STO­RY­TELLING is the main theme that runs through Makhathini’s lat­est al­bum Ikhambi. The al­bum is an ex­er­cise in con­nect­ing the lis­tener to spir­i­tu­al­ity through mu­sic. Ikhambi’s 13 tracks are a nar­ra­tion of the jour­ney to spir­i­tual awak­en­ing. Each track takes its name from a spe­cific part of the jour­ney. For ex­am­ple, three dis­tinct yet linked melodies form­ing part of the Im­pande story, out­line the jour­ney of a young man that wants to speak with his an­ces­tors, the sa­cred ones, to find his ori­gins. The three songs ti­tled Im­pande first, sec­ond and third move­ments fol­low the young man’s jour­ney. The al­bum is played by Makhathini and The Cure Col­lec­tive, each of the mem­bers of the group bring­ing a unique el­e­ment to the mu­sic, be it the trans­fix­ing rhythm that’s cre­ated by the conga and djembe drums or the haunt­ing sounds cre­ated by the flutes and harp. Makhathini on pi­ano plays like he’s com­mu­ni­cat­ing di­rectly with his an­ces­tors. Some stand-out tunes in­clude the open­ing track

Amath­ambo, um­lahlankosi and the Im­pande move­ments. Jazz vo­cal­ist Omagugu makes an ap­pear­ance on the al­bum as well, pro­vid­ing spo­ken word and vo­cals on the al­bum. Sakhile Moleshe, also a vo­cal­ist – re­mem­ber the vo­cals on Gold­fish’s Fort Knox – makes an ap­pear­ance on the al­bum. Ikhambi is a full pack­age, of mu­sic and sto­ry­telling that cre­ates the ul­ti­mate au­di­tory ex­pe­ri­ence.

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