Oasis

by Zitakula

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about

About the album

Zitakula took its time to prepare a debut album, but in the end it all happened very quickly. Barely four months after the fortunate day that singer Sandy Miessi Bakomi joined the band, we spent two weeks in Schenk Studio in Amsterdam to lay down the tracks for this record. Two weeks we spent immersed in nothing but music, in an oasis of fun and hard work at the end of a busy year. We got to work with an amazing and tireless crew that remained in good spirits throughout the whole session. To us, oasis signifies the safe haven in which we are free to spend our time making music, which is a true privilege in these troublesome times.
But oases are also a source of life in a sometimes hostile world, just as music is a source of energy for so many of us. Oases have sustained the caravans and traders in desert area’s that have long brought the wealth of Sub-Saharan Africa to Mediterranean Europe. In that sense they signify the meeting of so many traditions and languages that lies at the heart of our music. In the end we hope this record can be its own oasis: a place of the specific sounds and stories of these ten songs, a place to dwell and a place to return to. Enjoy!

— Zitakula, December 2016

Chance Encounters

Music is an encounter. If you have once had the pleasure to see Zitakula play, you may recognize that their music is made for new encounters.
I remember a bright summer day in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, not far from the rehearsal space where the band members first met. It was a lazy day, filled with sunshine, laughter and chance encounters with people whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. And Zitakula played, and played, and played…
On stage, the musicians connected over and over again—with each song, each bar and measure, each thrust of the saxophone, punch of the bass or gentle wail of the Hammond organ. Rose-ringed parakeets, those green world travelers who have made the Vondelpark their home, flew by. Gazing upon the stage, they fluttered their wings in approval.
These exotic birds are Zitakula’s namesake—warm-blooded expats who don’t seem to belong in the Dutch foliage. But as with many things, juxtapositions like these make for the best encounters. The same goes for Zitakula’s band members, who—with their diverse backgrounds—bring different ingredients to the table. From afrobeat to swamprock, from samba to jazz. Their aim is to surprise, when you, in your turn, meet them—whether on stage or on this album.
Singer Sandy Miessi Bakomi encountered her seven men only recently. She joined the band only shortly before they started working on Oasis. To plunge into a recording studio surrounded by people you have just met, to pour out your soul on record, to be vulnerable without reservations—one should try it sometime.
A band works only when there is a connection, when it has what all great encounters should have: a click. While all its members are different, Zitakula operates on a shared level of bizarreness—and musicianship—that binds these eight souls together.
Sandy found an oasis in Zitakula. This record is not only a reflection of their encounter, but also an invitation, for you, to enter this aptly titled Oasis.

— Joris Belgers, pop journalist, January 2017

credits

released April 7, 2017

Recorded and mixed by Wiboud Burkens at Schenk Studio, Amsterdam and Wipeout Studio, Den Haag, Netherlands, December 2016 | Engineer: Jan Schenk | Assistent: Casper van der Lans

Mastered by Steve Berson at Total Sonic Media, Cedar Park, Texas

Produced by Wiboud Burkens

Zitakula is:
Sandy Miessi Bakomi on vocals
Mark Oomen on tenor sax and guitars
Luc Janssens on trumpet, bugel, trombone and synth
Wolf Bierens on alto sax and baritone sax
Camiel van Zilfhout on guitars
Mathijs Boom on electric piano, organ and synth
Pieter Wolter on bass
Robbert Jaspers on drums and percussion

Additional musicians:
Chris Bruining on conga, djembe and percussion

Booking by Rob van den Bosch at Radar Agency, Amsterdam
Album artwork by Machine, www.ourmachine.com
Photography by Tim Hillege

Special thanks to: Annemieke Wolter, Beau Eckhardt, Bob Aronds, Casper Boom, Chibida Dumbu, Daniëlle Uleman, Joey Skeete Mcleed, Joris Belgers, Mario da Silva, Paul de Beus, Roeland van Doorn, Symen Verbruggen, Tess Janse, Tessel Schole, our parents, and our family and friends

This production was supported by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, VSBfonds, Sena Muziekproductiefonds, and the generosity of all the people who helped to crowd fund this album through Voordekunst.

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Zitakula Amsterdam, Netherlands

This eight-piece powerhouse is equal parts high-energy funk and a hypnotic trip around the southern hemisphere.

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Track Name: Frenzy
It’s a dark world
And there’s no light to be seen
We have broken all our dreams
Forgotten how to use our wings
Hope is forbidden, but can you keep it away?

