John Armstrong Presents South African Funk Experience CD
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* With the World Cup in South Africa set to dominate the cultural agenda this summer we thought it would be timely for a compilation of the funkiest vintage grooves from 1960s-1980s South Africa.
* Styles range from traditional Zulu, Shangaan and Sotho funky sounds through to Jo'burg's 70s and 80s JB wannabees, and on into deep jazzfunk and spiritual dance-jazz work-outs; all funky, forgotten S.A. dancefloor gems derived from John's own vinyl collection the majority of
which have never before appeared on CD.
* In the myriad Afro Funk, Afro Beat and Afro Jazz reissues and compilations of the last few years, the name of South Africa has been unaccountably absent: South Africa has always had the largest music industry in the whole of Africa by a long, long way and "South African Funk Experience" features the artists who rocked the blacks-only shebeens, brothels and bars of Soweto, and the notorious migrant camps' Saturday night dances.
(4 Stars) All praise to DJ John Armstrong for assembling such an invigorating, varied - and yes - danceable compilation with its roots deep in the 1970s and 1980s -- The Sunday Times - 06/06/10
(4 stars) Little-known tracks, mostly available on CD for the first time, including deep, funky workouts that most of today's South Africa Musician's sadly can't match -- The Evening Standard - 11/06/10
Top customer reviews
Unusually for funk, there is not much of polyrythmic variation here. The Mbaqanga beat flows smoothly, steady as a train, tight as a metronome. Many of the tracks have an alluring simplicity of melody and sound (strangely reminding me of Kraftwerk). Instead the funkiness is infused in the arrangements, which are very good, and especially the lyrics, African-flavored with call-and-response, ululations and powerful soul á la Miriam Makeba: listen to "Jiwe Sowetho" and "Kikizelani". All of it infectiously groovy, ridiculously danceable.
As an aside, may I propose two ohter instalments in this series, the "Ethiopian Funk Experince" and the "Somalian Funk Experience", two nations with a goldmine of funky beats if someone cares to collect them.
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