Rough-hewn, tribal sonics from the Rwandan borderlands. Haunted solo & group singing meets hand-fashioned string instruments and battery operated loop machines. The textures are strange and abstract but at the same time intimate and joyful. The Abatwa (“pygmy”) are one of Africa’s most endangered peoples and this album (Why Did We Stop Growing Tall?) – produced by Ian Brennan (Hanoi Masters, Zomba Prison Project, Tinariwen) – is a stunning, spirited document of their deep and varied musical culture.

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Critic Reviews (3)

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  1. Positive: 1 Out of 3
  1. Mixed: 2 Out of 3
  1. Negative: 0 Out of 3
Critical Consensus: Average. Mixed reactions.

Monolith Cocktail

11 Jul 2017
"Make no mistake; this is performance in its most deconstructive raw form. Devoid of embellishments and overbearing production, recorded in situ with only the rudimentary elements and atmosphere for company, it sounds great" ...

The Guardian

13 Aug 2017
"A trip to remote Rwanda delivered this collection of singers from the endangered Abatwa people, often accompanied by a one-string fiddle and battery-powered loop. Its dozen tracks are spartan but often charming and sometimes disquieting." ...

The Guardian

17 Aug 2017
"it’s unfortunate that the sleeve notes don’t explain in more detail the tragic history of the Batwa, including their expulsion from their forests and traditional lifestyle, and that there is no translation provided for their lyrics." ...

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Play Length:



Ian Brennan


Digital Download, Standard CD


1. Christoph Ntabanganyimana with Bihoyiki Dathive - Sida Ni Mbi (AIDS is Bad)
2. Emmanuel Hatungimana - Rwanda Nziza (Beautiful Rwanda)
3. Bihoyiki Dathive - Igira Hino (Come Closer)
4. Teonesse Majambere - Umuyange (Protect the Environment)
5. Beatrice Mukarungi - Urwanikamiheto (War Song)
6. Rosine Nyiranshimiyimana - Umwana W’umuhanda (The Child from the Streets)
7. Emmanuel Hatungimana - Nzagukorera (I Will Serve)
8. Ruth Nyiramfumukoye & Patrick Manishimine - Umutesi (I’ll Follow You Until You Kill Me) 03:51
9. Jean Claude Nzabonimpa - Cyabusiko (Night Streetwalker, Who Will Care for My Children?)
10. Jean Baptiste Kanyambo - Nyirandugu (The Hard Worker)
11. Emmanuel Habumuremy & Ange Kamagaju - Ihorere (Stop Crying Now)
12. Ruth Miramfumukoye - Why Did We Stop Growing Tall?

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