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Thomas Mapfumo | Chimurenga Movement

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World: African World: World Fusion Moods: Spiritual
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Chimurenga Movement

by Thomas Mapfumo

Mukanya's original 1997 release remastered digital exclusive.
Genre: World: African
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vanotsenga Mukanwa
5:11 $0.99
2. Tipeiwo Mari
5:41 $0.99
3. Kundenderedzana
5:50 $0.99
4. Jaja Mujakacha
5:02 $0.99
5. Chinobhururuka Chinomhara
5:57 $0.99
6. Batanai Mose
5:14 $0.99
7. Erina
6:15 $0.99
8. Sevenzai Hama
6:04 $0.99
9. Toi-Toi
5:20 $0.99
10. Fire-Fire
5:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
When Thomas Mapfumo went into the studio in 1997 to record his 17th album (not counting 4 singles compilations), Zimbabwe was in a sorry state. Inflation was asking the basics of life so expensive that many families could scarcely afford to feed themselves. Street crime in the capital, Harare, was on the rise. Scientific studies had shown that Zimbabwe had achieved one of the highest HIV infection rates of any country in the world. Meanwhile, the government was making headlines not for its efforts to address these problems, but rather for new incidents of scandal and corruption, and for its endlessly inventive stream of excuses designed to place the blame for all these problems on others. 'They mince their words,' Mapfumo sings on the new album's opening track. The line is like a gauntlet thrown down. No longer will Mapfumo give the country's leaders a break or criticize them obliquely. The 'chimurenga movement' that helped put them in power seventeen years earlier will now be dedicated to bringing those leaders down. 'Chimurenga Movement is a really political record,' says Mapfumo. 'You have a song like 'Chinobhururuka Chinomhara' ('What goes up must come down'). You are not always going to be up there. You have to come down someday. Whenever you are in a top position, whenever you are the government, don't entertain thoughts that you are going to stay there for the rest of you life. That doesn't happen. So you must do the right thing for your people. When you are up there, you are working for the people, not for yourself.' Musically, Chimurenga Movement is complex fusion of styles. It contains no ancient mbira songs, although 'Jaja Mujakacha' is a traditional song adapted to mbira. Richard Matimba's melodic keyboard work is prominent throughout, taking precedence over the masterful guitar of Joshua Dube, the band's sole guitarist at this point. But even though traditional music is not on the menu this time out, the Blacks Unlimited's three-man mbira section creates the underpinning for all these diverse grooves, from the chugging lope of 'Vanotsenga Mukanwa' to the breathless jaunt of 'Erina.' In rehearsal, Mapfumo sings a new tune, and the mbira players must create music to fit it, just as guitarists have done since the band's early days. The band has moved into new territory now, where mbiras are being used as genuinely modern instruments. The chimurenga movement continues!

Banning Eyre, 2000



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