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Samite - Silina Musango
Into the African/World music ring steps the Ugandan heavyweight Samite Mulondo with an album that finds him floating like a butterfly and singing like a Beatle. A flautist of international renown, Samite grew up in Uganda until the death of his brother, under the Idi Amin regime, saw him immigrating to the United States in 1987.
'Silina Musango' has been given a local release on the Sheer Sound label and once again this small but devoted South African record company has spotted a winner. This delicate and gentle acoustic album is filled with fleeting snatches of a wide assortment of sounds and textures. These provide Samite's falsetto vocals with an ever-changing and beautiful background of instrumental moods. At times this collection of songs resembles Ishmael Lo accompanied by the musicians who played on the Van Morrison classic 'Astral Weeks'. This light but frothy mixture of accordions, marimbas, kalimbas, litungus, guitars, drums and flutes swirls around the vocals giving the whole album a flowing and timeless quality.
'Just For You' opens the proceedings as a special "gift" from Samite and it immediately sets the tone for the rest of the album with its happy bounce and celebratory spirit. 'Ngwino Rukundo' is a love song with its emotive chorus of "come, come my love" soaring over the rhythmic bed of acoustic guitars. 'Ndere' slows the mood down even more and features an instrument free harmonic acapella vocal that leads into the gorgeous 'Bandekawo' which more than closely resembles the cadence, flow and sound of Van Morrison's 'Young Lovers Do' from his aforementioned 'Weeks' album.
Ten songs and 42 minutes after starting this album, you'll go back to the beginning and start again. 'Silina Musango' is as good an album as we've had from the upper half of our continent and is possibly, with half a year still to go, the best African album of the year.
Stephen "Sugar" Segerman Stephen "Sugar" Segerman
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