5. Amampondo – “Feel the Pulse of Africa”

This album was not purchased by me, but rather came along with my wife 🙂 As such, I have invited Catherine in to say a few words:

“The Amampondo album mostly collects dust on our shelf. It’s not my ‘go-to’ album when I’m in the mood for some African beats. But it was a good exercise to play it again and remind myself just what it’s all about. The band is South African and more specifically they have a Xhosa background.


This is their fourth album. I haven’t heard any of their other music though so I can’t make comparisons. This particular album is poorly recorded and a bit ‘plinky plonky’. I know that sounds a bit childish, but the depth of sound just isn’t there. There is a sameness to each track and not enough melody. Given how stirring and emotional other African musicians make percussion feel, this album is mostly disappointing.

One positive thing about this album is that it’s a technically good example of a very specific percussion style.

And the band themselves certainly have some significance in the music scene in South Africa. A quick search on Google reminded me that Amampondo were asked to play at Nelson Mandela’s seventieth birthday concert at Wembley and represented South Africa at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics.”

File under: Disappointing

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