Thomas Mapfumo to release new album in surprise collabo with DJs

Thomas Mapfumo to release new album in surprise collabo with DJs

26 December 2014  –  US BASED Chimurenga musician Thomas Mapfumo, will be releasing a new album Danger Zone on 31 January 2015, with his usual political commentary and a few English tracks – a collaboration with house DJ’s for  a touch of calypso.

Popularly called by his fans as The Chimurenga Guruor The Lion of Zimbabwe, Mapfumo has been defining the issues of the day for his countrymen in transcendently  original songs since 1974 making Danger Zone  the latest chapter, his first set of new studio songs since the 2010 release of  Exile.

Danger Zone, which is a Chimurenga Music Company release remains Mapfumo’s way of  singing about  the rights and concerns of ordinary people facing oppression and poverty.

The historical context may have  changed, but Mapfumo’s loyalties and focus  clearly have not.

Nhamo Urombo  offers a poignant recapitulation of his central theme on Danger Zone.

Chikwereti  broadens the  scope with a pointed message to African nations  who  accept money from foreign countries  notably  China, whom he warns that its not just a gift but that :”One way or another, you will have to pay them back.

The title track on  Danger Zone speaks of various  hot spots around the world  such as Syria, Iraq, Libya but from  a philosophical perspective, asking how  God’s  children seem unable to live peacefully.

Elsewhere, Mapfumo sings Hatidi Politics , a firm declaration that Zimbabweans and  people around the world  just want a good life, schools, healthcare, security  and not to be part  of  power games by politicians.

Mapfumo who because of his sometimes seemingly controversial lyrics,has often been misunderstood as apolitical singer and has indeed  never shied from criticising politicians, says he has does not and has never supported any political party.

And in a poignant new lament,  Zimbabwe  pleads on his countrymen to leave politics alone and unite for a better future, basically re emerging with music and messages to suit a new circumstances.

Over the years the dreadlocked musician has has reinvented his band, the Blacks Unlimited, with the core set of musicians he brought from Zimbabwe and a growing circle of American collaborators he has trained in the art of Chimurenga music.

Since the beginning of his epic career, traditional African music remains central with his art remaining deeply ingrained in the original Blacks Unlimited sound, especially on two bonus tracks featuring mbira, Varimudande (People of Dande) and Pasi idandaro (We Are Just Passers-by).

At the same time, this album charts new ground for Mapfumo and his band.
The maestro features the lighter more celebratory side of his  personality on two English songs, Celebrate and  Are You Ready,a blend of Chimurenga and Calypso.

Extending that theme, Mapfumo collaborates with beat-maker and DJ Charlie B. Wilder to come up with two club-ready tracks, Music and a spare, punchy remake of his classic song  Shebeen featuring guest vocalist Natalia Rollins.

Fans in SA and outside Zimbabwe can download  Danger Zone for 99 cents at www.thomas-mapfumo.com  or at Strawberry boutique in Harare, and selected stores in major cities tentatively from the 31 January 2015.

Meanwhile a bonus track for fans Hatidi Politics  can be downloaded for free on the CMC website. – CMC Publicity