GudoGuru
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GudoGuru

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Discography

Magamba Fallen Hero (2012)
Munyaradzi (2007)

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Bio

The GudoGuru (Great Ape) collective are a band of young Zimbabwean based musicians who originate and play soul/
acoustic folk music built around the beautiful sound of Zimbabwe’s ancient traditional instrument - the Mbira. The Mbira is
an ancient sound which is haunting and melancholic yet lifting and enchanting in turns and its presence on the album
signifies the deep appreciation the young musicians in the GudoGuru collective have for what many often regard as an
instrument purely for “traditional” use. The Mbira is arranged with acoustic guitar, bass and voice as well as traditional
Ngoma (drums) and hosho (shakers) and as such sees GudoGuru bringing their own authentic voice and energy to
traditional sounds.

Their current recording - Magamba -Fallen Hero - encapsulates the personal and musical evolution of lead vocalist and
producer, Munyaradzi Nota (aka Tanganyika). His last album, Munyaradzi, which he recorded as part of the Hip Hop
collective DKR (Divided Kingdom Republic) was a fusion of Hip Hop and Mbira and was recorded predominantly in English.
The Magamba –Fallen Hero record however sees him shift from rap to songs which are sung in his mother tongue Shona;
one of the main language groups in Zimbabwe.

The arrangements are moving and transportative, reflecting the introspective tone of the lyrics. One track Dzikai (Come
down) is asking the ancestors to come down and guide us because we have lost our way, while Dzoka (Come back) calls
on inner strength and knowing to accompany one in the unfolding journey of life. Bubbling drum rhythms and driving
shakers create an infectious bounce which energetically draws out the heartfelt sentiments of the tracks.
The musicians made a commitment to their desire to make a record with a live and organic feel by each recording their
instrument’s take for the final recording in a single “live” pass, capturing a ‘warts and all’ fluid recording of each musician’s
contribution.

Clarence Mzite, who at 19 is the youngest member of the collective, and who was taught the Mbira by his grandfather,
renowned Mbira maker and player Tute Chigamba, describes the vibration of the Magamba-Fallen Hero album as spiritually
moving going on to say, “It’s the new generation of Zimbabwean/African music yet still touches on the way the people
traditionally lived.” Actually, it was a chance meeting between Munyaradzi and Clarence’s aunt, internationally known
Zimbabwean dancer Julia Tsitsi Chigamba, in California that unlocked a relationship between the two’s families.
In the context of today’s Zimbabwe, “Magamba” (the heroes) is highly loaded even as a word. Colloquially, the term has
come to be more commonly associated to the fallen heroes of Zimbabwe’s wars of independence. It is a prolific and at
times divisive symbol in Zimbabwe. But as one becomes more familiar with the music, it reemerges as more of an
archetype; a symbol for the hero who has fallen within ourselves. “This is the hero I have been journeying to resurrect within
myself, as I hope is the case in others too,” Munya reveals.

The production of the entire album was self recorded and funded allowing Munya to stay tuned in to the original spirit of
the music. It was a slow and deliberate process giving the production the time and space to unfold in its true form.
It began its gestation in 2009 when Munyaradzi began recording the original material with a group of musicians at his
parents’ Harare home. For two and a half months, musicians David “Dhiva” Tapfuma, Allen Chigwedere, Takunda Mafika,
and Jimmy “Sebede” Njikizana, literally ‘ate from the same pot’; for the most part living together at the house as they
worked to interpret the new material. The culmination was the setting up of a ‘guerilla style’ recording studio in the lounge
of the family home.

After his time in Harare, further recordings were facilitated in London with guitarist Jules Faife, whom Munya had met
through the former’s earlier work with Zimbawean singer/songwriter Netsayi Chigwendere. Jules lent his inimitable take on
the very unique picking style and musical scales peculiar to Zimbabwean music. In the process he created what feels like a
bridge towards the Mbira’s sound for those ears still new to its haunting sound. Finally, Munya recorded with Zimbabwean
born - UK based bassist Peter “Mashasha” Mujuru. As Munya recalls, “it was a really special session. Mashaha recorded
his practically single take recordings over our two afternoons together despite the fact it was the first time he was hearing
the tracks. It felt like he was having a virtual jam session with the musicians I had recorded in Zim”

It wasn’t until late 2011, whilst staying with his family in a cottage in Chite Bajo, a tiny village in southern Spain, that Munya
felt inspired to again pitch another home studio; this time to enable him to finally lay down the vocals for the record. It is
also here that the ladies Nyasha Sabeta and