Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Kula Band - Glowing with Age

Just 8 tracks, ‘Walendo’, ‘Wamalenge’, ‘Malawi’, ‘Khara Pa Kaya’, ‘Sella’, ‘Sudziwa kuti Sudziwa’, ‘Umbrella’ and ‘Sowera’ sums up an album titled Sudziwa kuti Sudziwa.
For the umpteenth time let me introduce to you the Kula Band the owners of the album above.
Most albums are packed with songs in the ranges of 12 to 15 and what the Kula Band did with this particular album would be deemed laziness if you merely look at the number of tracks.
But once you slot their Compact Disk in a player and hear the sound that the system will emit you will appreciate the kind of work that is loaded in each track. You would nod with positive reception and glee with realisation why it had to be this way.
Each instrument never knew the belly of a computer where drums will be programmed and let the computer mimic a lead guitar.
The instruments were in fact played by the band members and each is both standing alone as an instrument and in unison give you a fusion of African traditional music with Jazz, Blues, Rock and Reggae.
The album which is yet to hit the market is a product of a recording session that was ably done by Gospel Star Lloyd Phiri at his studio.
Kula Band is another Mzuzu based band which can stand shoulder to shoulder with another Mzuzu based ‘Body Mind and Soul’
The difference would be that the latter plays what they call ‘Voodjaz’ while Kula Band fuses African traditional music with some Jazzy feel with sprinkles of Blues, Rock and Reggae.
This band was formed with a purpose of competing in the Music Crossroad Competition and last year they were runners up in Dar es Salaam at the regional finals.
Of course the band leader is Blessings Mudoro who plays the band’s keyboard and backing vocals with leading vocals spearheaded by the deep-voiced Goma Nyondo who also plays acoustic guitar.
Thokozani Mazunza plays bass guitar, Gift Phiri drums and percussions for the band, Kennedy Phiri plays lead guitar while James Piringu is the band’s other backing vocalist and percussionist.
On their apparel of honour there are three awards that are stuck; they are the winners of MAM Music Award 2009, Chibuku Road to Fame Competition as well as the MAM Gospel Music Award.
The Chibuku Road to fame won them 150,000 Malawi Kwacha prize money and also landed them a lucrative recording deal worth 200,000 Malawi Kwacha
But I want you to sample their music through this write up. In music, a transient is a sudden increase in sound output which occurs for a short period of time; sometimes less than a fraction of a second, it is very common in rock and jazz.
The title track ‘Sudziwa kuti sudziwa’ has the art of ‘transient’ just to prove its musicality. There is also a track called ‘Sera’ which is a fusion of jazz, funky and Rhumba with a voice that would be mistaken for the Zimbabwean international mega star Oliver Mtukudzi.
While all the tracks except ‘Sowera’ were recorded by Lloyd Phiri this particular one which starts with an ‘Irish Tin whistle’ was recorded by Christian Aid Mobile Studio.
Goma the lead vocalist who sometimes comes out as Jamaica’s Gramps Morgan says the Kula Band has learnt the art of Music as being multifaceted.
The band says it can produce several tracks without giving a hint of familiarity because they have a musical art that could be described as having a full range of repertoire to pick from.
When you listen to the Kula Band, the Body Mind and Soul and legendary Wambali Mkandawire, you would easily declare that at least the north has stumbled on its genre.
Listening to Kula Band’s music which is yet to be on the market, you will feel proud to be Malawian as here are the young men who are able to make music by knowing that each instrument has its purpose when playing music.
Listening to ‘Sudziwa kuti Sudziwa’ album by Kula Band, you realise, Kula is not only growing, but it is, with age also glowing to become a stakeholder in the country’s music industry. Try to sample it, you will agree with me.
Feedback:drummingpen@columnist.com

No comments: