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For WEMA, collaboration is a state of mind. The fivepiece collective – consisting of Tanzanian multiinstrumentalist Msafiri Zawose, producer Photay and Penya members Magnus P.I, Lilli Elina and Jimmy le Messurier – is an artistic pursuit founded on community;a space in which to harness the transformative power of connection. Translated from Swahili, ‘wema’ means kindness and benevolence – virtues that lie at the core of the project, and are reflected in the group’s worldembracing approach to music. “WEMA is a state of gratitude and belief, without sorrow or grief. It’s about giving your entire heart,” Msafiri declares.

The self-titled album is an intoxicating, dancefloorindebted blend of traditional Tanzanian music, AfroLatin rhythms and experimental electronic music, with the majority of lyrics sung in Swahili and Spanish. It’s a smorgasbord of sounds, moods and textures that call on the very ethos of the band; the pursuit of cohesion and togetherness in a fractured world. Through this lens, WEMA is a near-spiritual listen, invoking the sacred sounds of their global influences. The tape-delayed vocal samples and sparse industrial clangs of Kande are reminiscent of the kind of deconstructed beats you might find in a closing club set. Bendir Bendir’s pointillist soundscapes are juxtaposed with a warm chorus of Msafiri’s layered harmonies. Msafiri Jam Pt 2, with its uptempo percussion and atmospheric background noise, features the undulating hornwork of groundbreaking Afro-Cuban trumpeter Yelfris Valdes. There’s a palpable optimism running through WEMA; it’s raw, unfiltered music that is as danceable as it is soul-stirring.


01 / A1.Wema Song
02 / A2. Luanje Pt. 1
03 / A3. Luanje Pt. 2
04 / B1. Kiherehere
05 / B2. Zeze
06 / B3. Kiherehere Slow
07 / C1. Kande
08 / C2. Bendir Bendir !
09 / C3. Pepote Pt. 1
10 / C4. Pepote Pt. 2
11 / D1. Msafiri Jam Pt. 1
12 / D2. Msafiri Jam Pt. 2
13 / D3. Wema Outro

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