Bumping (Poo Productions PPLCD001, 2006)
I sought out Bumping after seeing it reviewed in the ever-trusty UK magazine Songlines. Being entirely unfamiliar with the band Massukos but quite attached to what little music I have from their home country of Mozambique, I was curious for a listen. And oh my, how sweet the sounds that greeted my ears.
Most of the songs have a feel that weighs in somewhere between reggae, marrabenta (Mozambique’s signature style) and breezy pan-Lusafrican pop, and there’s not a weak track to be heard. The group formed in the mid-’90s as Mozambique’s lengthy civil war was winding down, though they didn’t record their first album until 2001(Bumping is their second).
Maybe their unhurried pace has something to do with how beautifully structured and rhythmically alive their music is. Whatever the reason, their blend of electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, several levels of percussion, enchanting vocals and occasional horn and accordion flavoring is a joy that’s sustained through every second of this highly recommended CD.
(A word about the organization responsible for the release of Bumping: Poo Productions, despite their whimsical name and the fact that their logo is a toilet seat, is seriously dedicated to the cause of promoting greater hygienic and sanitary conditions in places where such things are lacking. With the assistance of artists like Massukos, the message is getting out and things are changing for the better. Additional information can be found at www.pooproductions.org.)