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Ma'Cheri by Freshly Ground
Released: Sep 2008
Label: Wrasse Records
This Cape Town outfit is a pitch-perfect case study of modern South African pop, from its multicultural membership to multi-stylistic blend. Jazz, soul, coffee-shop pop, rock and ska/dub with traditional South African folk-pop genres (pennywhistle-driven kwela, jazzy marabi) are filtered through sunny Afro-pop and that particularly South African smoothness. The instrumentation is just as diversely mellow: flute, sax, harmonica and mbiras round out the usual guitars-and-drums combo. It's a winning combination. Just ask Shakira, who collaborated with them on "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)."
Rachel Devitt