Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mvula Mandondo releases new LP 'Ambush'

The artists known as Mvula Mandondo have released their new and long-awaited LP album, titled, 'Ambush.' The record is a collection of eclectic, art nouveau tracks that introduce Mvula Mandondo to the world in all their exotic splendor. Its music is a marriage of tradition and rebirth, of classical and modern sensibilities, of Old-World and New-World tastes. It is beauty, joy, and celebration turned music. It is the sounds of life. It must be heard to be experienced, and it must be experienced to be heard.

The sound of Mvula Mandondo is couched in the rich musical traditions of Central-East Africa, most notably those of the Ndengeleko and Manyema people of that region. This is provided by Tanzanian born singer-songwriter Saidi Kanda, who also plays thumb piano, ze ze, guitar, and various traditional stringed instruments on the record. To this Mandondo adds Latin flavors, such as soca, salsa, Congolese rhumba, roots reggae, Afro-Cuban music, and classical. These are the cultural offerings of Edward Shearer, of the Bahamian Caicos and Turks islands.

The record is steeped in good humor and groove. It is decidedly not what is sometimes called 'world music,' but rather a new kind of Afro-Latino dance music. Mvula Mandondo sounds like the Buena Vista Social Club played on traditional African instruments, and with the addition of the genial, fun-loving spirit of the Central-East African people. There is much laughter in “Ambush,” the title of which is inspired by the surprises in store for listeners who hear this unexampled sound for the first time, mistaking it for something else they have, perhaps, heard before.

When asked about the message their new record may hold for the global audience, Mvula Mandondo writes:

Fun! Dance! Enjoy, relax and unwind. There are a lot of ‘in jokes’ hidden within more serious topics. Lots of double meanings. The upbeat guitar-led and drum-driven songs are a far cry from the typical, modern Congolese style of soukous releases. The thumb piano and traditional songs are reinvented, and attack from an unexpected side. Ambush!”

Ambush indeed, and the sooner one is waylaid by this infectious, bang-up band, the better.

Ambush” by Mvula Mandondo is available online worldwide beginning spring of 2013.

-S. McCauley
Staff Press Release Writer


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