INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Off The Tracks JANUARY 9, 2015 - by Simon Sweetman
AFRICA EXPRESS PRESENTS... TERRY RILEY'S IN C MALI
It's been fifty years since Terry Riley's magical/important/influential In C and here we have a fresh spin on it via Africa Express' recreation/tribute/rendition. It takes the concept, the mood, the mode and places it in an African context - or places an African context around In C.
Malian musicians - mostly playing traditional instruments - make all the right noises as a rhythmic mantra builds, shaped Brian Eno, Damon Albarn and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner with conductor Andre De Ridder.
Patterns start to weave across one another as electric guitars ride across the kora string lines, and so as much as this is a version of In C it feels like something (quite) brand new. Across its forty minutes there's so much movement within the idea of minimalism - there's even a snippet of African folksong interpolated into the Riley score.
Talking drums, koras and a whole new world of music have been transplanted into one of the most important contemporary-classical pieces of western music. So whether you arrive at this because of Riley or because of African music you'll find much to get caught up in. An intoxicating new twist on a defining piece of music.