Album Of The Week: Sibusile Xaba: Open Letter to Adoniah/Unlearning


Sibusile Xaba

South African record label Mushroom Hour Half Hour has shared “Open Letter To Adoniah” and “Unlearning,” two hugely impressive albums by talented guitarist and songwriter Sibusile Xaba, who improvises the musical legacy of KwaZulu-Natal.

On Open Letter to Adoniah (the first part of the double-album, recorded in 2016) Xaba enlists the talents of percussionists Thabang Tabane and Moahanganai Magagula for ten contemplative songs. With the influence of Tabane over the project, he injects a spiritual sensibility much like the early 60’s malombo music of his father, the legendary Dr Philip Tabane.

Unlearning (the second part, recorded in 2015), sees Xaba masterfully blending his rapid guitar finger-picking and warrior chants against Bonolo Nkoane’s intense, drum patterns and Ariel Zamonsky powerful upright bass rhythms constantly pushing the musical boundaries of the Maskandi / Mbaqanga traditions.

A wonderfully arranged, multi layered album that you’ll keep coming back to again and again.

Sibusile Xaba– An Open Letter to Adoniah and Unlearning



Open Letter to Adoniah/Unlearning is out now via Mushroom Hour Half Hour – buy from Bandcamp.


CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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