It all begun during the Outernational Meltdown gathering in Cape Town 1994, when Amampondo appeared for the first time with a large gathering of friends from overseas and their home country – a legendary concert with everybody on one big stage. 2 years later Amampondo recorded their first album for MELT 2000 at Brownhill Farm Studios in a highly conservative part of West Sussex, UK. The neighbors were constantly complaining about everything so we kept as quiet as one possible one can with a 10 members percussion group and stopped recording drums after 8 pm – all drum takes had to be done TOMORROW. Producer: Brice Wassy
1. CUMBELELE (CHILDREN’S GAME)
Composed by Simpiwe Matole, with traditional lyrics sung by Lungiswa. Cumbelele is an African Xhosa game that is played by the children and the adults join in. this game has everyone joining in, including Jeff Gordon on alto saxophone, Jose Luis Quintana – ‘Changuito‘ – on congas, Emanuel Sejourné on vibraphone, Brice Wassy playing piccolo marimba, drums & cowbell, Richard Ajileye‘s percussion and Airto Moreira‘s surdo.
Brice Wassy’s signature tune, given the Amampondo treatment with lyrics by Lulu ‘Lungiswa’ Plaatjies.
3. NOBABHEHA (DEFEAT)
Do not think only of yourselves because we are all defeated. That is the message of this song, written by Dizu Plaatjies and performed by the Amampondo Choir.
4. KUDU JUNCTION Kudu is a South African bock with large horns. There are numerous serious car accidents at Kudu Junction involving Kudus as they charge into the path of approaching car headlights. The horns that you hear are Kudu horns, played by Amampondo. The drums & keyboards are played by Brice Wassy.
5. SALAWENA (STAY IF YOU WANT TO)
Written and composed by Lungile Gadezweni, Dizu Plaatjies & Mantombi Matotiyana and featuring the Amampondo Choir, this song asks, ‘If you stay here, what will you be doing? Stay if you want, but what are you going to do?’
6. DRUMS FOR TOMORROW
We couldn’t play drums that night because it was getting late, so we thought of our neighbours and decided to leave the ‘drums for tomorrow’! This composition by Mzwandile Qotoyi & Michael Nkululeko Ludonga features the massed marimbas of Amampondo with Emmanuel Sejourné on vibraphone, Papa Noel Ekwabi on bass and Changuito‘s timbales.
7. VUKANI NOBANILE (WAKE UP IF YOU ARE ASLEEP)
This is Mantombi Matotiyana’s song.
Ingxoxo means ‘conversation’ – it can be any conversation and this song by Mzwandile Qotoyi – featuring the trumpet of Byron Wallen, Christoph Stiefel playing Fender Rhodes piano, and Jeff Gordon on alto saxophone – has something to say.
9. GUMBOOT DANCE
Producer Brice Wassy joins Amampondo in the gumboot dance.
10. COLLECTIVE FOR ‘CHANGUITO’
The ancestral drums of Michael Nkululeko Ludonga lead the djembes, with Richard Ajileye on congas and Jose Luis Quintana – ‘Changuito‘, himself – on timbales in a song dedicated to the Cuban maestro.
Composed by Mantombi Matotiyana and performed by her on the mouth bow.
13. SKHAL’ABANTWANA (THE CHILDREN ARE CRYING)
A joint Amampondo production demonstrating just how the group get its reputation as the number one Marimba kings on the Cape.