Sunday, May 09, 2010
Syli Authentic-Dans l'arene
This is absolutely one of my favorite records of all time. Mark J discovered a completely fucked up copy sitting around in Worksound on one of the turntables and proceeded to freak out about it for around a year. I digitized it one night using a usb turntable he bought specifically for the purpose of preserving the amazing sounds on it. However, due to its poor condition (there was literally a fucking coffee mug ring singed into the vinyl on one side from somebody leaving their soggy Starbucks cup on it for days) and the fact that we were drinking straight vodka out of giant tumbler glasses with no ice that night, there were more than a few questionable moments on the emerging transfer. Nevertheless, since then I've listened to that recording as many times as I have any Radiohead record... Which is to say, a lot.
Thankfully, someone who has their shit together a little more than Mark or I was able to dig up a pristine version, complete with the original artwork, and shoot it through the internet tubes for me to stumble upon.
Dans l'arene IS NOT just another High-life or JuJu record. At just over a half hour it lacks some of the more meandering qualities of other vintage African guitar music, the likes of which is traditionally relegated to the role of background music at grad school backyard BBQ's. There is something melancholy here, almost mournful, lurking in the melodies. The production is unique, the voices and guitars arresting. I'd HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to anyone, especially those who are close to giving up on music altogether.