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Thandi Ntuli’s sophomore album, EXILED, opens with, “The Void (Intro)” a spoken word piece that reminds me of the spiritual jazz Mom and dad listened to around the house. The spoken words themselves allow connection where the line is often blurred or heavily drawn.

Thandi was born thousands of miles away in South Africa, into a world and history much different from my own, here in the states… however – the world history that we are all born into resonates here… and brings us into her full-length album as its own world!

The voice of the song speaks of fighting our way(s) out from under too many years, generations of oppression and cultural genocide. I have not yet been to South Africa, however… believe me when I say, “I know the feeling”.

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As opening intro leads into the title track, “Exiled”, I am given a small sonic tour of Thandi Ntuli’s world. The song is at once universal and seemingly – to my feeling – very African. It isn’t necessarily the instrumentation, it is more than the beautiful singing voices subtly weaving in and out of the music, on their own, alongside woodwinds and above the fray. By the time the energetic Piano solo comes in, I feel as if I had been floating with the song… a long, pretty overview of countryside and outskirts, leading to the city, down from the clouds and into the studio.

While I was already a fan of Thandi Ntuli and her work, I am now also looking forward to hearing projects and pieces from the enormous wealth of talent and artistry she’s had contribute to this stunningly beautiful piece of work.April 18, 2018