Thomas Mapfumo

Choice Chimurenga

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This is essentially a best-of, capturing select tracks from Mapfumo's albums on Anonym over the last several years. Listening to his best work like this, it's apparent how he's changed his sound, making it punchier. He's added brass here and there, bumped up the bass, and sometimes it seems as if he's spent a lot of time lately listening to roots reggae and adapting its sound for his purposes. The mbiras remain the heartbeat of his sound, of course, more firmly in the mix than ever before. Chimurenga means struggle, and that's something Mapfumo has never forgotten. Even in exile, he remains steadfastly political, especially about his homeland. His voice remains immediately identifiable, and though it occasionally seems as if he's lost a step or two, he still has a remarkably hypnotic power in his singing. This is all proof that, even after all this time, Mapfumo still has the power.

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