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AFRICA'S NOT FOR SISSIES (article first published : 2002-02-23)

Respected Durban musician Syd Kitchen has launched his watershed new CD - Africa is Not For Sissies.

"I believe that this is the best work I have ever done,” he admits. “I say this of the quality of songs, the issues that I am addressing, the musicians involved, and the conceptual maturity in the simplicity of the production.

"All have converged with the traversing influences and experiences that have flowed through and shaped my life (as a white Afro Saxon), and come together in Africa's Not For Sissies in a way that I think is very special. Call it synchronicity; call it intuition; call it Irish blarney; but something that I cannot explain conspired to bring a certain "magik" to this creation that has registered in all who have heard it.”

The recording process placed major focus on the songs and the clear articulation of Syd’s voice. Another emphasis was placed on natural sounds and discounting the use of electric bass, acoustic instruments were used throughout the album.

“My regular Amakool rhythm section was augmented on each track by certain guests who were chosen specifically for the "colour" of sound their instrument makes,” explains Syd. “This has brought a very classy, interesting spin to the mix. From the hosepipe flute of Pedro Espi Sanchis, to the accordion work of Greg Leisegang; the album is awash with interesting sounds that weave in and out of the songs. There are no guitar "hero" type histrionics from me. Where solos were required, they were generally given over to my guests. The songs were there to shine. Minimalism was the point of departure in terms of what was allowed in. If it didn't "happen", it didn't stay.”

Visit Syd Kitchen’s website at www.sydkitchen.com




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