Multi-instrumentalist and Freedonia Music proprietor Jay Zelenka emails with word of the St. Louis-based label's first release of 2009: KalimbaMania, a CD reissue of a 1989 session by Exiles, Zelenka's long-running duo with keyboardist Greg Mills.
KalimbaMania was issued originally on LP by Esfoma Music; this new version is digitally remastered from the original studio tapes and includes 21 minutes of additional recording from the same time period. In all, the session features 10 duet improvisations, with both Zelenka and Mills on kalimbas and electronics, and Mills playing piano and organ as well. Electronic pitch transform programs from a Yamaha SPX-90 are used to alter the sounds in several pieces.
Restoring the material from the 20-year-old studio masters was "a challenge," said Zelenka. "We had to start by "baking the tapes" to re-adhere the magnetic coating to the acetate before repairing and re-mastering the audio." You can hear audio samples of a number of KalimbaMania tracks and/or purchase the CD via the Freedonia Music Web site.