I recall, when I was travelling, one of the most dramatic and exicting events was entering a new country. Initially, there is all the bureaucracy of completing forms, locating the correct person/stamp/window to go with the form, changing currency, getting exit stamps, extrance stamps and navigating customs. Then you are greeted with the sights and sounds of a new destination, have to get used to the language, public transport, food and the people. It takes several days before the new becomes familar. It is an invigorating, overwealming experience and, for me, is one of the joys of travelling.
Figuratively, we enter a new country on this musical quest through Africa. Guinea-Conakry, not Guinea-Bissau, is nestled on the West African coast between Sierra Leone and Liberia, in the South, Mali and Senegal in the North, and Ivory Coast in the West. It was part of French West Africa until it gained independence in 1958, it was not until 1984 that Lansana Conté became the first President and Diarra Traoré Prime Minister following a peaceful coup that ended nearly 30 years of autocratic rulers.
Today’s post is on Syli Authentic, a band comprising of students of aged between 14 and 16, which considering the beauty and complexity of the music is a real shock. It sound like experienced and highly competent musicians have recorded this LP. The release is on the well known and highly influencial Syliphone record label.
This has really opened my eyes to the sounds that were coming out of Guinea, that warrant further exploration. It feels like I have just set foot into a new and wonderful place.
Syli Authentic – Dans L’Arène (1976) – Editions Syliphone Conakry (SLP 57)