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by Sibusile Xaba

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €7 EUR  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD Digipack featuring both of Sibusile Xaba's debut albums - 'Unlearning' and 'Open Letter to Adoniah'.
    Artwork by Graeme Arendse

    Includes unlimited streaming of Unlearning via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      €12 EUR or more 


Empress Lea 06:32
Inkululeko 09:45


"This music is extraordinary" - Gilles Peterson (BBC 6)

"An astonishing debut from a unique talent" The Guardian

'Unlearning' is one half of the debut double album project by Sibusile Xaba.

A lynchpin in South Africa's new generation of jazz musicians, KwaZulu-Natal-born guitarist and vocalist Sibusile Xaba has all the makings of an acoustic guitar master. With a vocal style that is part dreamscaping and part ancestral invocation, Xaba divines as opposed to plainly singing. Combined with a guitar style that is rooted in expressive picking, Xaba's music shatters the confines of genre, taking only the fundamentals from mentors such as Madala Kunene and Dr Philip Tabane and imbuing these with a mythology and improvisational intensity all of his own.

In 'Unlearning', Xaba fractures the limitations of language, taking scatting to new metaphysical possibilities and subverting the expected roles of the guitar and voice.

Drummer Bonolo Nkoane and upright bass player Ariel Zamonsky add an intelligent rhythmic pulse to the music’s foundations, propelling Xaba’s expressive inclinations to where improvisational instincts are synonymous with urgent political declamations.

While all three musicians are versed in jazz, 'Unlearning' prefigures a sonic world where genre is moot and the modal compensates for the failures of words.


released August 4, 2017

Mentored by Nduduzo Makhathini
Music received by Sibusile Xaba
Music created by Sibusile Xaba (guitar & vocals), Ariel Zamonsky (upright bass) & Bonolo Nkoane (drums)
Recorded live next to Wilge River in Bronkhorstspruit on 22 August 2015

Recorded by Nduduzo Makhathini & Nelius Zeak
Mixed by Peter Auret
Mastered by Frank Merritt at the Carvery

Artwork & Cover Design by Graeme Arendse
Published by Hour Half Hour Publishing

Lovingly presented to you by Mushroom Hour Half Hour


all rights reserved



Sibusile Xaba Pretoria, South Africa

Sibusile Xaba carries forth the Maskandi / Mbaqanga tradition of the KwaZulu Natal midlands, from where he originates. Steeped in the lineage of Zulu guitar giant Madala Kunene (Sibusile’s first mentor) & warrior chants of vocal master, Shaluza Max, he not only owns these influences, but pushes the envelope as only a maestro with a keen ear for the future does. ... more

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