Night to Night
Geoffrey Oryema, 1996
Now comes 'Night to Night', best described as a 24-hour daydream, a soundtrack to a life taking in memories of the Ugandan capital Kampala's late-night bars, of evenings lulled by the sound of the seven-stringed nanga harp, and of love stolen away on the Eurostar.
Cajun producer/guitarist Daniel Lanois sings in remembrance of a woman called 'Christine', Oryema evokes an Everypoet figure on 'Miracle Man' and sings of the Parisian metro, where the outside is only bearable underground.
Expansive guitars and multi-textured percussion blend and vie with the whimsical, the melodic and the mesmeric. This is Geoffrey Oryema at his most universal, a man forever influenced by his African heritage but expressing himself in English and opening wide to Jean-Pierre Alarcen's pop rock roots. A unique talent whose musical identity has been established away from the confines of simple categorisation.
- The new set is an extraordinary tour de force... ...in which he drifts through accordion-backed French ballads, cajun styles, a medieval dream that mixes an African version of monastic chanting with effects that would impress Pink Floyd, gutsy African dance songs, and a mesmeric guitar-based track written, produced and performed by Daniel Lanois. He deserves to be heard. The Guardian (1996) (UK)
- ...a montage of striking and impressive sounds that envelope the senses and take you to another place. 19 February 1998 Rip It Up (Australia))
- ..a world of different songs as colourful as his own life story. December 1996/January 1997 Spirit Magazine (UK)
- While Oryemas voice can accommodate all of the native quavers and half-steps, its his knowledge of American pop delivery - from Otis Reddings gospel shouts to Teddy Pendergrasss suave asides - that makes Night To Night an uncommon delight. 25 April - 8 May 1997 Jam (USA)
- ...a tantalising mix of simple melodies... ...uncomplicated arrangements, economical percussion and dreamy vocals...Oryema will win new fans with this accomplished album. Folk Roots (1997) (UK)
- Night To Night plays like an hour in Oryemas head... ...with his thoughts drifting between his modern European existence and his African memories. CMJ (1993) (USA)
- ..intelligent songs and adventurous arrangements...This beautiful and haunting collection marks Oryema as a world-beat star in the making. February 1997 Replay (USA)
- ..the blend reinforces the transculturalism of Oryemas story. October/November 1997 Yoga Journal (USA)
- It has flashes of brilliance... ...and an abiding spirit of independence that you have to respect... CMJ New Music Report (1997) (USA)
- The exquisite, dreamy Night To Night...floats like a cloud, and while it is only occasionally loud, it packs a powerful punch. 20 June 1997 Orange County Register (USA)
- ..examples of the textural or timbral explorations that flow from Oryemas creative juices...find me another musician anywhere whos having half this much fun. The Beat (1997) (USA)
- ..a distinctive, indeed, unique sound... ...plays like fleeting memories of nights in the bars of Kampala, where anything might happen. The Beat Rhythm Music Magazine (1997) (USA)
- ..another step towards a spectacular mastery of fusion...the work of a man who can effortlessly weave together strands of Western and African styles and musics to create sounds and moods of breathtaking beauty. 10 January 1997 Hull Daily Mail (UK)
- ...an atmospheric and polished album... Dirty Linen (1997) (USA)