Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Songs From a Zulu Farm (3 stars)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Songs From a Zulu Farm

(Wrasse Records)

It’s debateable whether the ubiquity of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo sound (once it had graced the baked beans advert which took them into the mainstream) came at the expense of a specialist audience whose expectations might keep them at the aesthetic edge.

Tapping into old Zulu songs from the 1940s and 50s reveals them at their vocal best, offering lullaby-like songs that come over as prayers. Songs of memory and history captured in close harmony call and response arrangements, which reproduce traditional hierarchical structures, show just how the past informs the present. No change then, but still a beautiful listen.

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