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Beat The Border (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

This highly creative mix of Ugandan songs and laid-back rock should have been a disaster, since the genres meet on the field of ambient dreams — a woozy terrain amply littered with the rainsticks of fallen warriors. But expat Ugandan Geoffrey Oryema neither tries mainstreaming African sources to fit rock fissures nor piles extra beats and instruments on the heads of reluctant Western forms. Instead, like any good ambient technician, he subjugates every other element to the service of applying textures so palpably rich you wish you could drizzle them over sautéed vegetables. Just to prove it's not all dial twiddling, he kicks in with first-rate songwriting to boot.


Born: 16 April 1953 in Soroti, Uganda

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Most artists have to pay their dues, but very few have to be smuggled out of their birth countries to avoid death on the way. But for Geoffrey Oryema, that was the only way to survive. Born in Uganda, he was the son of a civil servant who was a police chief and then a cabinet minister and from his father he learned the local folk music, as well as the nanga (the harp), in addition to studying Western music in school. However, these were dangerous times in the country, with the mad dictator Idi Amin...
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Beat The Border (Bonus Track Version), Geoffrey Oryema
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