They Must Be Crazy - Mother Nature (Self-published)

'Mother Nature' is the long player debut of They Must Be Crazy, a sixteen-piece Portuguese afrobeat ensemble composed of musicians who already earned their spurs performing with acts like Tabanka Djaz, Sara Tavares, Selma Uamusse, Voodoo Marmalade and Pás de Problème. 'Mother Nature' was partly recorded at the historical Namouche Studios in Lisbon. Lead vocalist Pacas alternates between English, Portuguese and Angolan Kimbundu (intro 'Muxima', 'Catumbela', 'Jinguba') and 'A Voz E A Arma' even opens with a bit of French: "Dans une bande de quinze, tout le monde est fou. Tu dois le beat pour sentir dancer avec nous." (a reference to the time that the band still was 15 instead of 16 piece ensemble). 'Mother Nature' opens with 'Muxima' (Kimbundu for "heart"), no afrobeat, but rousing African percussion rhythms, but with 'Can Not See' the afrobeat-party really gets started. Our two favorites from the track list are 'Jinguba', in which João Nunes' flute was given a lead role and Pacas talks about the preparation of jinguba, Angolan peanut bread, and closing track 'Sinnerman', lasting over ten minutes and ending in an enchanting mbira-solo by Iuri Oliveira. Excellent supplement to the European afrobeat-family!


Added: Jun 29, 2017