Live in Chamanculo

Sigauque live in Chamanculo

Live in Chamanculo is the first CD/DVD released from the Maputo-based band Sigauque Project, a passionate mix of diverse musical styles, cutting edge Afro-fusion that explodes in a fresh wall of sounds from this 12 member band. The 3-piece brass section, 3 singers, percussion and kicking bass echo the big band sound of Africa before techno beats hit the continent. Musical influences span every corner of the continent, they mix and change rhythms based on Mozambican-marrabenta, Senegalese mabalak, West African Afro-beat, jazz – you name it.

Some musicians are reluctant to stray too far from their comfort zone, others say that some musical styles just don't gel. Sigauque project bandleader and trumpet player Daniel Walter says "Wanna bet?" For him, it's not about moving to the more techno, less people technicalities, its about getting people up from their chairs and having them shake their booties to music that reaches into the soul.

What's so different about Sigauque Project? "To me Sigauque Project is a perfect combination between the intellectual and the spiritual. Intellectual because of all of the thought and years of "study" that went into knowing and combining so many diverse African musical elements," says Daniel Walter. "Spiritual because it is really a sound that moves people. It's rough, but really refined, complex but simple. It is edgy and rhythmic and big."

From the first soulful tune, Angiyiqondi, the album takes listeners on a journey across the continent, but the style lands you right back in Mozambique. The album features songs like the lively Alertos da Vida, a funky marrabenta inspired beat. Originally recorded in Senegal, Piste Croissees brings in a rhythm that hints of mabalak, while Sigauque – the inspiration for the bands name - features screeching brass solos. Listen closely to the songs and you will not only hear Portuguese but also Swahili, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, English, and French lyrics.

Most of the music was originally recorded across the continent by CMFD Productions, a media company making media, and music, for social change. Crossroads for instance was created in Kenya for a hilarious radio drama, the story of what happens when a market women, frustrated by an old, corrupt police chief in the search for her missing daughter, makes a wish she never expects to come true. Cara Triste and Protégé Tua Vida were created as part of an HIV awareness project while Bravos Do Zambeze talks about recovering from disasters after floods, both in Mozambique. Switha Hela was produced in South Africa, about women's rights.

Now re-recorded and performed by Sigauque project, the pan-African birth of this music makes for a unique and groundbreaking CD.