Sunday, June 17, 2012

Real Rumbira Sounds

A major force in the Zimbabwe music scene of the 1980s, the Real Sounds of Africa were in fact founded by a group of Congolese musicians in Zambia in 1975. Moving to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia under the white-minority government of Ian Smith) in 1978, they became an immediate sensation, releasing their first LP, Harare (Zimbabwe ZML 1015), in 1984.

The foremost Congolese-origin band in Zimbabwe, the Real Sounds forged a unique blend of rumba music and indigenous sounds that they called rumbira. Success followed upon success, and in 1986 the group toured Europe, releasing two albums in the UK, Wende Zako (Cooking Vinyl COOK 004, 1987), and Seven Miles High (Big Records BIG 1, 1989).

I don't know what has become of the Real Sounds, but their music, especially their football songs, continues to be popular to this day.  Enjoy Harare!

The Real Sounds - Kapinga

The Real Sounds - Ozweli Ngai Mbanda

The Real Sounds - Baninga

The Real Sounds - Harare

The Real Sounds - Chamunorwa

The Real Sounds - Dynamos Versus Caps (0-0)

Download Harare as a zipped file here.


Apurva Bahadur said...

Excellent album. Many thanks for sharing. Apurva from Pune, India.

Anonymous said...

You don't have the original mix of Real Sounds', "Soccer Fan" do you? The remix my Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) is easily available but not the orignal.

John B. said...

Sorry, I don't have that one.

Anonymous said...

No problem - thanks for posting what you have.

Anonymous said...

This is such a treat for me. The Real Sounds played so many concerts in London in their heyday & I was so taken with them I was at them all, turning African music fans & those yet to discover the joys on to them. Then came Wende Zako. The production did them no justice whatsoever & I guess was an attempt to make them sound "contemporary" to what was going on in England at the time. As I had no way of recording the concerts I had no souvenir of that time till now. Harare is just as i remember them so a GREAT big thank you.
Don't suppose the jump on the vinyl on track 2 at 8.12 would repair?.


John B. said...

Glad you enjoy it. Sorry about that skip. I tried to fix it but there was nothing I could do.

BarryB said...

Wish I'd had the opportunity to see them as one of your earlier respondents had. This is prime: great harmonies, plenty of momentum, and great *acoustic* instrumentals. Thanks much!

Unknown said...

Iluma Sambhu who played saxophone in Real Sounds of Africa has just married my dear friend Rosie Nyabadza. I met them both in Mutare, Zimbabwe last week. ‘Sam’ was planting wheat on his land and they showed me their future retirement home.

John B. said...

Charles, give my congratulations to the newlyweds.