Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

03 June 2013

Zimbabwe




Formed in 1977, the seven-piece Kasongo Band was comprised of former Zimbabwean liberation fighters who were forced to seek exile in Tanzania before Zimbabwe’s independence. This is a great example of chimurenga from Zimbabwe. But not the typical chimurenga. Perhaps because the Kasongo Band started out while in exile in Tanzania, they picked up local influences of other East African music that helped shape their distinctive chimurenga sound.


After returning to Zimbabwe in 1980, the Kasongo Band scored a number of hits singles throughout the 80s, while their 1989 album Soko Murehwa sold more than 45,000 copies, leading them to a Group of the Year award from a local club.

The band name on the back of the cover is Knowledge Kunenyathi & Kassongo Band, highlighting the leader of the band, Knowledge K. Kunenyathi. He went solo shortly after this record was cut. Some of his songs were featured on the Zimbabwe Frontline Three. Ketai, the bands original leader, had already gone on to form the Simba Brothers together with Peter Majoni. Kentai wanted Knowledge to join the new Simba Brothers, but Knowledge wanted his chance to front the band. When he left to go solo, Marko took over the band. The original seven band members were: Ketai Muchawaya; Knowledge K. Kunenyathi; Marko Sibanda; Lee Roy Lunga; Major Mirirai; Fainos Mapurisa; & Rex MotoMoto. As well as Knowledge, Ketai Muchawaya & Marko Sibanda both went on to have solo careers. Lee Roy Lunga later joined the Chazezesa Challengers. During their history, there were in all eighteen members of Kasongo Band.

Although they broke up years ago, the Kasongo Band remains known today for their militant chimurenga style. Kasongo Hits, their greatest hits album, was released by Gramma Records in 2001.

Today all seventeen of the eighteen band members are dead. Knowledge K. Kunenyathi is the only surviving member.

 Kasongo Band – Gejo, Gramma Records  KSLP 102, 1990. 
decryption code in comments

Side 1 –
Gejo
Vakura Wiriranai
Manyepo Kuna Sadunhu

Side 2 –
Ita Basa Sebas
Nzou Samanyanga
Isou Vanhu

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%



Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo was born in 1945 in Marondera, a small town south of the Rhodesian capital, Salisbury. He spent his first ten years living a rural life with his grandparents, tending cattle herds, waking up long before sunrise to do chores before school. Though Rhodesia was moving inexorably toward racial civil war, Thomas was living an old-fashioned, traditional life, mostly removed from the bitterness building in the cities & townships.

Thomas moved to his father’s house in Salisbury at age ten. As a teenager he began to perform as a drummer & singer playing cover tunes of US & British pop tunes. He began to explore his cultural roots in the mid 70s when he joined the Halleluiah Chicken-Run Band. Then he formed his own Acid Band which evolved into The Blacks Unlimited. By this time he was immersed in the chimurenga sound. Thomas’s lyrics reflected the concerns of the people around him, hardships in the rural areas, young men heading into the bush to fight Zimbabwe’s bitter war for independence, & the rising indignation at white rulers who had systematically devalued Shona culture for many generations.

Although traditional children’s tunes, songs of celebration accompanied by the drums called ngoma, & the sacred music of the metal-pronged mbira, an instrument whose beautiful, cycling melodies could summon the presence of ancestor spirits formed the basis of Thomas’s musical upbringing, he both created & popularized chimurenga music. Chimurenga (struggle) music captured the imaginations of Zimbanweans nation-wide during this war.




Thomas is known as ‘The Lion of Zimbabwe’ & also ‘Mukanya’ (the praise name of his clan in the Shona language) for the political influence he has wielded through his music. His slow-moving style & distinctive voice is instantly recognizable to Zimbabweans. His is a force that continues to shape the history & spiritual life of his country.


The Shona & Ndebele fighters were considered terrorists by the US & the other colonial powers, but despite the overwhelming odds, the rebels could not be defeated. Near the end of the war, the out-maneuvered Rhodesians arrested Thomas briefly. They attempted to use him to rally support for the puppet regime as a last desperate attempt to hold on to some vestige of power. But the tide of history had turned. In 1980, Robert Mugabe was elected President of the new nation.

That same year Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited shared the stage in Harare with Bob Marley & the Wailers in celebration of Zimbabwean independence.


In 2007 Thomas’s music was officially banned in Zimbabwe by the government he helped bring to power. His newest music included his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe. He currently lives in political exile with his family & band in the US. Thomas continues to release music speaking out against the tide of political oppression & intrigue that is the corrupted rule of Robert Mugabe, who has morphed from freedom’s promise to cruel despot.

All the information on the band line-up is on the back cover, which I’ve included.


decryption code in comments

Side 1 -

Vatete
Chikende
Njodzi
Chemutengure

Side B –

Kuwanikwa Pano
Zvatakabva Kuhondo
Ndiwe Chete
Mvura Ngainaye

Enjoy the struggle, it goes ever onward,


5 comments:

  1. I could not share your excitement for the Zambian bands but there was enough good there that I could be happy. I liked The Blackfoot best.

    ALL of the songs from Zimbabwe were very good. I had heard chimurenga before and your choices did not disappoint. This is why there are so many musicians in the world. Everyone likes something different.

    So far I have liked Gambia, Ghana and Zimbabwe the most. I liked Morocco also but I already owned those.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Zamrock just takes me back. The chimurenga is great, for sure. Kasongo are great but Thomas Mapfumo & company are top-notch. Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Uh oh... we have a link down, I think. Please to repost Gejo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I re-uploaded & changed the decryption code. If any more problems, let me know.

      Delete
  4. Gejo
    Dl6GGw12FteKGnmHuGdNgzvAijwnJ8DG8lqrhuHwZ_A
    Sweet Chimurenga
    bxQUcEmf88fAw7OLJdBgymWEXCtAmeeQ2H8deHnaJrM

    ReplyDelete