Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Black Disco - "Night Express" (Night Express) Matsuli Records

A 2016 reissue of this 1976 favorite.  Released during the heyday of Soweto Soul.  Featuring Pops Mohamed on organ; Sipho Gumede on bass 

Outernational Meltdown - "Amagoduka (Migrant Workers)" (Jazzin' Universally) B+W Music

Recorded in 1995 in both Cape Town and J'Burg, it was produced by Black Disco's Pops Mohamed and Sipho Gumede!

Keleketla! - "Freedom Groove (On-U Sound Mix)" (Keleketla! Remixes) Ninja Tune Records

Ninja Tune artist and label founder Coldcut travels to Johannesburg to work with the Keleketla collective. Remixed by UK dub producer Adrian Sherwood.

Freshlyground - "Nomthandazo" (Take Me to the Dance) 

2012 release from Cape Town-based band blending traditional Kwela and African folk with contemporary rock and electronica.  The song title is the female version of a name meaning "prayer."   

Benjamin Ball - "Flash a Flashlight" (Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth Disco 1980-84) Cultures of Soul Records

Compiled by COS head honcho Deano Sounds in collaboration with Johannesburg-based DJ Okapi from the Afro-Synth blog and record store, Boogie Breakdown serves up two tracks apiece from six seminal acts from the era - Harari, The Cannibals, Neville Nash, Benjamin Ball, Don Laka and Al Etto – to offer a glimpse into this long-forgotten era in African music history.

Lucky Dude - "Different Colors/One People" (Victims) Shanachie Records

1993 recording from this South African reggae artist.  The song praises the end of apartheid and the beginning of a new story for the nation.

Spaza - "Five Rand Are Time..." (Spaza)

Conceived in the Mushroom Hour Half Hour lab, SPAZA is a band with no permanent personnel, with each lineup assembled for the express purpose of recording once-off improvised or workshopped material.

Shabaka and the Ancestors - "Til The Freedom Comes Home" (We are Sent Here By History) Impulse Records

British sax sensation Shabaka Hutchings performing with South African musicians as Shabaka and the Ancestors.  Very raw sound compared to his other creative outlets in Sons of Kemet and the Comet is Coming.

Miriam Make - "Masakhane" (Homeland) Putumayo Artists
2002 recording from the artist known as Mama Africa.  The song title translates to "Let's build up one another" and is a call for cooperation in the post-apartheid era.

The Drive - "Ain't Sittin' Down Doin' Nothing" (Next Stop: Soweto) Strut Records
1975 release, originally on the RCA label.  Part of the Strut Records "Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco" series.

Soul Brothers - "Idlozi" (South African Legends) Putumayo Artists
The title means "ancestor" and the brothers sing about the importance of heritage.

Desire Marea - "Ntkozo/Studies in Black Trauma" (Desire) Mute Records
South African artist who was half of the queer performance duo FAKA.  Marea majored in Performing Arts at the National School of Arts in Johannesburg.  

Moses Taiwa Molelekwa - "Genes and Spirits" (Genes and Spirits) Matsuli Records
1998 recording of this South African jazz pianist whose life ended in tragedy.

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