THOMAS Mapfumo has released his new album, Exile
, on the internet.
The 11-track album has been in the works “for a few years”, said guitarist Banning Eyre who worked on several tracks with Mapfumo.
The United States-based Chimurenga music star has pretty consistently released at least one album a year since the late 1970s.
Lately, though, he has been facing a whole new kind of struggle, and that is the central subject on his new CD: Exile. Mapfumo has not been able to return to his beloved country since 2004. His current base is Eugene, Oregon.
Surrounded by his immediate family and a handful of key musicians, he has continued to compose, record and perform. But for a variety of reasons, it has proven difficult to bring the music to the market.
The wait is finally over, though, for Mukanya’s fans who can download the song from a website set-up by his manager, Cuthbert Chiromo.
Banning Eyre said: “The CD has been years in the making. It is the fruit of various sessions in recent years.
“These songs have been worked over and honed to a kind of perfection. Moreover, Mapfumo has selected the strongest, deepest numbers out of the many he has tracked, and the end result is quite magnificent.”
There are two brilliant numbers from the traditional mbira repertoire, the genre of music Mapfumo is best known for.
There are also songs that throw back to an earlier era of his career, full of the giddy, folksy rhythms of the Zimbabwean countryside. And there are a number of songs that can only be characterised as Mapfumo creations.
Of particular note is the achingly beautiful "Ndangariro" (not to be confused with the 1983 album of the same name). This new composition taps the emotional core of exile as it evokes the sadness of missing home, and the sadness his fans must feel missing him. A real heartbreaker!
Exile will be available on CD worldwide before Christmas. But if you can’t wait, you can download the full album from the following link: CLICK HERE