INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Classic Rock DECEMBER 2014 - by David Hutcheon
AFRICA EXPRESS PRESENTS... TERRY RILEY'S IN C MALI
A West African celebration of ther minimalist classic's golden anniversary
Their most fruitful adventure yet, Africa express's 2013 trip to Mali has already produced one album and uncovered Songhoy Blues, but who saw this coming? André Ridder, a classical conductor and Damon Albarn collaborator since Gorillaz and Monkey: Journey To The West, invited sixteen other musicians (mostly Malians yet to make a name in Europe, but also Nick Zinner, Jeff Wootton and Brian Eno) to bring something new to Terry Riley's fifty-year-old minimalist piece In C, in which fifty-three musical phrases are played, in order, while allowing each musician to improvise. A recipe for a benign anarchy, it is full of sublime moments as balafon (providing the pulse introduced by Steve reich), flutes, kora, thumb pianos, Albarn's melodica, take the spotlight then drift back into the mix. Played alongside Riley's original, it is mind-expanding (you don't even need to synch them).