Music from Barotseland

Track 8 from 'Siyemboka Music': Nibi Ya Mwa Buse, by Nasiyongo Cultural Group

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Music from Barotseland

Media book containing 4 CDs and a 48-page booklet

The administrative entity Western Province, one of ten provinces in Zambia, is also known as Barotseland. Despite years of efforts by central government in Lusaka to bury the notion of Barotseland, there is ever a clear sense of nationhood, at the head of which is the King - the Litunga - and the national language siLozi. And a lot of magnificent music sounding out an own identity! Recorded by Michael Baird. And the four cds are: SWP 059 'Siyemboka Music', SWP 060 'The Barotse Guitar', SWP 061 'Kangombio Silimba Jazz', SWP 062 'Drums, Voices, Sticks'. 

The complete party that is siyemboka music, the national music of Barotseland, with a silimba xylophone and several drums. There is also a beautiful Barotse Guitar style, unknown outside of Zambia. Then an album of mixed jazzy music: a young virtuoso solo silimba player, followed by three venerable old men playing the magical kangombio thumb-piano), and a hard grooving, good-time band with selfmade instruments. The fourth album is comprises a collection of fine drumming, and wonderful vocals, sometimes accompanied by sticks on wood, sometimes by friction sticks. This is hardcore, this is the real Barotse thing, no compromises here!


SWP 059 'Siyemboka Music': 1. Lipepo Katimulozi, by Kapata Culture Group, 2. Ushilikanuke Utambule Muhole, by Kapata Culture Group, 3. Mike Yekaulenge Inongoma, by Kapata Culture Group, 4. Nikaipangula, by Mumbumbu Cultural Group, 5. Sibonita, by Mumbumbu Cultural Group, 6. Babanyezwi Balushupa, by Silimwa Selected, 7. Mwalibali Kimasila/Wayawanisiya Lokoto, by Silimwa Selected, 8. Nibi Ya Mwa Buse, by Nasiyongo Cultural Group, 9. Kunyala Mwana Muloi, by Nasiyongo Cultural Group, 10. Chalala Chalala, by Yuka Royal Cultural Group, 11. Mbunga, by Kwalela Crew, 12. Silimo, by Libala & Kapoba.

SWP 060 'The Barotse Guitar': 1. Ma Mundia, by Lipa Band, 2. Toninge Silami, by Lipa Band, 3. Jealous Yende, by Lipa Band, 4. Sibeze Sizegelo, by Lipa Band, 5. Ba Liseli Mueza Hande, by Lipa Band, 6. Tate, by Libala Band, 7. Lisungu, by Libala Band, 8. Masholi, by Libala Band, 9. Musipili, by Libala Band, 10. Libita, by Libala Band, 11. Purity, by Mufalo Mukelabai, 12. Mashelen’i, by Barotse Band, 13. Musike Mwanishanda, by Barotse Band, 14. Chongono, by Libala Band, 15. Likungumbenje, by Libala Band.

SWP 061 'Kangombio Silimba Jazz': 1. Kuwabile, by Pelekelo Mufalo, 2. Saba Silumba, by Pelekelo Mufalo, 3. Libazhi, by Pelekelo Mufalo, 4. Makaliwon, by Collens Shawinga, 5. Nzona Nandona Mutimake, by Collens Shawinga, 6. Zamahala Zinata Kale, by Collens Shawinga, 7. Naikela Mula Laundi, by Alfred Chiyembele, 8. Ngila Ya Mumbezhi, by Alfred Chiyembele, 9. Chiyembele instrumental, by Alfred Chiyembele, 10. Machurch Nimwawo, by Alban Kateta Kapemba, 11. Mushiengo, by Alban Kateta Kapemba, 12. Weririwo, by Alban Kateta Kapemba, 13. Mariana, by Alban Kateta Kapemba, 14. Sa Kayombo, by Ulengo Jazz Band, 15. Muzwe, by Ulengo Jazz Band, 16. Mutahe, by Ulengo Jazz Band.

SWP 062 'Drums, Voices, Sticks': 1. Mulumele Mulemele, by Mboanjikana Cultural Group, 2. Mboanjikana Sizo, by Mboanjikana Cultural Group, 3. Tuhumwelele Kanjonja, by Mboanjikana Cultural Group, 4. Kwatene Kubingoma Basizo Baneza, by Mboanjikana Cultural Group, 5. Kulemesa Chisemwa Chetu, by Chiweka Dancing Cultural Group, 6. Ngombo, by Chiweka Dancing Cultural Group, 7. Ivwa Mwanami Mwailia, by Chiweka Dancing Cultural Group, 8. Iyaze Mwa Ngusabula, by Yuka Royal Cultural Group, 9. Mwatatengu Nakapanda Bulozi, by Yuka Royal Cultural Group, 10. Tulandula, by Libala Cultural Group, 11. Tukonkobele Suite, by Sibupiwa Cultural Group, 12. Ndele Ku Batonesha, by Sibupiwa Cultural Group, 13. Kachacha, by Chiweka Dancing Cultural Group.

review Afropop 2020 (USA), about both 'Luangwa to Livingstone' and 'Music from Barotseland': "Baird’s laser focus on Zambia, his childhood home, and his dedication to recording otherwise impossible-to-find music, in the field, puts him in a special category. My hat goes off to him for producing his most ambitious project to date: eight albums of his Zambian recordings packaged in two elegant booklets—four CDs per volume—with extensive notes about each track and a fine collection of photographs to boot. These albums offer a dazzling array of southern African drumming, choral singing, rootsy guitar and xylophone traditions, and disappearing lamellophone styles."

review NRC Handelsblad 2020 (NL), about both 'Luangwa to Livingstone' and 'Music from Barotseland': “SWP Records bracht in maart 2 boeken met totaal 8 cds en een elpee uit. Het staat vol fascinerende, maar voor Europese oren onwennige Zambiaanse muziek. Van duimpiano’s tot 5 meter lange xylofoons gemaakt van junglemateriaal en eensnarige muziekbogen.” “SWP Records released 2 books with 8 cds and an lp last March. They are full of fascinating, but for European ears, unfamiliar Zambian music. From thumb-piano’s to 5 meter long xylophones made with jungle materials and one-stringed music bows.”

review Blogfoolk 2020 (IT): “Siamo sicuri che queste due raccolte della SWP Records potranno rappresentare in futuro un riferimento per gli studi di musica tradizionale, perché presentano un corpus di musiche, strumenti e saperi musicali, anche inediti, accuratamente selezionati.“ “We are sure that these two collections of SWP Records will represent in the future a reference for traditional music studies, because they present a body of music, instruments and musical knowledge, never before published, carefully selected.”