The collaboration with Msafiri Zawose adds incredible depth and spirituality to Penya’s work. This was already hinted at in Super Liminal, but comes to full fruition in the 4 original pieces. But why did only the first 3 make it on vinyl? I just hope that there is more to come, like in LP form? Love it!
Favorite track: Penya Safari ft Msafiri Zawose.
In September 2017 Magnus P.I found himself in Tanzania, East Africa. "I’d been invited by Msafiri Zawose to play a show in Dar Es Salam, and to spend a week recording with him at his home near Bagamoyo.
We are standing in a bare, dark, dusty concrete compound with a couple of tiny windows. In the corner there is photo of Hukwe Zawose (Msafiri’s late father) performing at the Barbican in London - This is the same space that Hukwe had used when visited by Peter Gabriel’s “Real World” project back in the 80s.
I have one microphone and a computer, and I’m surrounded by Msafiri’s various instruments hanging on the walls - an array of Zeze (string instruments) Illimbas (thumb pianos), a Marimba, and an array of hand drums and shakers.
We start recording at about 10am every morning. We capture the ideas immediately, without much discussion - if it feels good, we record.
I ask Msafiri if we can add more voices, so he asks his sister Tabu and brother Bahat to come in - the three voices sound unbelievable.
There are scores of young children playing outside the compound (you can hear them in the background on the record) and sometimes they spill in, dancing to the music as we work.
Back in London and mulling the recordings over, I become convinced that I wanted to produce a record that represented the intuitive musical journey that, as friends, Msafiri and I had started in the compound.
I wanted to make a personal record, and was keen to avoid falling back on any generalised notion of “African-ness”, or “London-ness”.
By Spring 2018, my band Penya had just released our first record ‘Superliminal’, and we were on the road - so, I played the Bagamoyo recordings to the band. It felt like a risk, but, enlisting the help of engineer and co-producer Mattia Satori, (and the additional input of Tamar Osborn) I decided to try and develop the Bagamoyo sessions as something of a collaboration with Penya.
It was a tortuous process.
Integrating the bands ideas with the Bagamoyo material required the creation of many different versions of each track, and it took a long time before any of them started to sound like they were fully integrated.
Progress was slow, and I remember feeling extremely nervous sending Msafiri my mixes. But, to my delight, he embraced our ideas immediately, saying “I love the music very much” and within days had recorded fresh material to help further shape our work into finished songs.
Our EP is a snap shot into this world, with vocal contributions in Swahilli, ancient Yoruba, Finnish, Spanish, and made up languages. Making this record pushed us hard into new territories, and we are grateful to Msafiri for being so generous with his material which emerges from a deep, many centuries old tradition.”
released January 24, 2020
Penya are a genre defying quartet that embody the energised sound of a cosmopolitan UK.
Magnus P.I - Producer, Percussion, Guitar, Synth, Electronics, Vocals
Magnus took field recordings in Bagamoyo Tanzania.
Lilli Elina - Bass Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals.
Jim le Messurier - Bata drums, Timbale, Vocals
Viva Msimang, Trombone, Vocals.
Tamar Osborn - Flute, Bass Clarinet on "Aalto"
Mattia Satori - Engineer , mixer , and co-producer (London)
A host of traditional folkloric rhythms, club culture motifs and DIY electronics mark the band’s distinct sound.
Drums, horn and vocals evoke Penya’s live performance from a world of euphoric ritual and visceral dance scapes, ancient and future.
The bands debut LP "Superliminal" (Jan 2018) quickly achieved critical acclaim from a host of taste makers and artists including Gilles Peterson, Bonobo, Tom Ravenscroft, WorldWide FM, Jeremy Sole, Late Junction (BBC Radio 3) and Boiler Room. The band went on tour, quickly establishing it’s dance floor ready, multi instrumental live show.
Since “Superliminal”, Penya have released collaborations with a diverse array of artists including Dengue Dengue Dengue, Photay, Sarathy Korwar, and most recently the renown Tanzanian artist Msafiri Zawose.
supported by 101 fans who also own “Penya na Msafiri Zawose”
Amazing, beautiful, hypnotic and layered with sounds from multiple cultures. This music has deep roots and is beautifully played ands sung. The vinyl pressing is excellent quality and the artwork fantastic. j_alan
supported by 90 fans who also own “Penya na Msafiri Zawose”
Intrinsic heritage of rythms being delivered in the most iconic way by the masters of Nu-Afroamerican; the duo Dengue Dengue Dengue. A trip into the forgotten musical bible of the past like an archeological find restore on vinyl. 🧿📿⚱️🔁 El Milagro