– THE PEACEFUL PROTEST –
Join me in doing a quick experiment; next time it rains (if you’re based in the UK, you won’t have to wait long), put this track on. I regularly play so-called ‘World’ music in such circumstances as I find its sunny vibes and exotic rhythms provide the proverbial silver lining to any wet and windy Wednesday afternoon in Blighty.
Ndife Alendo feels like a track right out of that canon; the sort of song that has positive vibes written all the way through its core like a stick of rock.
But don’t be fooled. The name means “We Are Strangers” and refers to Lazarus Chigwandali’s albinism – a condition which is treated with intense suspicion in his home country, which killed his brother, which renders Lazarus’ eyesight particularly poor and which he has now passed to his two children.
For Chigwandali, this is a song that has been mined from a place of acute pain.
And yet, much like diamonds are forged from years of pressure, Chigwandali is still able to take a positive stance on it. “Ladies and gentlemen / Look after yourselves / Do not get trapped with the [evils] of this world,” he sings in his native Malawian.
Combined with rhythms powerful enough to make you shake it like a polaroid picture, it makes for an inspiring, uplifting view of the world that you mightn’t necessarily have when staring at your soggy trouser bottoms. Lazarus’ debut album Stomp On The Devil (created in collaboration with The Very Best’s Johan Hugo) is due out later in the year along with a film that documents the making of the record and delves further into Chigwandali’s story.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –