Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Zimbabwe Stars

Another 45 sent to me by Charlie Gillett back in the late 80's or early 90's. Cant find out much about the Zimbabwe Stars on the internet but again typical of the sparkling guitar style pop of the Bhundu Boys and the Four Brothers whose music did make waves over here in the late 80's.

Benning Eyre says -

"Zimbabwe's music also reflects the foreign music styles that filled the airwaves during the colonial years and the war years. American and African jazz had a big impact early on. Later, rock 'n' roll, Congolese rumba and South African township music held sway. After 1970, Zimbabwean musicians became more and more original in their attempts to meld local rhythms, musical moods and melodies with popular sounds from the outside. Many unique and beautiful styles of music emerged in the process.

Distinct guitar-band sounds developed, characterized by lively, independent guitar and bass lines—not unlike Kenyan benga and other East African derivatives of Congolese rumba—and sweetly harmonized vocals that many compare to the early Beatles as well as the thumping downbeat characteristic of much southern African music. Jonah Moyo and Dvera Ngwena along with John Chibadura emphasized the rumba side, while James Chimombe pressed the South African aspect.

The music, variously known as sungura, jit and just Zimbabwe rumba became the mainstay of the nation's pop-music market. By the mid-'90s, the Zimbabwe rumba torch had passed to a new team, headed up by Simon Chimbetu and Leonard Zvakata. By the turn of the century, many guitar pop legends—including Chibadura, Chimombe, the great Leonard Dembo and Robson Banda, the so called prince of chimurenga—had died, some from AIDS. Chimbetu and Zvakata remained popular, but guitar rumba is being steadily overshadowed on one side by a dramatic rise in the popularity of local gospel music and by the encroachment of American hip-hop, Jamaican and U.K. reggae and slick, urban kwaito from South Africa. These styles have begun to dominate Zimbabwean radio, still under government control.

With Zimbabwean society facing political upheaval, a dramatically failing economy, and one of the worst AIDS crises in the world, these harder-edged foreign sounds seem to strike a chord. Once again, traditions and traditional music seem to be taking a back seat, although they now have a loyal international audience and thrive in Zimbabwe both in rural settings and as a kind of underground music in cities."

Zimbabwe Stars - Fadza Customer

Zimbabwe Stars - Moto Muzhinji

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