Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited - Mabasa (Earthworks, 1984)

In the spirit of eclecticism, I'll make posts today (as in more than one) (I hope), of music from two parts of the world that come together in that they often are very close to each other in playlists of mine. Especially in this never-ending summertime of la-la-land that is only now giving signs of autumn temperatures... 

From the first notes of this one, you're dancing. But Mapfumo and Co. know how to slow it down, there are some great ballads here, too. I really enjoy the mix of mbira and guitar you find on "Chemera Chaunoda," where Mapfumo sounds a lot like the singers on the Nonesuch Explorer album "Africa: Shona Mbira Music," my first African music purchase (besides Fela Kuti, maybe). Which makes sense, as Mapfumo and his group are from Zimbabwe, still known as Rhodesia when Paul Berliner recorded the music for the Nonesuch album. Given the lyrical content, it would seem that in 1984, all was not well with the people of post-independence Zimbabwe...a call to learn more. 

Here's a picture of the back cover, which gives you track titles and convenient English translations of lyrics:

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm... looks like you won't be able to read the lyrics on that back cover unless you have superhuman sight. Here's a link to the post where I got the image from; props to Afro Slabs for posting this album as well.