Ngo Ma

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The fifteen-piece kaleidoscopic ensemble IzangoMa might only be releasing its debut offering, but the collective’s roots stretch back to the meeting of Sibusile Xaba (vox/keys) and Ashley Kgabo (synths/snare drum/drum machine) in 2016. The album is the logical next step in a journey. Sibusile Xaba reveals a side to his virtuosic talent at cardinal opposites with the familiar folk sound the largesse knew him for. Kings rejoice in laughter on album opener “Agenda Re-member”, while the music cascades carefree over frequencies expressing joy and positive living. In this world, IzangoMa’s world, the moon sings sweet melodies and the children rejoice in laughter. Worries are but a distraction, and joy is the ultimate quest. It’s a declaration of love in its highest, lucid, uninhibited form.

The ensemble is a Southern African link-up of Mozambican and South African musicians. Sibusile tells it best: “I had this idea of working with my students from Mozambique. When I first met them [during exchange workshops], they were young men. We’d return every year to find these great human beings growing into these phenomenal musicians. We felt like it would be nice to incorporate them into this thing that we were doing.”

IzangoMa are Cosmic sgubhu with the alchemic powers of Sun Ra mixed with township styles ranging from pantsula to bubblegum, wrapped up and delivered in layers of spiritual chants, healing harmonies, and all manner of electro-analogue sonics transmitted in a big band-style ultrasound exploring themes of Creation as seen through the all-knowing feminine energy that transcends time and space, standing assured in its position as the cornerstone of their foundation. This is rhythm music; it spills into crevices ever-evolving, and revolts against a revolution yet to be finalised.


A1. Agenda Remember
A2. Birds (Of A Feather)
A3. City Lights
B1. Le Nna Mfana
B2. Mgung U Ndlovu
C1. Ngo Ma
C2. Out Of The World
C3. Phew
D1. Q & A
D2. Tribute To Johnny Dyani
D3. Wathint' Imbokodo

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