528. Thomas Mapfumo – “Choice Chimurenga”

Our collection is smattered with CDs reflective my wife’s heritage.  This is a collection of tunes from her birthplace – Zimbabwe –  from that country’s most prominent musician.

a Album cover Thomas Mapfumo Choice Chimurenga CD reviewThis is a compilation of tracks from across various albums.  Mapfumo originated Chimurenga – struggle music.

It’s all sung in the Shona language, so I can’t say much about the content (beyond what I’ve read in the brief liner notes).  But, he’s done enough to piss Mugabe off and be forced into exile.

Musically, the tracks are distinctly Zimbabwean, built as they are around mbiras (those funky little thumb piano thingies).  The rhythms are hypnotic, and Mapfumo vocal style is similarly enveloping with a strong rhythmic drive.

At times, he steps over into the reggae space with ease (as this video captures, this matches up very well with his look too):

For struggle music, this is extremely pleasant listening.

File under: Embrace it bro

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