Robert Wyatt | REWIGLP44X | Released: 23/10/11
Originally released on Rough Trade in 1991, Dondestan was an entirely solo and somewhat subdued-sounding album of distinctly personal and openly political compositions, many of them arrangements of poems by his wife Alfie. Re-released in 1998, Dondestan (Revisited) is a re-mixed, re-sequenced and re-mastered version of the original that invites a total re-appraisal of what is now an album that ranks with the best that Robert has ever produced.
Wyatt claimed he "ran out of words" so by basing half of the album’s tracks on her beautifully fragmented lyrics, began a song writing collaboration with wife Alfie Benge that flourishes to this day.
Unlike its predecessor, Dondestan also reunites Wyatt with the top half of the drum kit, which makes for typically inventive, lively and reflective accompaniment. Overall Dondestan is understated in feel and has the most fireside and introverted ambience of Wyatt’s recordings. Occasionally desolate in its subject matter and composition its rewards and textures are many when allowed to seep in. Most engaging of all is the sense of bloody mindedness that was revealing itself in Wyatt’s ability to make records when, how and about whatever he wanted; a modus operandi that coincided with his reputation as an artist of phenomenal integrity, modesty and compassion.