Edi Niederlander
Ancient Dust

Ancient Dust

Tracks:

  1. Ancient Dust Of Africa (3:47)
  2. The Gypsy Dance (3:16)
  3. A Woman Is Like An Ocean (5:14)
  4. Lady Illusion (3:33)
  5. Mabel (Mahogany Eyes) (2:46)
  6. Come Wi Goh Dung Deh (3:23)
  7. The Wheel (3:46)
  8. Bitter Fruit (4:09)

All songs by Edi Niederlander, except 'Come Wi Goh Dung Deh' by Linton Kwesi Johnson

Produced by Edi Niederlander and Paddy Lee Thorp
Recorded by Kevin Shirley

Musicians:

  • Edi Niederlander: Acoustic guitar, electric guitars, vocals, synthesizers
  • Richard Pickett: Drums
  • Tim Parr: Lead guitar on 'Mabel'
  • Valda Führ: Piano on 'A Woman Is Like An Ocean'
  • Kevin Shirley: Lindrum programme on 'A Woman Is Like An Ocean'

Release information:

1985, Mountain Records (MOULP (V)40)

Review:

If Johnny Clegg met Annie Lennox in Steve Newman's lounge, who knows, theymay just put on Edi Niederlander's 'Ancient Dust' to listen to. Then againmaybe not as I've heard that Steve Newman lives in a house with noelectricity.

Not the most prolific of artists with only 3 albums in about 15 years, Editends to go for quality rather than quantity. Opening with the classic'Ancient Dust of Africa' which peaked at number 16 on the Radio 5 charts,the album contains 8 tracks of beautiful, acoustic led tunes textured withsome laid back electric guitar which all belies the undercurrent of anger,sexual tension and political tirade.

The rhythms of this album are exceptional. 'Ancient Dust of Africa' ebbsand flows like a calm ocean while the cyclical rhythm of 'The Wheel' fitsin with its title. The cover of Linton Kwesi Johnson's 'Come wi goh dungdeh' features some jerky strums and 'guitar bongos' that make it edgy.'Mabel (Mahogany Eyes)' is a rocker somewhat in the Status Quo mould andfeatures some fine guitar work from Tim Parr.

The opening lines to 'Bitter Fruit' ('Bitter be the fruit of an angry land/when bitter be the seed it sow') are as relevant today as they were in1986, probably more so. Along with 'The Wheel' and 'Come wi goh dung deh'these songs form the nucleus of the political content of the album and,despite the changes in the country in the intervening years, all remainpertinent.

But why the reference to Johnny Clegg, Annie Lennox and Steve Newman in theopening paragraph other than a cheeky tipping of the hat to "Brian Currin'sbeginner's guide to writing CD reviews" (see the Mel Botes review in issueno. 118)? Well the guitar work is quite similar to Steve Newman's style,there is a feel of Johnny Clegg's rootsy afrorock sound, especially hisearly Juluka work, to the songs and Edi's voice has that strong resonancethat rocketed Annie Lennox to fame. A quite special album.

(John Samson - SA Rockdigest #120, September 2001)

Webpage: Edi Niederlander

All info supplied by John Samson, May 2002.


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