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Bongolution
     

Bongolution

by Bongo Maffin
 
If kwaito, the rage of contemporary South Africa, is ever to break through to the international scene, Bongo Maffin is the band to make it happen. Drawing liberally on house music, hip-hop, and R&B, as well as South African styles from township jive to gospel to mbaqanga, the trio present a polished, uplifting dance music with the irrepressible zest for

Overview

If kwaito, the rage of contemporary South Africa, is ever to break through to the international scene, Bongo Maffin is the band to make it happen. Drawing liberally on house music, hip-hop, and R&B, as well as South African styles from township jive to gospel to mbaqanga, the trio present a polished, uplifting dance music with the irrepressible zest for life that seems South Africa's birthright. Opening with a piano-kissed prayer for rain, "Laduma Izulu," characterized by Zulu chants delivered in a Jamaican dancehall style by MCs Appleseed and Stoan, Bongolution quickly gets into high gear with the undeniably bouncy "The Way (Kungakhona)" a joyous marriage of house grooves and township jive ordained by the sassy declamations of songbird Thandwisa -- a double threat as rapper and singer and thus the Lauryn Hill of the group. "Twasa," with its English-language rap and the playfully sexual "Mamicita" delivered in pidgin Spanish promise to keep the dance floor packed. "Brave, True and Strong" has all the makings of an international house hit without resorting to cloying vocoders or other gimcrackery; likewise the down-tempo "Will U Be There": These are songs that can stand shoulder to shoulder with anything booming forth from urban radio. The canny mix of reggae chant and cutting-edge beats lend Bongo Maffin an exotic edge that makes their occasionally accented English forgivable -- the millions who welcomed France's Les Nubians will find it hard to resist these African brothers and sister.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stacia Proefrock
Bongolution, Bongo Maffin's fifth album, offers up an infectious multi-culti mix of raga, Afro-pop, dance grooves, and Latin music. The band, which is a trio of South African and Zimbabwean musicians on this album, infuse all of their music with a uniquely urban African style, even as they draw inspiration from around the world. Nowhere is that more evident than on "Mamacita" which features "a touch of Spanish for fun, township sass, Tswana rap, and Shona rhythm" according to the liner notes. Every song seems to be infused with a positive, pro-community vibe and healing energy, adding a little intellectual weight to beats that would otherwise be light and airy enough to float away on their own. Other highlights include the opener, "Laduma Izulu," and "Twasa."

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2002
Label:
Lightyear
UPC:
0085365447523
catalogNumber:
54475

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