Poetic guitarist Elemotho’s latest release is a gem and a half. The time for upliftment is now, he seems to suggest. ‘Ke Nako’, which is the album title, means ‘Its Time’.
The sweet melodies in this album do not need one to be a SeTswana-speaker, as the whole album is relatable and carries a strong message of love, song and self. Launched at the Warehouse Theatre here in Windhoek and reviewed across Europe, ‘Ke Nako’ has not failed to impress.
It is a 13-track masterpiece featuring Axue, John Trudell and Harry Msimuko. Elemotho successfully attempts not to dwell on one genre like most music albums tend to do. It equally lyrically masters the ability to mix poetry with the guitar.
“I don’t like to cage myself to a specific genre, because I can do it all,” he boasts.
The first track, ‘Pikanini’ featuring Axue, is amazingly interesting; one can clearly hear Polina Loubnina’s flute and Emmanuel Karumazondo’s mbira within the song’s beautiful sounds. It is an album you can play on a beautiful, peaceful Sunday afternoon.
The second track titled ‘Neo’, dedicated to his firstborn son, can immediately get one to start doing the Oshiwambo dance, with a bit of the Nama dance added to it. There is a strong emphasis of Marimba in ‘Neo’, a drive-time song.
It is easily connected to track 11, ‘Better Days’.
Elemotho perfectly incorporates traditional sounds in his music and this makes him peculiar in every sense of the word.
The title track is number 3, which defines the album. It basically urges music lovers not to be hasty in life for there is a time for everything.
Track 13 is the ancestral remix of ‘Ke Nako’ and the cool version of it; the traditional drums stand out as they are mixed with the Didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument and strong vocals to top it up.
Track 4, ‘Butterfly’ and Track 12, ‘Free’, are somewhat similar. They both speak about being free, which is something most of us desire in our everyday lives. All we want is freedom. Track 5, ‘Seshaba’, sounds like some type of soft African rock. It’s sung in Setswana and features The People. If you desire it, you could do some kind of spiritual dance to it since it has that sagacity to it.
Followed by it is ‘Gabara’, featuring Harry Msimuko who raps and this proves Elemotho’s element of being different.
Well known for his lively stage performances, Elemotho succeeds in his soul-searching quest in this album.
‘Aiakoko’ gives you a picture of a South African idol in the making, as the artist shows how he is not afraid to hit a high note without sounding like he is shouting, which gives it a graceful beauty.
It’s a recommendable work of art.