The MahuGang "Back to the roots" (Marrabenta)
Through music we can relate to it's - or our own - country of origin. Through melody, rhythm, language and dance we can reconnect ourselves to where we grew up, to where we come from. We can keep the memories, whilst simultaneously playing roots music in a new context, in a new country - like Germany - and develop ourselves further. This is the aim of 'THE MAHU GANG (Back to the Roots)'.
Band members Alfredo 'Alfredo' Mahumane, Bernardo "Bedinho" Mussa, Abdula 'Papadula' Ratifo, Reginaldo 'Madjozi' macave, Jordão "Jordan" Homu, Jerry "Jerry K" Kaupitwa were all aged between 18 and 24 when, in the middle of their education, moved from Mozambique to East Germany. They, as they say, "grew up" in Germany, and - having continued their education here - felt like they really deserved their first salary! Growing up in Mozambique, then continuing to grow in Germany, they've lived in two worlds. They see this as an asset, which they use for their music. The memory of their Mozambican music tradition can also alleviate homesickness, which reappears from time to time in their Berlin and Halle homes.
The MahuGang „Moça cala-te“
The MahuGang „Laurinda“
The so-called Marrabenta music derives from the south of Mozambique, specifically the capital Maputo and neighboring Gaza province. The name derives from the Portuguese word 'rebentar' (or colloquially arrabentar), meaning to 'burst' or 'explode'. The vocals are usually sung in local dialects. The content of the songs deal with socially critical themes or acts of love and longing. The music is based on constant drum and/or guitar rhythms and polyphonic 'call-and-response' vocals. With that the band are accompanied by a melodic mbila, a xylophone-style instrument from sub-Saharan Africa. It consists of ten bars and gourd resonators and is played with two resined mallet heads. The mbila can be played whilst walking - or dancing - hence the dynamic dance that accompanies Marrabenta can be performed by the musicians and audience alike!
Marrabenta is a mixture of Portuguese and African sounds. The openness of this music reflects the two worlds of the members of the MahuGang. The songs are about the relationship between men and women and the love of the Marrabenta. Every child in Mozambique would have heard these these old songs growing up. They have been handed down from generation to generation and are played at almost every feast and ceremony.
Moça cala-te / Girl, be quiet
Hey girls, be quiet
Or else you'll be scolded
If your mother gives you advice
If you want to look feminine
Then silence your child
Silence your child
you play around
And have gossiped about me, at my expense
You call me an alcoholic?
Take a look at yourself!
Get out of your parents' room
Before it stinks of your stench
And go and enjoy the Marrabenta at the Xitonhane *
By Marrabenta. By Marrabenta
* A local club