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...
Zulu violin dance from the mountains
4 hours ago