Okapi Guitars | Radio free Zimbabwe

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AUSTRALIA - New South Wales

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World: African World: Mbira Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Radio free Zimbabwe

by Okapi Guitars

African pop. Zimbabwe chimurenga and jit. Mbira electric. In the neighbourhood of Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo, and the Bhundu Boys
Genre: World: African
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fallen Hero
5:35 $0.99
2. Magdalena
4:55 $0.99
3. Mhondoro
4:19 $0.99
4. Lost Birds
4:54 $0.99
5. Comrade Ngozi
4:34 $0.99
6. My Client
4:54 $0.99
7. Whiteant
5:02 $0.99
8. Known Unknowns
4:00 $0.99
9. No More Secrets
6:23 $0.99
10. Radio Free Zimbabwe
5:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Radio free Zimbabwe from Sydney-based band Okapi Guitars, mixes Zimbabwe mbira and hosho with guitar styles from all over Africa.

The CD follows a year of increased recognition for the band: in 2003 their afro-skiffle version of Lou Reed's classic "Vicious" was included on the acclaimed tribute CD After Hours (www.wampus.com/lou.html), and a song from their 2002 CD Blue Kigara, was distributed by Creative Commons. The band also released a compilation of its latin songs, Los Grandes Exitos del Conjunto Okapi.

Radio free Zimbabwe is an album of new songs, with interlocking layers of rich guitars, and conscious lyrics, born from shock and awe at the rise of criminal hypocrites to power in the west.

Using guitar sounds that range from the picked patterns of afrobeat to the sweep of vintage tremolo, and production techniques borrowed from jazz and techno, the band sing songs about SIEVX, Iraq and the ongoing disaster of Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Where else will you hear John Howard outed for what he really is ("My client")? Or a hymn of praise to the mighty termite?

www.indie-cds.com says:
"This CD is joyous melodically and rhythmically, with fine arrangements that make interesting use of the stereo field. The CD is also notable for being a poke in the eye for those guys who lead us. John Howard cops a deserved satire for the Iraq situation and for his (our) governments policy of imprisoning children contrary to their human rights. Musically and stylistically, Okapi Guitars show their heritage is right in line with recordings of bands from East Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zaire and Guinea, though based in Sydney. Five stars, buy it, go and see the band. And, yes, John Howard, we know what you're up to."



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And now for something completely different!
If you like commercial pop music DON'T bother getting this album, however if you like something completely different that none of your friends will have in their CD collection, then this is one to have!! I found this band completely by accident last year and can guarantee them as a refreshing change from the Norm.
A mix of African vibes with happy upbeats and plucking strings with hints of almost spanish/mambo styles, amazing to think they are an Australian band!! Turn it up on a sunny afternoon and you can almost believe the Summer is here to stay. It will add warmth to your heart and swing to your hips. Go on, give it a go, what have you got to lose?!!

Matt Pamatmat

Beautiful songs that make you think a little
Good album. I like how its political dissent and criticism comes in the form of relatively upbeat songs tinged with sadness about current affairs. Being an Australian band with a deep interest in African political issues reminds me of the work of Muslimgauze (an English musician deeply interested in the music and issues of the Middle East). Great insert in the CD too, with encapsulations of what each song is about, with weblinks. Subversive but in a unique way; punk rock in a way without the usual packaging/style punk rock comes in. Well-played and produced. Just ordered a rare O. Guitars album from one of the bandmembers, very nice guy.