Limitless Sky Records is honored to introduce these shining African stars. Each of the artists featured on this compilation are veterans of their music scene. The performers have minimum 20 to 30 years of experience entertaining crowds locally, regionally and internationally.
This collection of recording made in 2001 captures the classic compositions of such legendary artists as Maestro Ndala Kasheba, Nguza Viking of Achigo Band, Garikayi Tirikoti of Zimbabwe, and the Arusha based Yekete Beat band. Dance to the melodies from the shores of the Indian Ocean, to the slopes of majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and into the heart of Zimbabwe. Join us in celebration as we bring you sounds of these New African Composers.
* FRESH FROM DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA & HARARE,
+++++NEW CD REVIEWS OF NEW AFRICAN COMPOSERS:
New African Composers: Vol.1
Limitless Sky Records, 2002
New African Composers is an essential listen for anyone interested in the origins of so much of this world's music, from ska and jazz to salsa and merengue. It is simultaneously a history lesson and a glance into the future evolution of what has become generically known as "world" music. It is certainly a must for those who appreciate the syncopated beats of hip-hop, or the free-verse improvisation of jazz.
02/03 Written by Rob Walsh from Ink 19 Magazine www.ink19.com
The lively, percussion-driven pop act Yekete Beat Band formed in the Arusha region of Tanzania in 1989. Yekete Beat Band offers a boisterous blast of bass, hand percussion, growly, cycling guitars, horns and vocals.
Achigo Band used to be Orchestra Marquis, champions of Swahili dance music. Achigo Band features a big, lush vocal sound, strongly reminiscent of the more choral Congolese pop music. They do play rumba, as on "Tebo," but their tour de force here is a rolling, nine-minute, 12/8 extravaganza called "Watanzania Watu Wa Amani."
Guitarist and singer Ndala Kasheba first came to Tanzania with a band from Congo in 1964. Ndala Kasheba's music also bears the stamp of his Congolese roots. But Kasheba has a number of distinguishing qualities in his Swahili rumba sound, most notably his use of an electrified, 12-string acoustic guitar, which he overdubs to create a gorgeous, chiming ambiance.
Garikayi Tirikoti's three mbira pieces round this set out with satisfying variety. Among the things that set Tirikoti apart from other mbira artists is the way he combines mbiras using different tunings to create a rich, almost orchestral sound.
We get just a taste of Delphin Mununga with a pretty acapella piece called "Kilimanjaro," but this compilation will leave any fan of classic African dance pop panting for more from the Limitless Sky vault.
05/03 Excerpts from a review by: Banning Eyre for www.afropop.org
** MAESTRO NDALA KASHEBA ** Dar es Salaam
Kasheba is originally from Lubumbashi, Congo. In 1972
he settled in Dar after travelling and gigging all
over East Africa. He earned respect and admiration as
leader of the "Orchestra Safari Sound", which he left
in the early 1980's. His music is well loved across
the region. He is known as one of the greatest African
guitarists, appointed the title "Maestro" by his fans.
He sucessfully toured with his own group "Zaita
Musica" to Europe in 1991 and has continuosly performs
as a solo guitarist as well as with his colleagues -
Nguza Viking, King Kiki, Kassongo Mpinda Clayton,
Kibambe Rhamadhan, Delphin Mununga, and others on
multiple nights a week.
** ACHIGO BAND ** Dar es Salaam
The Achigo Band, led by guitar giant NGUZA MBANGU
VIKING of "Orchestra Marquis" fame, is a solidly
operating music machine. This group keeps the audience
on their feet from Friday through Sunday at a variety
of popular Dar es Salaam venues: Polisis Officers Mess
on Fridays, Lions Inn in Sinza Saturdays, and Mango
Garden in Kinondoni on Sunday nights - together with
Ndala Kasheba. These two prolific composers - Nguza
and Kasheba - were the rivals of the 1970's MUZIKI WA
DANSI scene in Dar es Salaam, always seeking to
out-perform the other for the crowds. Now they share
the stage, to the delight of their fans.
** YEKETE BEAT ** Arusha
Swahili spices blend into highlife to make a
substantial brew. Refreshing from the first sip. The
Yekete Beat band hails from the garden of Eden known
as Arusha, Tanzania. You can find them in the shadow
of Kilimanjaro. They come from a variety of ethnic
traditions and blend them into one dance music style.
They were the first to use popular lullabies as breaks
and for choruses in their songs. Namsitu Dawa,
included on the compilation, tells the story of a
hacksaw in the forest. Feel the fun and energy of this
band who gig regularly in Arusha's nightclubs, for
corporate and political events, and in the National
**DELPHIN MUNUNGA ** Congo/ Dar es Salaam
Delphin is originally from Lubumbashi, Congo. He grew
up in the 1960's, listening to the music float into
the windows of his downtown home, from where he spied
the musicians performing in nearby clubs. He wistfully
recalls hearing Ndala Kasheba, Fauvette - Safari Nkoy,
and other big bands. He listened and learned.
Realizing a childhood dream he was recruited to sing
with Kasheba's "Zaita Musica" in Dar es Salaam, and on
tour to Europe. He has since travelled with his own
group, Esthetic Music, to Arabia, Asia and through
Eastern- Soutern Africa. His voice is finely tuned to
a wide range and repetoire. On this album he performs
solo, a capella, with improvisation inspired by
spiritual melodies from his youth in church choirs.
** GARIKAYI TIRIKOTI ** Zimbabwe
In 1968, when Garikayi was about eight years old, he
left his rural village and went to Wedza, to another
uncle's village, and there he built his own mbira and
started playing at ceremonies. He had to set out
walking in the early afternoon to arrive at the
ceremony by evening, and then he would play for two or
three days without sleeping. It was hard work -
walking, playing, then walking back home. But he kept
this up for seven years, and with the small amount of
money that he was paid for playing he managed to pay
his own school fees. When Garikayi was fifteen, he
returned to live in his mother's village. After
watching his older brother build mbiras he got serious
about building his own. He loved it and built many
mbiras, until in 1976 his work was interrupted by the
war. But he resumed in 1980, and it was then that he
started experimenting with changing and mixing
different tunings. He was inspired in this effort by
his dreams. This was the beginning of Garikayi's now
famous 'mbira orchestra.' Over the years the dreams
continued and Garikayi was shown many songs and
tunings, until by 1999 he was arranging traditional
mbira songs as well as his own compositions for an
eight piece mbira orchestra. (Copyr. 2002 Elizabeth
Checcio) This compilation includes two compositions
from his upcoming album "MaiDei".