Voices of Southern Africa, Vol. 2

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Mbube is normally a genre associated specifically with the nation of South Africa, largely due to the overwhelming success of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Hailing from Zimbabwe, however, the members of Insingizi have their own analog of mbube, using a sparser three-person sound and a few regional touches. A few clicks creep in from time to time, based in areas slightly north of the main mining regions of South Africa. Various Ndebele phrases, whistles, and the occasional bit of ululation get tossed in for good differential measure as well. Despite all of these touches, though, the overall effect is essentially a basic isicathamiya or mbube sound -- Ladysmith lite, as it were. The band does a fine job with its works, and the music is entirely appropriate for an introduction to the genre for new listeners. It comes off rather more lifeless than some of the older Ladysmith recordings, to be sure, but Insingizi have some potential in the details of their craft.

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