Thursday, December 8, 2011

CD Review: Niwel Tsumbu's 'S'All Vibrations'

Niwel Tsumbu
S'All Vibrations

Congolese-native and Ireland-based, Niwel Tsumbu, creates music with an Afrocentric base that is peppered with rumba, flamenco, and jazz, and seasoned with a dash of soukous. Singing mainly in Lingala, English, and French, Niwel transforms Congolese classics and original compositions on guitar and percussion. The music is generally very energetic and steeped in African musical traditions. Niwel is very accessible to listeners of contemporary African music. Moreover, the rumba elements will excite the Latin and flamenco listeners. As with many soukous songs, the length typically runs 5 or more minutes--and this is exactly the case with Niwel. There are lighter moments that are more reflective, such as "Freezing Cold." Perhaps the fastest song on the album might be "Heartbeat," which is a funky, groove-ladened romp into the Central African abyss. The music is diverse enough to be enjoyed by any African music fan. Niwel is top-notch all the way! ~ Matthew Forss 

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