Category Archives: Listen

Download: αtμ – ♥(v)

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Here’s a free to download EP from Michigan-based Malawian Atupele Ndisale, aka αtμ, and it really is something special. The second year Economics major at the University of Michigan takes the well-trodden sound and aesthetics of artists like the Weeknd, Purity Ring and inc., but makes it all sound surprisingly fresh, chopping in vocals from Destiny’s Child, Musiq Soulchild and D’Angelo while he’s at it. αtμ describes the EP as “A short extended play that consists of the reworking of songs belonging to a genre that I not only wanted to pay homage to, but one that I attribute my disposition to…”

Get it downloaded then check out the rest of αtμ’s tracks on his Soundcloud, it’s all amazing stuff.

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Listen: JustusBeatz – The Birth, The Growth, The Journey

JustusBeatz

We’re vibing to these two instrumentals (the third track appears to be a rap over the instrumental of a song called “Sweet Science” by The Audible Doctor) by Lilongwe-based hip hop producer Keith PJ Wako, also known as JustusBeatz. They’re from way back in August 2012 but it passed us by the first time, and the young beatmaker – brother of Power 101 DJ Kenny Klips – sounds like someone to watch.

Listen: The MBC Band and the Chichiri Queens – Echipini

MBC Band

Here’s ‘Echipini’ by the MBC Band, the house band for the Malawi Broadcasting Corportation.

After Malawi’s independence in 1964 the music played on radio was dominated by western pop, country and rumba. The MBC Band, formed in 1973, were at the forefront of creating a modern popular Malawi sound that mixed traditional sounds with foreign influences, and the band acted as a training ground for many Malawian musicians.

Despite the band’s involvement in creating something of a musical identity in Malawi, President Banda’s growing power had a huge influence on the lyrics of the popular music of the time. Following Malawi’s 1968 Censorship Act, musicians had to write lyrics acceptable to censors to ensure their songs would be played on the radio . The MBC had a monopoly on the airwaves, much of the band’s lyrics therefore carried political messages in praise of the country’s leadership.

Around the same time jazz band music sprung up as a counter voice to the MBC’s “safe” music choices. It combined traditional Malawian, African and Western elements, often played on homemade instruments. Emphasis on live performance and the resonance of the lyrics (often containing double-meaning expressions that criticised Banda’s government) provided a voice for both rural and urban youths. All of this was crucial to further energising indigenous popular music in Malawi, and challenging the monopoly role of the MBC.

To read more on the subject have a look at Music and Social Protest by John Lwanda.

Listen: Biriwiri – Highlights

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Here’s Highlights, the new track from hip hop duo Biriwiri. The track is the first single from Biriwiri’s new record The Green Album, which is slated for a May release. The album will be their third after 2011’s Umayitha (which included the awesome Iweyo, check it out here).

New Music of Malawi Soundcloud

We’ve started trawling through our archives (mostly made up of Lake of Stars live recordings from a few years back) and putting them up on a Soundcloud page. Visit our profile here.

Listen: Piksy – Short One

Here’s Short One, a cut from MASO, the debut solo album by Piksy. The album came out earlier this month heralded by a massive launch party in Robin’s Park.