Sipho Gumede - From Me To You


It's not easy to write about Sipho Gumede's new album "From Me To You". A simple reason: You just want to dance or to play listening to his album. I am just sitting in front of my HandSonic and just accompany the songs with great pleasure. I have already reviewed his previous album "The Best Of - Part I" and I am absolutely confident that he'll soon have a second Best-Of-album. Sipho's music is very hooking and if you love South African music, you will certainly find it on this album. What you can await: "The contemporary of KZN fused with the African heartbeat as old as music itself". Heartbeat means percussion and melody pure. This isn't sophisticated jazz but joy of living in the original sense. 

The album starts with Trust No One. Sipho plays the bass as a melodious instrument. Xoli Nkosi (piano) and Sifiso Mavuso (synthesizer solo) are accompanying him. This track is absolutely flabbergasting. A very hooking melody based on a drum programmed rhythm. If one listens to such positive music, one is asking: "Why this title?" The answer of a critic: "Sipho`s a hard man, he's seen all the bad times and now as a musician he wants to celebrate the good times but he's not convinced that it's all good now."

Nontuthuzelo is a dreamy slow tempo piece featuring the gifted Bearney Bophela on acoustic piano. This piece is named in honor of his daughter.

Down South is the already mentioned South African flavored music inviting to extensive dances with its infectious hooks. Remember Paul Simon's "Graceland" to get an imagination what I mean. That this music is infecting may be illustrated by Spyro Gyra's "Cape Town Love".

The title Herdman is reminding to Sipho's past, when he went to stay on a farm some 30 kms from Umlazi. After school each day, he'd pass the time watching cattle practicing on a borrowed guitar.

Emkhumbane is the name of part of SA in Zulu language. If you are interested to know more about it, visit The title is obviously chosen to symbolize the closed connectivity between Sipho's music and his native country. Cato Manor, eMkhumbane, is where thousands of people were victims of ruthless forced removals by the apartheid regime. Today a nice place to visit by tourists.

Oops is a further example that Sipho's music is positive and laid-back. You will not find a sad song on his album. Sipho plays on this tune his bass more in higher octaves. 

Phumula is featuring Shaluza Max, singing a ballade in Zulu language. The slow part is followed by a mid tempo swinging one in the typical South African style. "Phumula" means good rest.

Thunder Showers is a propulsive piece with a lot of synthesizers played by Sifiso Mavuso and Nelson Gumede. 

Sithethelele is anew a slow tempo ballade. It features Shaluza Max on lead vocals. The song is a prayer appealing to the Creator, to find an answer to the AIDS virus, for we have tried everything else. 

More synthesizer is to listen on Cedara. Melvin Peters plays a long and breathtaking solo.

Bass and synthesizer are communicating on Afternoon Breeze. Sipho's bass playing is uplifting and happy minded.

A turn around to a serenade is the title song From Me To You. Strings soften Sipho's smooth bass play which is floating in dreamy fields. Before it gets too shallow, percussion and organ hits are providing ground contact.

I Thought I Knew You Well is the contemplative finish of an interesting album.

Sheer Sound is a label of passionate people and Sipho Gumede is one of their leading artist. We can be jealous about such a richness of great artists united on this South African roster.