In spirit of full disclosure, please note that Afropop’s longtime producer, Banning Eyre plays guitar for the New York band Timbila, but honestly, we’d be interested even if he didn’t.
As you can hear on these two singles from their upcoming album, the band plays a fusion of Thomas Mapfumo-influenced, mbira-centered music that is like catnip around here. Far from rote impersonators, though, they add in elements like violin to create something original, even as Chartwell Dutiro’s vocals and mbira lead the group in traditional Zimbabwean songs, like “Chakwi,” which you can hear below.
The song, arranged for the group by Dutiro, is about the hardships of colonialism. They also compose their own tunes. The other single, still led by Dutiro’s mbira, gets downright spacey—maybe even “Afrodelic.”
The new album, inexplicably entitled Sadza With the Head of A Mouse, comes out May 1, but New York-based fans need not wait that long: The group is playing at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn with Bulla en El Barrio on March 14 as part of Afropop’s residency there. RSVP on our Facebook page.