazz for their freshness and uncomplicated approach (with a touch of humour) and "Dho Welilan" by Kolima Jazz. The latter is something of a signature tune of this orchestra, and - if I am not mistaken - this is the original version.
But on another day I might have mentioned "Nana" by Sombory Jazz (this time in a sung version - the instrumental version is on SLP 54 "Musique sans paroles"), or the driving "Sira" by Sorsornet Rythm....

Syliphone SLP 50

*I can also recommend the videos...


Kostas from Greece said...

Another one EXCELLENT album...thank you so much...All the best!!!

reservatory said...

THANKS for this one, just about the last Syliphone LP on my list. Thanks also for the article and Nimba sample. The first piece of Syliphone vinyl I heard was indeed a big surprise - almost dub quality bass. Anyway, keep up the (extremely) good work!

david said...

Very generous and informative post, and many thanks.

Jaime said...

Looks great, thank you very much!

joe said...

Just a ton of fascinating info found exploring the cdmaster links. I was pretty fascinated by the "What Happens When My Song is Played on the Radio" link; it really helps to explain why FM in Chicago is getting harder and harder to listen to. Many thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

This may not be connected. But i am seeking some assistence, please.

Is there someone who can provide the actual lyrics? Mine below may not be wrong! i speak Kiswahili but not Lingala.

The song was by Dr. Nico Kassanda regarding Congo's independence:

Tunayeba na mibale
Sisi watoto wa Kongo
Na kwa Afrika yote
Leo Kongo ni huru ...
Emergy wa Baba!
Lumumba wa Mama!
Mtoto mpendwa wa Kongo
Hadithi yako itabaki siku zote
Emergy wa Baba,
Lumumba wa Mama!