Various: Next Stop . . . Soweto (Strut/Border)

 |   |  1 min read

The Big Four: Wenzani Umoya
Various: Next Stop . . . Soweto (Strut/Border)

Subtitled "Township Sounds from the Golden Age of Mbaqanga" this lively, groove-oriented and guitar jangle collection of 20 songs comes from Strut, the same label which has brought you various Nigerian and Ethiopiques collections -- as well as the terrific Mulatu Astatke album and the Inspiration Information series.

This is the first volume of a promised three in which they scoop up examples of that danceable and rhythmic music which so inspired Paul Simon's Graceland and was played in townships in the Sixties and Seventies.

Township jive enjoyed a brief period of international popularity after Graceland (who said there weren't fashions in world music?) and collectors scooped up albums like the two volumes of Soweto Street Music, things by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Rough Trade's Soweto compilation and albums by saxophonist Dudu Pukwana.

As far as I can tell none of the artists on this collection appear on any of those above and perhaps the only familiar names might be "groaner" Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. Most of these are lesser known bands and are lifted from rare 45s.

So here is a wonderful crossover of pop and jazz, Zulu music and Western instruments, and everywhere those staggeringly inventive guitarists.

I have a raw copy but am told the CD comes with extensive liner notes by one of the compilers, Frances Gooding, as well as archive photos. Available on vinyl from Strut too.

Subsequent volumes will pick up rare South African soul, funk, Hammond r'n'b and jazz.

This is another Strut series well worth tuning in for.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists; Bossa Nova and the Story of Elenco Records, Brazil (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Various Artists; Bossa Nova and the Story of Elenco Records, Brazil (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

The Elenco bossa nova label -- founded in Rio de Janeiro in '63 -- gets this well-annotated Gilles Peterson-complied 23 track disc (and a booklet with an essay) of great tracks by guitarist Baden... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

At last! When Elsewhere reviewed this thrilling album last year it was almost immediately deleted and people were demanding it, even more so after this group played at the Taranaki Womad where they... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RECORD STORE DAY 2015: Back to black

RECORD STORE DAY 2015: Back to black

The annual Record Store Day is an opportunity to show the love for vinyl as artists local and international issue good old fashioned records, many of them limited editions and often coming in... > Read more

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN introduces his acclaimed memoir The Lost Pilot

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN introduces his acclaimed memoir The Lost Pilot

On a day in September 1972 in my mother’s house at 11 Franklin Street, Greymouth, my father shuffled across the room in his dressing gown and broke down in my arms. He had just been... > Read more