COMPETITION UPDATE (2nd May, 2011)
Congratulations to Catherine Marks who wins an autographed copy of Muntu Valdo's new album, The One & The Many.
Thanks, commiserations and better luck next time to all other participants; the album is available to buy from the usual outlets (links at the end of the page).
The competition (details after the video and mp3 embeds) is now closed.
Since the early 2000s the British music mag NME hasn't displayed much interest in music or musicians that don't fall within the very safe and narrow indie rock category, so when one of its reviewers ventures beyond their comfort zone to declare that a recording is "A rapturous record that shudders with joy and passion,” as one did in response to Muntu Valdo's 2005 debut Gods & Devils, you know you're hearing about someone special indeed.
That album went on to receive critical acclaim from other UK music press, in France (where Muntu lived at the time) and across Africa. Now, after a few years touring the world, performing alongside artists such as Keziah Jones, Tony Allen, Richard Bona and Manu Dibango, and at Damon Albarn’s Africa Express, Muntu releases the follow-up, The One & The Many, and once again it is a marvel.
Muntu Valdo is a one-man harmonica-voice-guitar whiz who plays what he calls Sawa Blues. It's an acoustic style that combines elements from reggae, jazz, blues, bossa nova, afrobeat with influences from the Sawa region of West Africa where he is from. He uses an array of loop pedals and effects to layer up his sound, creating something that's not only a joy to hear but pretty amazing to witness live. This is what you hear on The One & The Many - which aims to ‘unleash the power of many inside each and everyone of us’ - an open, honest, soulful, accessible album that covers a lot of ground in just 10 tracks, poignant a capellas, bluesy ballads, afrobeat, it's sometimes hard to believe you're listening to a one-man show.
We're embedding the afrobeat and funk-infused Musseing and Lemba, but really, we could have embedded any other two and they'd sound just as good.
COMPETITION: WIN A SIGNED CD OF THE ONE & THE MANY
The One & The Many drops on the 11th of April, however, Muntu Valdo has signed a copy for us to give away to one lucky This Is Africa reader.
All you have to do is answer the following question:
Muntu Valdo is from West Africa, but which country specifically?
Send your response to email@example.com (subject field: Muntu Valdo - The One & The Many) and the winner will be selected at random on Monday the 2nd of May.
Please include your name, full postal address and telephone number in your email.
Good luck, folks!
MUNTU VALDO ONLINE
Warner Classics & Jazz
THE ONE & THE MANY