Premiere: Msafiri Zawose – Chibitenyi

Soundway Records have always had a knack for bringing light to amazing sounds from global musical corners of all shapes and sizes. In Msafiri Zawose they have the leading figure in gogo music, the traditional music of the Wagogo people in Central Tanzania. Taking after his late father Hukwe; Zawose captivates on stage as he performs the music of his natives. However, Zawose takes us way beyond the bounds of his traditional sounds in his latest studio project.

With the help of SoundThread’s Sam Jones, Uhamiaji is an album which challenges and dismantles the very meaning of traditional music. Preserving its essence of instrumentation, rhythm and transient harmonies; the pair give Zawose’s gogo musical heritage a new cadence, introducing electronic textures and seamlessly transporting listeners and players alike, into new territories.

We’re delighted to give you the first listen to one of our picks from the album. Sounding as familiar as it does original, ‘Chibitenyi’ is a bona fide afro-futuristic journey, simultaneously nodding to both past, present and future. Zawose and Jone’s collaboration sparks elements of dub in distinct sub bass alongside jazzy discordant trumpet runs and melds contently with unwavering ngoma drums and chiming balafon (marimba). Choral chants, expressive vocal noises and compressed synths make up the ingredients in a mighty serving of afro-futuristic dub we just can’t get enough of.

Uhamiaji is released via Soundway Records 1st September and will be available on vinyl and digital formats. Pre-order your copy from Bandcamp now.

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