After decades of friendship and informal "jamming" together at clubs and festivals, Madala Kunene and Syd Kitchen; two of South Africa's most enduring musical sons; have joined forces in the creation of BAFO BAFO.
This exciting, cross-cultural collaboration between two highly individual guitar stylists creates a musical landscape that is magical and absolutely unique. Indeed; BAFO BAFO deliver a musical tapestry that is at once a living embodiment of the magical "new" South Africa. Their ability to naturally fuse cultural elements from the diversity abundant in multiethnic South Africa sets in motion an ethos that is being echoed across Africa; the collective thought that NOW is the time for Africa, if she works together. BAFO BAFO is therefore a musical manifestation of the ethos behind the drive for Africa's renaissance. The collaboration is a creation of its time.
The musical magic of BAFO BAFO results from the synthesis of both musicians' diverse contributions. Syd Kitchen's eclectic use of musical elements that traverse everything from Celtic, Afrikaans, jazz, Cajun, Eastern and African influences is balanced and complimented by Madala Kunene's uncanny ability to develop a Maskanda groove that burrows itself into your consciousness. Kitchen plays nylon and steel string acoustic guitars, recorders, hosepipe flute, percussion and sings. Kunene plays steel string acoustic guitars, mouth bow and sings. All the music is organically co-written and sung in Zulu, English and Fanigalo (urban slang).
At a time in Africa's history when serious moves are afoot (such as the NEPAD initiative and the formation of the African Union) to liberate the continent from the shackles of a past tainted with Colonial oppression and economic marginalization, the ancestors give us BAFO BAFO and their magical 100% halaal, Afro-Saxon sonic parables of possibility. One of their songs says "manje isikhathi sesifikile" (."now is the time, and it is here"). It is BAFO BAFO's time. It is Africa's time.
Double CD released December 3rd. Thirty tracks follow the intrepid bikers on their journey south from John O'Groats to South Africa.
Find out more about the artists whose music was specially chosen to feature on the Long Way Down television series, DVD and CD. Read the background to the musicians and buy digital downloads of tracks heard on the series.
Catch up with what is happening to Ewan and Charley episode by episode and trace the music you can hear as the journey unfolds week by week.