Next Stop… Soweto 2, sub-titled “Soul, Funk & Organ Grooves From The Townships 1969-1976″ is the second of a three part series by Strut’s finest in the underground sound of South Africa in the 60s and 70s.
This latest collection is obviously less township jive or mbaqanga orientated compared to Next Stop… Soweto as political restrictions of the apartheid government pushed the underground further towards the rebel sounds of original R&B, funk and disco.
It’s certainly is an eye opener to the soul and R&B influences (and ultimately what wad called Acid Jazz in the UK) but totally in keeping with a Soweto sound…
The opening two track are prime examples as the Mahotella Queens and J.K. Mayengar & The Shingwedzi Sisters (don’t you just love these names) dabbled with soul and funk fusions
With more of an eye to the 60s night club poster are The Monks (sounding incredibly like an instrumental version of The Black Monks meets Jackie Mittoo), The Heroes, The Toreadors, The Klooks, The Grasshoppers, The Anchors and the Flaming Souls; could almost be a punk revival going by the names but the music is more of a R&B/U.S. garage band sound that’s so Mr. Finewine; what he’d give for an original 7″ of Bra Sello’s ‘Soul Time Nzimande Go’?
All you Freestyle fans will go mad for this album as all 22 tracks are killers but standing out at the moment is The Toreadors (no idea what ‘Gwinyitshe’ is all about but it oozes soul), ‘Funky Message’ (The Heroes are what they say they are/were for raw ‘Jimmy Smith’ fans) and the rare psychedelic track from one of the only recordings made of playwright Gibson Kente’s acclaimed theatre pieces, ‘Too Late’ (and it’s a killer groove that’s worth the wait and tragically short by today’s standards).
Talking Jimmy Smith, The Klooks ‘Nkuli’s Shuffle’ is somewhere on a Steve Reid meets Lee Morgan tip for Mods; it’s a huge track and needs to be played again and again. And what would the 100 Club make of Bazali Bam or ‘Short Man’s Soul’? Totally groovy as ‘Tiba Kamo’ and ‘Mosquito’ man!
The next and final edition is Next Stop… Soweto 3 – South African Jazz 1960-1978 and we’re going to be most upset if The Hesho Beshoo Group aren’t on that one as they are sounding very jazzy here.
It’s hard to believe this is not just the tip of the soul, funk and organ grooves from the Townships and it’d be tragic that if this is going to be the only compilation dedicated to this sound and period. If the long running The Sound Of The Sixties was still going and actually played this really rare groove, it would have been massive; Brian Matthews (RIP), I suppose Charlie Gillett came closest – Carlos Nino ya hear me?
You’ll recall these CDs are compiled by Duncan Brooker and Francis Gooding and the recommended labels to look out if you’re diggin’ whilst enjoying the Lord Tresman-less experience of the World Cup 2010 are City Special, Soul Town, Atlantic City and Soul-Soul with the producer David Thekwane acting as the ‘Creed Taylor/Lee Perry/Joe Meek/James Brown’ cool dude.
We love Strut (like you) so, on that basis, all 3 Next Stop… Soweto‘s are essential but No. 2 is really hot, if you get me.
Reviewed: Various Artists – Next Stop… Soweto 2 (Strut) STRUT057CD Release date: 10th May 2010
1. Khubani – J.K. Mayengar & The Singwedzi Sisters (2:51)
2. Wozani Mahipi – Mahotella Queens (2:23)
3. Come With Me – Heroes (2:34)
4. Blockhead – The Monks (2:34)
5. Soul Time Nzimande Go – Bra Sello & His Band (2:24)
6. Gwinyitshe – The Toreadors (2:36)
7. Funky Message – The Heroes (3:05)
8. Nkuli’s Shuffle – The Klooks (2:42)
9. Soul IMBAQ – The Soul Prophets (2:27)
10. Intandane (Part I) – Philip Malela & The Movers (3:11)
11. Bazali Bam – Bazali Bam (3:15)
12. Akulalwa Soweto – The Mgababa Queens (3:00)
13. Short Man’s Soul – Down Tones (2:50)
14. Skophom – S.A. Move (2:44)
15. Wait And See – The Heshoo Beshoo Band (4:04)
16. Tiba Kamo – Philip Malela (3:13)
17. I Am There – Grasshoppers (2:34)
18. Lovey-Wami – Electric Six (2:47)
19. Last Time – The Anchors (2:30)
20. Mosquito – Flaming Souls (2:52)
21. Little Girl – Soul Throbs (2:39)
22. Saduva – Gibson Kente (2:47)
11 Feb 2010 Nelson Mandela released from prison 20 years ago www.newsahead.com