Explosions of colors dripping down the wall
Shattered glass, careful not to fall
It’s snowing in the bathroom
There’s a hurricane in my head
today is one of those days
That I feel like screaming

There’s dust on all my windows
The sun fights to let through light
Winds are blustering through my bedroom
Thunder sparks my neural pathways
Thick clouds on the ceiling
I think we’re about to have a storm
It’s gonna rain seas

Flowers sprouting in my head
I’m standing in the eye of a hurricane
And the storms are raging in my brain
I feel I’m standing at the edge of something big
And I can’t see what it is
The leaves on the trees are way too thick
Today is one of those days
That I feel like screaming
Track Name: Children of the Sun
Oh the shadows
They crawl out of the shadows

Hear the children of the sun

Within the very blood in our veins as children of the sun
Lies the potential for our greatness
We’re not meant to live in shame and weakness
We build, we go upward
We were meant to overcome

We are the architects of splendor
Built in crimson and gold
We are hollow men—tricksters so clever
Happy to welcome you into the fold
We are children of the sun
We answer to all your fears
Sweet like a siren’s song
Climbing higher and higher and higher
Then we fall

Oh the shadows
They crawl out of the shadows

Hear the children of the sun
Track Name: Bonzenga
Africa Mema nga na Africa
Na mona bonzenga ya ebale
Nayoka loyembo likolo ya bangomba
Na pokwa lokola ndeke

Africa Mema nga na Africa
Esika diamant na wolo ebimaka
Kasi bomengo ya solo efandaka na motema
na motema

Africa nalingi yo mingi, Africa
Bonzenga bonzega mama, Africa
Ebandeli ya bomoyi ya moto, Africa
Track Name: Why So Mad
Why you so mad

Why you so mad
You’re keeping tabs
Ready to let loose if I ever miss the groove
I know you don’t like me
Go ahead and write me an essay, I wouldn’t read it anyway
I know you want me to spill the tea
But I sip water, crystal clear
For you to see that I really don’t care, I really don’t care

Hypocritically smiling at me
Spreading words that never could be
Truth is you want me to pay attention to you, yet
Boohoohoo I bet you thought I’d cry
But I really don’t have the time
Cause right now I’m jamming with the guys
Jamming with the guys

Why you so mad

Damn straight, can’t touch this, even if you tried
Go ahead and hate
I feed on your masquerade
And they say that I’m the child
My mama always told me
Jealousy will make you ugly
Didn’t get the memo, no?
Check your reflection, bro

While you have this fixation
Generating your own suffocation
I’m getting this addiction to brand new realisations
And I thought like, all this anger, that can’t be healthy
Maybe you should try some soul searching
Yoga, anger management classes, mindfulness

Why you so mad

Hating on me, dissatisfaction
Calling for desperate reactions
Chill down! There’s no killing my flow
I was born ready to go
And just so you know
I had fun putting up this show!
Track Name: Bwanya
Mosika na yo
Mosika ya nyoso
Mosika ya mokili

Oyo ezali kokomisa biso liboma
Payadayadaya

Na ko lela te
Na ko nganga te
Na ko wela te
Tango ekoki ekofungwama

Na za na posa ya koseka te
Na ko lela pe te
Na za ngai yo pe oza yo
So so la, so so la

Toza komisala mabe na maloba
Pasi na pasi
Nazo loba, nazo loba
Kasi ozo yoka nga té

Je parle mais tu ne m’entends pas
Et même quand je crie tu ne m’écoute pas
Elongi na yo ya mawa
Azalaki ko ngenga
Nzoka elili ya mawa
Okoli kasi ozwi bwanya té

Toza komisala mabe na maloba
Pasi na pasi
Nazo loba, nazo loba
Kasi ozo yoka nga té
Track Name: Quicksand
Look into the depth of my eyes
Can you see the fire?
Burning my bones, consuming my soul
Buried by the quicksand

Don’t follow the quicksand

It’s the flood that generates my body
The sound that clings to my ears and eases my fears
Don’t be the dream I never had
Un mirage in the dry desert

Look into the depth of my eyes
Can you see the fire?
Burning my bones, consuming my soul
Buried by the quicksand

Don’t you follow the quicksand

Liquid make-believe, dripping down the stream
Following the path, leading to a dream
If I used the stars to find my way they wouldn’t show me how to find
The oasis of your eyes
But I sure as hell can follow the quicksand

Look into the depth of my eyes
Can you see the fire?
Burning my bones, consuming my soul
Buried by the quicksand

Don’t you follow the quicksand
Track Name: Missing Home
I’ve been feeling like coming home
But it’s a tricky situation
See I’m staring at the line called horizon
Where the sky touches the ground
And I’ve yet to see the world
But I’m already missing home

I’ve put my first steps in the world
And it’s both scary and beautiful
Like the face of a nightmare beneath the seams of a dream
I’d love to show you all I’ve learned
But it’s just a drop in the ocean

It’s a mystery I’d like to solve
You know me
It’s the answer that I need
You know me

Yet to see the world but I’m missing home
Track Name: Georgine
Je veux danser avec toi
Contre les vents et marrées je serais toujours la

Quand le soleil n’est pas présent
Quand tu perds le sourire
Ouvre ton coeur et rejoins moi
Tu vois le ciel est bien plus beau quand on est toi et moi

Contre les vents et marées
tu n’es pas seul souviens toi
Ouvre ton coeur et tu verra
Prends moi la main rejoins moi
Laisse le bonheur prendre place dans ton coeur
Et danse et danse et danse

Je veux danser avec toi
Contre les vents et marrées je serais toujours la