If confusion is sex, Living Near Africa is porn. The title track starts innocently enough, but by the end we've had at least three Africans babbling in your ear—is one of them "not looking for oil" or are my ears deceiving me?—a saxophone solo and lots and lots of congas. This is no deep house groover, though: "Living Near Africa" is brimming with energy, almost ecstatic in its need to show off exactly how much it can take in without collapsing.
It's a lot. And the same goes for "Chanting Near Africa," which works many of the same sounds into the same lather—this time with kids instead of adults providing the majority of the vocals and an unlikely two note bassline holding things together. Alicante perhaps has more in common with Andomat 3000 than anyone else on Cécille—as both seem driven to take the considered side of tribal minimal and unload goofy and fun elements on top just to see what happens.
That's clearly not the case with Markus Fix and Robert Dietz, who turn up on the B-side with a mannered remake called "Near Africa," which presumably take elements from both. They slow things down to groove status and bring the congas up to the fore, making this palatable to any deep house DJ ready for a bit of African flavor. With what sounds like a digitally altered kora melting inside the left and right channel halfway through, we could probably use a lot more of it.
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Tracklist: Ilario Alicante - Living Near Africa A1 Living Near Africa
A2 Chanting Near Africa
B1 Near Africa (Markus Fix And Robert Dietz Remix)