Malawi Grooves 1950, ’57, ’58
(180 grs vinyl LP)
Malawi 1950, '57, '58, recordings by Hugh Tracey
Despite Madonna’s adoptive meanderings, Malawi is still not fashionable. These crystal clear recordings of incredibly hip music show that it should be – for all music lovers, especially worldmusic and African music fans, in fact for anyone looking for inspiration and beauty. This album with grooves by Cewa, Mang’anja, Tumbuka, and Tonga musicians represents only some of Malawi’s many rich musical cultures. Eight of the fifteen tracks on this album feature the bangwe board zither, an amazing seven-stringed instrument that is sometimes strummed and sometimes plucked. Plus pure wizardry by a tuned likhuba drum ensemble, a magical magogodo xylophone duet, an extraordinary big band of malipenga kazoos, and excuisite a capella singing by both men and women. 15 tracks taken from the CDs SWP 013 and 014:
Side A: 1. Dale Wangu Ukamunyenga Masotho, by Beti Kamanga, 2. Suzgu Muyaya, by Beti Kamanga, 3. Timba, by Limited Mfundo Phiri, 4. Tabiya, by Limited Mfundo Phiri, 5. O Jere, by Visanaza Women, 6. Wenda M'Manja M'Manja, by Elefala Jeremiah Mbewe, 7. Ndadza Apa Ndiama, by Bifi Phiri & friend, 8. Amalume, by Dedza Secondary School Choir. Total 18'47"
Side B: 1. Misozi, by Visanaza women, 2. Manyanda, by Benson Phiri & band 3. Kulila Kwa Ng'oba, by Lonesi Chewane & Joni Hetera, 4. Likhuba Drums I, by Bauleni Zhuau & friends, 5. Tisimbi Wasauka, by Afredi Phiri, 6. Ndalama Ndi Satana, by Beti Kamanga, 7. Mbaya Mwana Wane Mabutya Cimbwe, by Tankadi Mbuluwundi & friends. Total 18'46"
Songlines 2017 (GB): "The music is approaching 70 years old.....but it sounds as fresh as if it was done yesterday. Every track stands out, and the ambient quality of the recording gives a palpable sense of entering another physical and cultural terrain."