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(ZIMBABWE, 1995) @
Oliver Tuku Mutukudzi is from Zimbabwe and with his unique Tuku beat has created his own brand of popular music. The music represents for the people of his country the ritual campfire around which the words of life are talked about. This has been lost in the transfer of the population into the urban centers. In his music he has melded Mbira, traditional mystical Shona music usually played on a thumb piano, with Mbaqanga, the South African stew made up of township jive, Jit, and other traditional elements. His brew is unique, combining the rural Mbira rhythms with the high-energy urban Mbaqanga. The result is a dance album with punch but without synthesized drum machines. He utilizes the Bantu African structure of interlocking patterns, thus creating a unified sound collage that is mesmerizing. This is how the Tuku beat becomes a dancing image of the life and spirit of the township. Trance and ecstasy overtake the dancer and he or she is one with the community ritual. The music unites the bush with the city and thus ameliorates the alienation from the roots of culture, a very important matter. His lead vocals, sung in Shona and English, tell the event he's describing and the response of the chorus confirm and enhance what has been sung. Listen to him sing "Kusaziva, " which means "Ignorance, " and "Hear Me Lord." It is a circle of song, of community, and mystical unity in the round. A truly mystical album with that South African danceable drive underpinning it all. Recommended.
Mark Romano, All Music Guide
por Goldstein, Amy; Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits; Walden, Lynette; Ganus, Paul; Mulkey, Chris; Downey, Morton, Jr.; Gomex, Jaime; Kraft, Scott; Smith, Brian J.;