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

Ishta: Ishta (Monkey)

Ishta: Ishta (Monkey)

Listening to this multiculti outfit from Auckland qualifies you for frequent flyer points: the line-up has musicians from Dutch, Kiwi, Israeli, Indian and French backgrounds; and the... > Read more

Various Artists: Soul Sok Sega (Strut/Southbound)

Various Artists: Soul Sok Sega (Strut/Southbound)

A couple of weeks ago we pulled a track from this thoroughly enjoyable (and not a little confusing) compilation to post at From the Vaults.  But this double vinyl (with a CD disc and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

NEIL FINN INTERVIEWED (2001): Man alone

NEIL FINN INTERVIEWED (2001): Man alone

Neil Finn gives the impression he's happier than he has ever been. This year he's been around the country playing solo shows in small venues with contributions by ring-in local musicians, billing... > Read more

DAMON ALBARN: FROM BRITPOP TO A CARTOON CHARACTER (2010)

DAMON ALBARN: FROM BRITPOP TO A CARTOON CHARACTER (2010)

When I met Damon Albarn in London many years ago things were looking good for his band Blur: they'd previously scored a minor hit with There's No Other Way (heavily borrowed from Syd-era Pink... > Read more