MUNTU VALDO - THE ONE & THE MANY
“A rapturous record that shudders with joy and passion” - NME
(on debut album Gods & Devils)
"Of all the artists that I've seen recently the London-based Cameroonian Muntu Valdo is possibly one of the most intriguing...quite mesmerising” - Echoes
The One & The Many
is the much anticipated new album from one-man maverick musician Muntu Valdo. For the last three years Muntu has been wowing audiences across the globe with his innate musicality, generous sincerity and ingeniously creative manipulation of technology. He has toured all over the world, from Paris to Douala, Womad UK to Mexico, London Jazz Festival to Singapore and back. He has played alongside some of the biggest names of African music new and old, such as Staff Benda Bilili, Ali Farka Touré, Keziah Jones, Tony Allen, Richard Bona and Manu Dibango (who was instrumental in encouraging Muntu to go ahead with this latest project), and has forged exciting new collaborations with the likes of cult folk visionary Alasdair Roberts and Damon Albarn’s Africa Express.
With this new album, Muntu Valdo seems to have reached a rite of passage. His desire to explore and understand his place within the complex evolution of peoples, processes & music throughout time and space has given him a magic formula. A formula crafted and delivered in the form of The One & The Many
. All ten tracks pay testimony to Muntu’s faith in the power of the individual to harness the power of the many, with all the writing, playing, singing, arranging, producing and recording completed in its entirety by his hand alone.
Muntu Valdo is a Sawa from the coast of Cameroon in West Africa. Now based in London, he delivers his unique ‘Sawa Blues’ solo, with just guitar and harmonica and using live technology to underpin his powerful melodies – conjuring up multi-layered loops and mysterious sound textures thanks to a constantly expanding armada of pedals at his feet. As a solo artist, Muntu became fascinated by an ever more acute awareness of his inseparability from the world around him and the inspiration behind The One & The Many
Muntu’s is a global sound without limits – grounded in his heritage but open to the world and accessible to everyone. His years in London have evidently been well spent, as he effortlessly blends sounds from Africa with ideas from Western guitar music already familiar to UK audiences. The album’s catchy melodies and hooks cover a lot of ground; Djongo, a poignant and powerful a capella, and No Mercy are painfully bluesy ballads. Lemba and Musseing are infused with Afrobeat and funk and effortlessly conjure up an expansive backing band. The militant blues of Timba treats the listener to an intimate rendition of this insanely catchy song, whilst Ngombi na Nganga pulls us into a mystical universe of the traditional Nganga, or healer, who uses the sound of his Ngombi (Bantu harp) to transport his patient into a therapeutic trance.
With The One & The Many
, Muntu Valdo wills us to stand up and unleash the power of the many inside each and every one of us. A touchingly honest new album, Muntu Valdo has successfully pulled together a rich diversity of elements and environments, commanding us to recognise an artist deeply rooted in the riches of his culture whilst striving for modernity, open to and pushing towards the future.
A SAWABLUES PRODUCTION
Recorded by Muntu Valdo & Cyril Dingome at Amakemit Room Studio.
Mixed by Emre Yazgin & Cyril Dingome. Mastering by Andy Baldwin at Metropolis.