Our newest Artist of the Week is a special one with a special story. In the mid-70s, musician and songwriter Phil Arosa fled Southern Rhodesia’s apartheid (now Zimbabwe) to settle in the Netherlands and pursue his musical career under more mundane skies. Alongside his partner Marga, he started the band Zimba, which played for ten years in clubs around the country.

During those years, Baleka was the only studio recorded song and was released in 1983. This record went unnoticed at the time but this minimal and powerful mix of African rhythms with a New Wave voice and an irresistible mbira gimmick deserved better. Therefore, the French label Nyami Nyami Records re-released the track as an EP with two additional remixes by London’s The Comet Is Coming and Paris’ Blackjoy (Siwo). The results are two very different versions of Baleka, but definitely carved for the dancefloors

Baleka by Zimba on bandcamp

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