The Zonke Family – At The Studio | Traditional Marembe music

Philophon’s sister label Lokalophon are releasing ‘At The Studio’ the new album by The Zonke Family.

Continuing the label’s ethos of championing unsung local talent from all over the world this is the first time a full matepe ensemble is captured on a studio album.

The members of the Zonke family from Nyamapanda, Zimbabwe, features Anthony “Matomati” Zonke, Chief Boyi Nyamande and Crispen Zonke. The family are master musicians of the matepe.

The 8-track LP captures the traditional sound of Marembe people, living in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The sadly rare and endangered mapete mbira tradition (a kind of giant kalimba whose players juggle with up to four independent rhythmic and melodic lines), the members of The Zonke Family are more than musicians; they’re the cultural bearer of art that could soon be lost.

The label has shared three tracks from the album via Bandcamp, and our pick of the bunch is the mind-blowing closer ‘Mhembwe Mukat’ which is unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. 

We can’t wait to hear the full album which is set to drop next month.


1. Sadza Nemusoro Wembeva
2. Nbebvu Mbembembe
3. Wako Ndewako
4. Karera
5. Tinotengana Kuipa
6. Kuroora Mukadzi
7. Washora Mambo
8. Mhembwe Mukat

At The Studio is out on 11th September via Lokalophon. Pre-order from Bandcamp.

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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