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.

Reviews

  • 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 Oryema’s voice can accommodate all of the native quavers and half-steps, its his knowledge of American pop delivery - from Otis Redding’s gospel shouts to Teddy Pendergrass’s 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 Oryema’s 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 Oryema’s 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 Oryema’s creative juices...find me another musician anywhere who’s 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)