International Treasure: Tumi & The Volume

South African hip hop band Tumi & The Volume are making waves the world over as “The Roots of Africa”. Tanzanian poet and MC Tumi Molekane leads the group with razor sharp,witty, politically charged lyrics, and is backed by Mozambiquan band 340ml, comprised of musicians David Bergman (bass), Tiago Paulo (guitar), and Paulo Chibanga (drums).

Their 2006 self-titled sophomore album takes on various genres from hip hop, Afro-jazz, and metal, creating their distinct sound. Hip hop star Mos Def featured the group in his NY Times Playlist this past May, praising the group’s “well-structured rhymes delivered in an easy and urgent pace at the same time.” He goes on to write, “It’s like King Sunny Adé or Talking Heads or Fela, or early Coldplay. It’s more interesting even than that stuff. It’s got lush melodies. They cover a lot of ground. There’s some Red Hot Chili-type flavor, some ska, there’s a lot going on in that band.”

Starting out in 2002 playing gigs across Africa and Europe, their debut, At The Bassline, catapulted them to star status, resulting in the group opening for larger international acts, and sharing stages with The Roots and Coldplay.

I'm personally in love with their latest album. It flows effortlessly;Tumi's poetic beginnings adds a depth to his lyrical ability and flow that is irreproachable, and the sound the Volume provides as a backdrop for the vocals bumps like a "global jam funk house party".

Check out their Myspace page, and peep the video below to see where The Roots comparison is coming from.



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