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Voices of Southern Africa

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Album Review

The Insingizi heard here is the current form of an older group of Zimbabwean musicians from Bulawayo who acted as something of a cultural troupe, touring throughout Europe. After settling in Austria, the group quietly disbanded, but three of the members have re-formed the core of it as a trio of mbube singers. As such, the sound is relatively similar to the bulk of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo albums, but with key differences. The sound is somewhat sparser, as there are here only three singers rather than the full array of singers in Ladysmith. Also, there are touches of Western music theory from time to time here, quite likely hailing from some time spent in music theory study while in Austria. The album appears to be spearheaded to some degree by the combination of Vusa Ndlovu and Dumisani Moyo, who trade off lead vocal duties and arrangement and composition duties admirably. Nqo Nkomo does an admirable job on backing vocals but rarely steps into the forefront. As mbube goes, this isn't a bad set at all. It's not necessarily anything spectacular, but it's certainly worth hearing. Beyond the usual course laid out by Ladysmith, these singers add one nice touch to the work in Ndebele: the use of the click. In a couple of songs ("Uthando Iuka Jesu" and "Isqoqodo" most notably), they make the click into a full-fledged musical force on its own. The last highlight of the non-Ladysmith affairs is the final track, an instrumental tour de force on the part of Moyo, multi-tracking djembe, whistles, and more into a piece somewhere between Southern Africa and samba. For a quick look at mbube slightly outside the sphere of influence of South Africa proper, this is a fine disc.

Customer Reviews

This music inspires me.

It's amazing that three men can make music like this with their voices. It's the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I'm a programmer who finds it hard to listen to music with lyrics while I'm working. This music is so beautiful (and I can't understand a word they're saying) it's perfect.

Intoxicating, Moving

This is REALLY good stuff! I stumbled across this album in a music library. It struck me so deeply that I spent the next several months searching for music similar to it. Couldn't really find much that compared but I'm really pleased that Itunes picked up their album. I'd HIGHLY recommend Insingizi. Buy it.


Absolutely amazing, voices are breath taking. Beauty emits throughout their songs, into your thoughts, and thoughout your spirit. True song.

Voices of Southern Africa, Insingizi
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Africa, Music, World
  • Released: Feb 02, 2004

Customer Ratings