18 June 2010



Travelogue - Out of Africa 1 Page 1 file:///C%7C/Web%20Sites/%7Bshort%20description%20of%20image%7D
Produced by e-LAB
No.Tracks 99
Playing Time 69:35
Audio CD
Released 1996

Most of us I suspect would love to leave our normal environment for a while and persue our interests in a foreign climate, to experience the differences in a different culture and way of life. Unfortunately for most of us the opportunity will never arise. For those involved in the music production and particularly in the art of sampling this robs us of the chance to introduce original and very different samples to blend in with our style of music that we try to produce.

All is not lost however !, enter a solution. Bengt Berger, spent two years living, recording and playing with the people of Ghana, wandering around with a DAT recorder he captured the sounds and atmospherics of music and life in a culture and environment probably very different from 99% or more of those people reading this review.

The CD starts with an incredible 9 (yes nine !) "preview tracks", which must be an all time record. There is anther at the end as well, although this at least is of a genuine preview of Travelogue 2. I can live with a short demo track on a sample CD, there is a massive amount of work involved in producing one of these CD's, and the creator wishes to show off their work to the listener to demonstrate the possibilities of their material. But 10 previews (albeit short ones) plus a 55 second test tone means that nearly 8 minutes of the CD is given over to non sample material. Which is quite a chunk of a CD.

At least it doesn't state here that you can't sample the preview tracks like many sample CD's do - but I am sure that isn't the intention. At least by the time the samples start at track 10 you've a real good idea of what to expect !

Some of the samples are presented as in a left/right only manner - you get differing samples either side of the stereo spectrum. This does make it rather more difficult to preview and record the samples, especially as they are interspersed with normal samples. So you find yourself constantly needing to refer to the track listing and fiddle with the balance to preview the track, then repeat this to listed to the other sample. It is a good way to cram more onto a CD of course, but in this case I feel less previews and taking advantage of some of the free space could have meant more could have been crammed on using normal methods.

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