Premiere: Mubashira Mataali Group – Emaali Ya Bamulekwa (Orphan’s Property)

Mubashira Mataali Group are among the proliferation of Ugandan mataali groups who are embracing the cultural shift and newfound accessibility that the once predominantly religious music now has.

After making an impression on Blip Discs founder Tom Blip at Bayimba Festival in Kampala, he invited the 25-strong group to record. The minimal production on the resulting EP showcases the contemporary quality of the music and its relevance to Western dance-floors today.

Steeped in Islamic culture and dating as far back as the seventh century, the affecting power of the mataali drum, alongside the distinctive devotional group vocals, played a central part in celebrations and worship. The stripped back production of ‘Emaali Ya Bamulekwa (Orphan’s Property)’ allows for the melody to take pride of place. Relaxed, joyous call and response vocals and the distinctive punctuated rhythmic style that hinges around a simplistic verse/chorus structure is, in essence, timeless.

Mubashira Mataali Group EP is out 30th March – buy from Bandcamp. Listen to clips from the rest of the EP on Soundcloud.

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