Madala Kunene and Max Laesser - Madamax
Vocal Male / Female



MADAMAX is a superb collaboration between veteran M.E.L.T.2000 artists - South African trance musician Madala Kunene who amongst other projects released the sensational Kon'ko Man (on the M.E.L.T. 2000 label), and Swiss guitar supremo Max Lässer, famous for many recordings, including Between and A Different kind of Blue (M.E.L.T.2000.)


Madala says "I first met Max at a studio in Johannesburg in 1995, because of a session that Robert Trunz, M.E.L.T. founder, had organised in Downtown Studios in Johannesburg." Great creative empathy and feeling was shared between exceptional artists for this project. Max has successfully worked before with South African artists who have added special flavours and extra dimensions to his already distinctive work. With Madala, however, what started off as "a real jam" started "becoming a new thing". They even recorded their first takes, giving the sound a crisp freshness and playful sophistication. The result ? In Max Lässer's words "Unique music happened".
Madala echoes this, "We sat together the whole night. I just took the guitar and played and everybody sang along." It was not yet obvious something big was going to come of it, "I was not expecting that this music would be released on CD. We were just playing together. We finished the session, and since that day we have been great friends, as if we'd known each other 20 years. I liked his heart - he was a fine man."
All of the songs on the album were written by both Max and Madala, the words written by Madala Kunene. After their initial sessions in South Africa, Max Lässer had the creative freedom to arrange and produce the work himself and invited Madala to Switzerland to continue adding more arrangements. They added extra keyboards and a brass section to the recordings, overdubbed 'Impukane' with bass and drums, and wrote two new songs 'Gongo' and 'Cow Song'. Lulu Plaatjies of Amampondo contributed her haunting vocals and the American lap-steel guitarist, David Lindley added his part to 'Impukane'. Max "was very pleased" with the result.
Max Lässer says that meeting Madala Kunene was like finding a brother from another culture and part of the world, "He really opened my heart to African music and to a different view of playing music than I was used to. He really made me play some of my best yet." Robert Trunz has described the collaboration as an "epiphany" a "profound connection" between Europe and Africa. It was such an uplifting experience that these two talented artists decided to take their unique collaborative sound on tour in Switzerland. Lungiswa Plaatjies, now a sensational M.E.L.T. 2000 solo artist in her own right, joined them- stunning the crowd with her beautiful rendition of 'Kumnandi'. It was an unforgettable musical experience and a resounding success. Both guitarists are unique, both have their own style and yet when playing together the result is something else, as Max says, something "primordial and confrontational." The two artists complement each other in an extraordinary way. This album can be best described as an organic unity of the best of two cultures, or as Max describes it: "a perfect marriage." 'MADAMAX' is an album of exceptional vitality and emotional depth. This is a "marriage" not to be missed. CHECK FOR THE LATEST INFO AND NEW RECORDINGS WITH MADALA.

Track Listing (30 Second Samples)

GONGO (4:14)
COW SONG (4:56)
MARRIAGE (11.54)
WOWO (10:00)