Thursday, December 29, 2005


Thomas Mapfumo "Spirits to Bite Our Ears: The Singles Collection, 1977-1986" (DBK Works)

I woke up this morning to the sound of steady rain and a weak gray light at the window. The weathermap-in-motion courtesy of was a big green blur hovering over my little part of the world and not seeming to go anywhere.

The only way I could think of to drive away conditions like these was to put on this CD, which is obviously a collection of songs not recorded this year; forgive me. Even more than my choice for #5, this music sounds like what spring sunshine feels like. The multiple guitars (usually playing parts adapted from traditional mbira melodies) interlock in such an unspeakably delightful way, the drums bounce along in some interesting polyrhythms yet still swing and slay your dancing feet, Mapfumo's vocals lilt and fade in the mix, sounding both world-weary and wise. Most of the lyrics are about life in Zimbabwe, but "Nyamutamba Nemombe" is a dance in which people imitate the behavior of a provoked cow.

Still raining, though. . .


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