Saturday, July 22, 2006


Amampondo live - Drums for tomorrow

"At last" he cried - Peak has some excellent live footage of Amampondo, South Africa's top Marimba & Percussion ensemble, to give you a real sample of their power on stage. Robert & MELT have brought out Amampondo's first DVD titled Amampondo 25 Years of Skins (MZADV 003) to celebrate this milestone, and I think it is a must have for any decent DVD collection.

Its is made up of mostly unreleased video footage of the groups performances over the past two decades, filmed by passionate supporters such as Chris Lewis - the sound engineer who has been a major part of bringing out the best of the MELT stable of artists, and other fans who have followed Amampondo around the world.

There is footage from journey's to Pondoland in the heart of the Transkei, to live performances at Festivals such as WOMAD, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and the Africa 2000 Festival and Bagley's Club in King's Cross, London.

Amampondo are the true treasurer's, and creators, of a culture that continues to transform, combining the rural sounds and expressions with the urban responses to what is happening around them.

It is never easy not being a part of the main-stream in terms of Arts & Entertainment; people often take cultural groups for granted as just being a part of the make-up of society. But I think they represent a far more important facet, as the stronger our ties to our past are, the more it indicates how we look after each other in the present.

25 years of keeping tradition alive; of passing it on to younger generations; of being ambassadors of their culture and country, deserves all the recognition and respect that we afford to the hip and happening artists who create hits that we dance to today, but are more likely to forget tomorrow. These kinds of groups cannot easily be replaced.

Here is Amampondo's track Drums for tomorrow, composed by Mzwandile Qotoyi & Michael Nkululeko Ludonga, and published by MELT 2000 Publishing, and of course, available LIVE through PEAK!

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