One of Zimbabwes emerging bands with the potential to make a mark on the international stage, Mokoomba, recently released their second album entitled Rising Tide.
With music that is compelling, thrilling and mesmerising the album is a tsunami of energy and it is a spiritual force that is full of passion.
Rising Tide comprises music that defies categorisation; it cuts across genres as well as geographic and demographic boundaries.
This fantastic piece of work is signal that the youthful band, whose oldest member is only 25 years old, has arrived.
Rising Tide is testimony of the bands undeniable depth and creative potential.
It intimates that the outfit will continue delivering good music in the future in order to claim its rightful place as stars on the world stage.
The album was recorded in Belgium, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.
It was produced by Manou Gallo from Ivory Coast, who also works in Belgium. Gallos collaboration as producer of the album adds an international quality to the Tonga vibes.
His influence and support brought a subtle flavor of West African beats to the album on tracks Masangango and Misozi.
Rising Tide brings out the composing genius of lead singer Mathias Muzaza.
His beautiful, driven, expansive and versatile vocals transform traditional Tonga music into vigorous and powerful tunes.
His art takes the listener on exciting, exotic musical journeys and spaces reminiscent of places like Binga, Mali, Tehran and Madrid.
The musically rich and diverse album is a powerful blend of Tonga music traditions fused with Afro-jazz elements, a multiplicity of genres, influences and instruments.
It features thirteen guest musicians from around the world and combines instruments like the trumpet, saxophone, the kora, the djembe, the cello and the flute to create captivating, eclectic sounds and unique rhythms.
The 12-track album includes playful and ironic ditties like Njoka and songs like Manunge, Mwile, Yombe, Mvula, Welelye, Nimukonda, Mangongo, Ndundule and Mabemba.
In an interview on the sidelines of Rising Tides launch event in Harare recently, Marcus Gora, the bands manager said: In todays music industry, fitting into one genre has become a commercial imperative and as a result predictability and mediocrity become common-place.
Luckily, Mokoomba, are full of surprises, and can go against the unexpected.
Hailing from Binga and Victoria Falls, they fuse different musical traditions, genres and influences.
For example, blending the sound of the Spanish guitar with Tonga, Luvale and Nyanja lyrics is an originality factor that makes this young band special, said Gora.
Mokoomba is made up of Mathias Muzaza (lead vocals and Tonga drum percussion), Trust Samende (lead guitar), Abundance Mutori (bass), Donald Moyo (keyboards), Miti Mugande (percussion) and Coster Moyo (drums).
The youthful band was discovered in 2008 during Music Crossroads Zimbabwes nationwide music competition, training, talent search and showcase programme.
The band then won the first prize that saw it competing at the Inter-regional Festival; a Southern African youth band competition where it won the top prize of a European tour and a record deal.
Since then Mokoomba has embarked on a professional music career whose highlights include two European tours, an African tour and a string of collaborations with top international DJs like Gregor Salto.
In the past four years they have transformed into seasoned artists asserting their versatility and creativity with an urgency and imperative that makes the world stop to listen.