The Best Music this side of the Equator

Very few people that I meet in my travels stick to my mind like the two sisters I met during the Peer Review Mechanism Workshop held at The Parktonian Hotel some few years ago. They told me they were into music and were playing instruments. You should know me; I can spot a diamond two hundred kilometres away, but I never saw this one.

They call themselves M2 and have just finished recording a music album that has the potential to bring half of the South African music fraternity to shame in quality. Don't act like you don't know that half of what we listen to is pure kak. Its production, arrangements and vocal delivery reminds an informed listener of the 1950s Dorothy Masuka, Dolly Rathebe and Miriam Makeba artistic aesthetic, with that twist of Sophiatown and black consiousness.

Talented M2 is made up of Nandipha (25) and Zintle (21) Maduna who both hail from Soweto (Johannesburg) and describe their music as kwela jazz. However listening to the six-track EP one is also struck by heavy elements of marabi and what is now called Afro-pop (African popular music). "We both write and sing our own music and we believe our group is going to take the industry by storm as our music is for every generation", says Nandipha, who adds that she used to play cello in a high school orchestra before furthering her music studies at the State Theatre in Tshwane.

Zintle is her younger sister and they are both gifted instrumentalists as well as prolific vocalists. She plays violin and is also the product of the State Theatre. The two sisters come across as dedicated musicians who say they've been hustling for a record deal since since 2004 after completing their studies. One wonders how come they haven't struck it lucky with a talent this intoxicating.

In 2007 they hooked up with producer Clement Moreane who worked with them on their album titled Ngidedele, which is also the title of the first track. Other tracks in the album include Andiphumeleli, Wena Bhuti, Inhlupheko, Sekuphelile, Wangiyenza and Uthando Lwakho. Then there is the instrumetal of Sekuphelile which exposes the talent that the two ladies have with these Euroccentric instruments. They say the album took a month to record and all their songs are in isiXhosa.

Their music is of such a high quality that it sounds like a collaboration of Thandiswa Mazwai and Simphiwe Dana with a jazz band. They are still looking for a record deal even though they are now hustling for it with a demo, which is so brilliantly done they might be the next best thing on the South African music scene.

Anyone with wanting to be in contact with M2 can call them direct at +27762134841. They should be able to give you their email address and quotation. All Kasiekulture can say is that 'nothing ever sounded so good since Brenda Fassie died'

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