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MP3 Rassie Ai - Return To Life

Reggae infused with traditional african live instruments and percussion.

8 MP3 Songs in this album (30:43) !
Related styles: REGGAE: Roots Reggae, WORLD: African

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A meeting with the talented duo of DKR, Kudakwashe Musasiwa and Munyaradzi Nota laid the foundation of Rassie’s debut album, “Return To Life.”

"This album is from my soul," Rassie says of the album. “It is a therapy for the loss of my brother that perpetually haunts me. So in a way it is his, because his spirit inspired it and led throughout its production,” he adds.

Lyrically, “Return To Life” expands upon the personal, social and political themes explored on “Munhumutapa Man.” Its musical centre, unlikely its predecessor which was mainly comprised of Jamaican Reggae riddims, is clearly traditional roots music. On the new record, the dynamic DKR band of Musasiwa, Nota and guitarist Fabrice Quentin made sure the music was peppered by haunting and enchanting mbiras, endearing snares, African percussion and folksy acoustic guitar work.

Opening with the subversively danceable "Blue Steel World," Rassie delves into an upbeat meditation on unravelling the distractions of western life to a diasporian African.

The album''s breezy, mbira-spiced title track casts a light on Rassie Ai’s emotional perspective. On the cut, his reflective message is two pronged in a unique way. Rassie’s voice moans both the demise of his brother; and the disillusionment of Africans who have settled in the West and are blinded of the treasure that Africa offers. This message is also emphasised on the poignant cut “She Still Awaits.” A lament against modern day forms of slavery, its words are conscious, its groove monstrous.

African pride is one of the album''s recurring themes, whether as the core of monogamous and universal introspective or the connective tissue of brotherhood on the continent. "Free to Breathe" and "Cries and Smiles" each offer an ode to pride, dignity and perseverance amidst immense challenges that are part and parcel of life.

The album''s most political song, "Rise It Up," empowers the listener to reject the manipulating power of fear. It laments the crises in nations like Sudan and Zimbabwe but emboldens Africans to stand up and fight the hidden foreign hands that divide them.

Then there’s the acoustic “How Comes?” Tapping into the disillusionment triggered by the trappings of Western life, the vintage, easy-skanking acoustic beat of "How Comes?" slices into the insincere, crooked political policies of the rich countries by asking why there is so much interest on Africa if the global North is not exploiting the motherland.

Western Imperialism and its continuing effects are explored on the first single, “Step Over Dem” – a bass-heavy, rootsy tune which bolsters Zimbabweans to unite beyond tribal differences and face today’s challenges as one entity. The song is about the farthest thing from the usual pop-style first single commercial music offerings today. It’s rather an outraged and unapologetic description of the crisis ravaging his homeland of Zimbabwe.

In an exceptional and trend-setting way, the album picks up from where the DKR duo left off with their album, Kudakwashe/Munyaradzi.

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