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

IMAGINING AFRICA IN THE SIXTIES: The Soul of Africa album considered

IMAGINING AFRICA IN THE SIXTIES: The Soul of Africa album considered

Funny how “African music” has been perceived, adapted and mis-represented down the decades, innit? That’s not to say Bengt Berger and the other musicians from Stockholm who... > Read more

WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2013: When the world comes to town

WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2013: When the world comes to town

Time for all good citizens of the global village to get their passports stamped at yet another Womad New Zealand, once more in the beautiful site at Taranaki, New Zealand. Over three days in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Lou Reed: Berlin (1973)

Lou Reed: Berlin (1973)

Right from the beginning -- aside from a short period as a jobbing songwriter for the Pickwick label in ‘64-’65 -- Lou Reed’s lyrics had a literary quality. With the Velvet... > Read more

Snapshots of strangeness: a collection of odd anecdotes

Snapshots of strangeness: a collection of odd anecdotes

Walt Disney Regrets Last week I spent a morning in the company of a woman who has a curious obsession: she collects soundtracks to those Walt Disney nature programmes which occasionally still... > Read more