Beat the Border

Geoffrey Oryema, 1993

Beat the Border was Geoffrey Oryema's second album for Real World Records. One of the cornerstones of this recording is French guitarist Jean-Pierre Alarcen, who wrote the music for "Hard Labour" and co-composed "The River." He is joined by producers Bob Ezrin and David Bottrill.

On this album, the powerful roots of Oryema's African heritage have a more subtle influence on his music. The songs are now more universal, expressed in English, his second language, and influenced by Alarcen's pop-rock roots.


  • ...fleeting rhythms and thumb pianos... ..moves between rural Africa, with its fleeting rhythms and thumb pianos, and an accessible international style, all neat harmonies and acoustic guitars, that gives rein to his love of medium tempos and sooting melodies. Q Magazine (1993) (UK)
  • Another strong contender for the top world music recording of ‘’s very easy on the western ear... and his voice is gentle and almost impossibly deep. April/May 1994 Voice Peninsula (UK)
  • ...he has a voice richer than the Sultan of Brunei and sings in whispers of African, new age and ambient beauty. 15 September 1993 What’s On, London (UK)
  • An album for all those interested in mellow, mature rock with a twist. November 1993 Vox (UK)
  • ..a harmonious marriage between traditional and Western influences. Billboard (1994) (USA)
  • Inspirational. Albums of the Year...the best current bet to cross over. Q Magazine (1994) (UK)
  • Sung half in Acholi, half in English, it manages to be traditional in an untraditional manner. New Internationalist (1994) (UK)
  • ..contemplative arrangements and soothing melodies that saunter around a winning-formula... Folk Roots (1994) (UK)
  • Eno’s influence has produced music which is immensely accessible...This is music which floats. It is music which seems to reach into some kind of mythic heartland and quietly expresses worlds of seductive meaning which hover between exuberance and immense sadness. 27 December 1993 Smh The Guide (Australia)