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Adventures in Afropea 1: Zap Mama

Zap Mama

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Album Review

Warner Brothers presents this exciting, innovative, dynamic group of five women from Brussels. They are new to the States, but already extremely well-received in Europe. Led by Marie Daulne, they weave their polyphonic, polyrhythmic harmonies displaying the strength and brilliance of unaccompanied voices. The songs, inspired by traditional African and European melodies, celebrate the richness and diversity of these cultures. The album incorporates Central African Pygmy chants and their unique yodels and clicks, the ululating sounds of a Syrian harem, anti-apartheid chants, as well as songs from Zaire, Tanzania, France and Spain...

Customer Reviews

Who Needs Instruments?

Zap Mama have recorded an incredible full-length album with minimal instrumental accompaniment. This minimalist approach really allows the vocal harmonies and textures to shine. The typical track on this album relies heavily on African-style ostinato patterns, which makes for a very hypnotic disc from start to finish. If you are intrigued by what can be achieved using only the human voice, this is definitely one to check out.

Instruments? We don't need no stinkin' instruments!

First things first: this album was released way before 2003. It was actually released in 1992 (I have the disc in front of me as I type). Okay. Anyway, this album is GREAT! I strongly recommend this album to anyone who- well, just everyone. All of the tracks are excellently done except for I Ne Suhe, which happens to mostly contain people sneezing and chanting "I Ne Suhe" over and over again. (Why? I don't know.)

One of my favorite albums of all time!

Me and Goapele used to sing Guzhopela together, and I used to listen to this album straight through on repeat for hours. For those of you who love really good music, you can't go wrong with this album!

Biography

Formed: 1990

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Zap Mama is an all-female a cappella quintet founded by Zaire native Marie Daulne. Daulne's father was killed during the revolution of 1960 while her mother was pregnant with her, so the remainder of the family fled to the forests and found refuge with a tribe of pygmies. Daulne was raised primarily in Europe, but when she heard a recording of traditional pygmy music at age 20, she decided to return to Africa to learn about her heritage. She was trained in pygmy onomatopoeic vocal techniques before...
Full Bio