Song of the Day: IzangoMa – Ngo Ma
Pretoria's based fifteen-piece kaleidoscopic ensemble IzangoMa released their single Ngo Ma, from the band's same-titled forthcoming debut album coming on 26th May 202 via Brownswood Recordings.
Although IzangoMa’s debut may only be reaching us in 2023, the avant-garde collective’s roots stretch back to the meeting of core members Sibusile Xaba (vox/keys) and Ashley Kgabo (synths/snare drum/drum machine) in 2016. It was a galvanising connection that allowed Xaba to begin cultivating a different side to his virtuosic talent, one at cardinal opposites with the familiar folk sound the largesse knew him for.
IzangoMa are Cosmic sgubhu with the alchemic powers of Sun Ra mixed with township styles ranging from pantsula to bubblegum. The deep-running, perpetual message of their music is wrapped up and delivered in layers of spiritual chants, healing harmonies, and all manner of electro-analog sonics transmitted in a big band style. Ngo Ma - which loosely translates from Zulu to English as 'by my mother' - explores 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.
Listen to IzangoMa new single Ngo Ma, from the band's same-titled forthcoming debut album:
The only way to extrapolate meaning from this future-forward debut is by viewing it as a collective effort, not the top-down composition of any one person. While the duo of Xaba and Kgabo forms the backbone, it’s a collective which feeds into the cycle that expands each time, adding something new to each iteration. 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.
Watch the below video for IzangoMa new single Ngo Ma, from the band's same-titled forthcoming debut album:
Other wicked songs and projects worth checking this week:
Hermanos Gutiérrez - Thunderbird
Leland Whitty - Awake
Surprise Chef - Velodrome
FKJ - Us - A COLORS SHOW
Marquis Hill - Black Alchemy/Hall of Mirrors
Tom Skinner - The Journey
Kham Meslien - Ta confiance
Matt Carmichael - Road To The Sea
Emmet Cohen - Uptown in Orbit
aki - Twijfelaar
Greg Spero - Evolution (Tiny Room Sessions)
Atlas Maior - Basalt
Venna - Sicily' Box
Charlie Stacey - Music Is Healing
Zeñel - 5dB Freestyle
Radio Citizen - Kantine
Unc D - Toots
Julius Rodriguez - Dora’s Lullaby
The Headhunters - Rocking At The Mole House