Songs from Africa Impressions:
1. Meme Yakuku
2. Tamba Tamba
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Chris Hinze, Jewlz (Zimbabwe), Rassheehama (Namibia), Sylvain Baloubeta (Congo/S.A.), Coen Molenaar (NL) Remco v.d.Sluis (NL)
Ethno/World/Jazz [KYT 820]
".... After months of preparation I set off in June 2007 for a two month trip, along with singer-songwriter and technician Paul de Graaf and a very sophisticated set of recording tools all packed into a Toyota 4-wheel drive. We travelled through Namibia, and then spent a month in South Africa, mainly in Cape Town and Johannesburg. We met up with incredible musicians and took some absolutely breathtaking videos and photographs. The audio recordings were as different as the places we visited; pop or reggae bands, the Himba tribes and the bushmen of northern Namibia, as well as the Zulus in South Africa, right through to world class professional musicians in Windhoek, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Not forgetting of course the refugee musicians from surrounding countries such as Zimbabwe, the Congo and Mozambique.
One thing was clear to me Africa had stolen my heart. I was deeply affected in every way you can imagine on that wonderful journey, so I decided to go back again this year (2008), and this time I took technician and VJ Hans Meijer with me. Now the emphasis was on South Africa. Though we did visit Namibia again and the Seychelles as well. So the CD ‘Africa Impressions’ was born of material from musicians of various countries who actually only ‘knew’ each other through their headsets. The duet between Teboho, the male singer from Cape Town, and Jewelz, the female singer from Windhoek is a good example, although in fact they both actually come from Zimbabwe. And then there’s Barry van Zyl, the drummer from Johnny Clegg’s band, who effortlessly gave us 16 different numbers in his brilliant rhythm - not to mention the collaborations with my own Dutch musicians.
Our home studio was high-tech, but the conditions and the places we had to work in were often primitive, to say the least. Recording certainly wasn’t always easy. For example, the sessions with the singers Jewelz and Rassheehama were recorded in a garage belonging to Jewlz’ father, right under the landing path of the Windhoek airstrip. Other improvised recording studios included the assembly hall in the Leevi Hakusembe Senior Secondary School in Rundu district, and the living room of the house belonging to Grenville our bass player in Cape Town. And I’ll never forget the unbelievable recording we made of the Himba tribe, standing in the middle of a clay track between Ruacana and Kunene River Lodge/Opuwa, with a herd of cows passing by, casually lumbering around our Mac laptop and then there’s the Ondunga choir rehearsing in their rehearsal place, and of course the bushmen singing in the open country just outside their settlement. I could go on like this for hours......
What should I call this music? It’s really not that important. Call it lounge if you want, or reggae; world music; jazz (food for thought for our “Jazz Popes” and “Purists”). The name doesn’t matter. For me it’s all about the emotion, the sheer pleasure and the language of music."
Chris Hinze, September 2008