Healing Sounds from Mother Africa by Pops Mohamed
If it's true deep and traditional African music you're after, this is as authentic as it gets.
With real ancient African instruments played by a true African master, you'll be hard-pressed to find an album that so beautifully evokes the spirit of the ancient Khoisan people - and it's delivered with real love and understanding by one of the foremost South African musicians of his generation.
Healing Sounds from Mother Africa contains a variety of moods and evocations. There are traditional Khoisan-influenced tracks, including a tribute to Saartjie Baartman in the song I Am Free, San devotional track Love Is the Answer, music written for an Ethiopian schools programme and music from the Horse Whisperer documentary.
Pops Mohamed has a clear gift for making music that combines generous measures of traditionalism with delicate flavours of modern influences and expertise. This is partly why he has won so many awards and become one of the Africa's most celebrated musical legends.
Healing Sounds from Mother Africa certainly ranks as one of his best works to date.
This album is perfect for long drives through the African countryside - it's got enough vibrant African character to prevent you from falling asleep, yet it's soothing enough to make your journey as relaxing as possible.
Shades of earthy olive greens waft their way across the outsides and insides of this album's covers and booklet, representing the calls of Mother Nature in the form of gentle winds. The calming artwork and aesthetics of this album's packaging give a clear indication of the music's soothing properties, even before you take out the CD.
"Life is light and light is life, and so colour is sound and sound colour. The soul itself is song." This quote by Sufi Inayat Khan captures the very essence of what this album from Pops Mohamed - Healing Sounds from Mother Africa: An African Ambient Experience - is all about.
Interesting indigenous instruments play a central role in giving this album its distinctive character. Your ears will be treated to the sounds of the kora (West African harp), mbira (Zimbabwean thumb piano), wind whistle, rain stick, Khoisan mouth bow and many others, all of which are mentioned in the album booklet, which in itself is a fascinating work of art...
Pops says it best: "This album is a dedication to all the traditional musicians, late and living, to see this form of music as one of the answers to preserving the indigenous musical instruments as an offering for the new millennium."
"May this African musical journey be a wake-up call for us to start taking care of our music. I believe the music of the future will come from Africa," Pops muses.
This album attained the recognition it clearly deserves when it was nominated for the 2008 South African Music Awards (SAMA) in the best instrumental album category. It's one of the most heartfelt albums we've ever come across, and we encourage you to find out why by having a listen to it right here on CapeTownMagazine.com.