Iyasa

African Homeland: Voices and Rhythms from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa

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AllMusic Review by

Adding to their formidable store of music from Southern Africa, ARC enlisted the Zimbabwean youth ensemble Iyasa for a set of music alternating between Ndebele and Shona folk songs. The presentation style is undoubtedly related to the hyper-successful gospel choruses and isicathamiya of groups like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, though the vocal focus is primarily on the female voice instead. This makes for somewhat higher-pitched music, of course, but also results in a somewhat younger sound without the deeper, more sonorous voices up front. The set is well performed, but there are a number of more interesting albums of South African vocal music out there, as well as Zimbabwean chimurenga music, even on the discount ARC label. Look for the masters or for other compilations, and pick this one up if you're already a fan of the format.

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