V/A: 30.2 CD Syrphe
Subtitled ‘Electronic, Experimental, Ambient, Noise artists from Africa’, this is pretty much does what it says on the tin. With nine musicians from Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Morocco, Madagascar, Angola, South Africa and Algeria, it’s nice to see what this continent has to hold musically and more power to Syrphe for introducing this to us.
The ethnically influenced glitch induced ambient of Egypt’s Omar Raafat is up first with light electronic stutters in the programming that filter into his second track ‘Egyptian Heritage’, taking his own field recordings and subtly blending them into natural percussive sounds in a more than competent fashion.
The excellent Ynfl-X is up next with a warm blend of warping analogue and electronic smatterings of drum n’ bass. Produced to perfection, the harmonies and beats are blended well, without one overriding the other, providing one of the better tracks on this album; not to mention his more IDM tinged ‘Phreak’, which is no less impressive (and surely now an artist I will hunt out).
The rest of this release provides a more than worthwhile listening experience, another highlight being the synth driven ‘Obdurate’ from Kwerk and the marginally out of place (but no less enjoyable) Power Electronics of Hohner Comet; as with all compilations though, there is the odd booby prize to stop this from being an entirely brilliant selection.
That said, there is more than enough musical input here to make the electronic purist steer their attentions to the output from this mainly ‘unchartered’ location in the musical sense of the word.