Exile This title is no joke. Oryema grew up the son of a wealthy bureaucrat in Idi Amin's Uganda; when the dictator was overthrown, Oryema senior… Exile This title is no joke. Oryema grew up the son of a wealthy bureaucrat in Idi Amin's Uganda; when the dictator was overthrown, Oryema senior… Geoffrey Oryema World
Music Review

Exile (1991)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Lead Performance: Geoffrey Oryema; Genre: World

This title is no joke. Oryema grew up the son of a wealthy bureaucrat in Idi Amin's Uganda; when the dictator was overthrown, Oryema senior was assassinated and Geoffrey was smuggled to Kenya in a car trunk. Now based in France, where he has forged alliances with a number of Western rock musicians, Oryema has created an aching meditation on banishment, sung in his native Swahili. Half the cuts on Exile are moody, rolling folk-rock, with subtle backing from art-pop pals like Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel. More traditional pieces feature Oryema's soft crooning accompanied by thumb piano and the seven-string Ugandan harp known as the nanga. This is a quietly startling record, best heard way past midnight when a troubled world seems to offer no quarter. A-

Originally posted Apr 12, 1991 Published in issue #61 Apr 12, 1991 Order article reprints