Monday, 28 September 2015

Indoda Mahlatini Na Madodana (1979)

Today's share is a 1979 album by the legendary mbaqanga groaner himself - Simon 'Mahlathini' Nkabinde.

Mahlathini's 1970s career had been decorated with a series of hits and misses. In late 1972, the groaner left the Mahotella Queens and joined a new group formed by some of the same ladies called Amakhosazana. A two-year period saw immense success, unsigned, but ended abruptly after the members were ripped off and cheated by aspiring impresario Piet Ntuli. Mahlathini and Amakhosazana ended up at Satbel under the careful production of C.B. Matiwane, this time recording as Mahlathini and The Queens. The gutsy, tough and raw music produced during this era can be found on the excellent Earthworks compilations The Lion of Soweto and King of the Groaners, as well here on Electric Jive. Matiwane's involvement in Satbel eventually waned and the company disintegrated around 1977. Mahlathini and The Queens moved over to CCP (a local subsidiary of EMI) under the production of none other than Piet Ntuli. Two LPs were produced (one of which can be found here) until Ntuli's corrupt ways finally dissolved the band. The Queens disintegrated but Mahlathini and Ndlondlo Bashise stayed on at EMI, this time under the production of the groaner's friend, sax jiver and occasional vocalist Bra Sello Mmutung.

By the time Indoda Mahlatini Na Madodana was recorded, mbaqanga had already started its sharp decline after a 15-year period as the preferred sound of the townships. In many ways this album is a pure oddity, combining the raw Satbel-era sound with some rather gaudy electric keyboard and - on one track - disco drums. Nonetheless, there are some goodies here. "Siyabuza" is fiery Mahlathini at his best, duetting with longtime musical associate Lazarus 'Boy Nze' Magatole. "Akekho" is another tune in the same great vein. Mahlathini, Boy Nze and Bra Sello handle most of the vocals, although they are joined by the Mahlathini Girls - Lindiwe Gamedi, Gugu Sithole and Hilda Tausi - on three of the tracks.

A strange one... but definitely worth a listen. Enjoy!


produced by Bra Sello
Goli GOL (E) 307
Zulu Vocal

Monday, 14 September 2015

Atlantic City Soul Step (1969-74)

Anyone for a little call and response? I was racking my brains on what to post today and found myself drifting towards Chris' wonderful Young Lovers post from last week. I have recently digitized a great deal of the flatinternational archive and thought the time was ripe to visit some 45 RPMs issued on the electrifying Atlantic City label.

Perhaps with the exception of City Special no other label captures the sheer vitality of the 1970s soul jive scene in South Africa. With David Thekwane as producer this Teal label hosted some of the brightest, craziest organ infected dance music of the day. Notables artists include the Flaming Souls, the Young Lovers and the VIPs. The music is raw, repetitive and intoxicating and at moments I find it drawing me back to some classic live Velvet Underground recordings. I would recommend mega-bass if your amplifier allows for it!

Compiled by flatint for Electric Jive

01) The Young Lovers - Organ A Go-Go - Atlantic City - AYB 1050 - 1969
02) The Flaming Souls - Soul Underground - Atlantic City - AYB 1066 - 1969
03) The Yupps - Yupps A Go-Go - Atlantic City - AYB 1083 - 1970
04) The Daffodils - Organ Tornado - Atlantic City - AYB 1089 - 1970
05) The Soul Crusaders - Simply Sweet - Atlantic City - AYB 1096 - 1970
06) The Yupps - Ikageng Soul - Atlantic City - AYB 1083 - 1970
07) Long John - True Monkey Soul - Atlantic City - AYB 1054 - 1969
08) The Young Lovers - Soul Ma Java-Java - Atlantic City - AYB 1100 - 1970
09) The Young Lovers - Fire Works - Atlantic City - AYB 1100 - 1970
10) Soul Explosions - Shiela - Atlantic City - AYB 1109 - 1971
11) The Brights - Soul on Soul - Atlantic City - AYB 1110 - 1971
12) The VIPs - Scare Them - Atlantic City - AYB 1132 - 1972
13) The VIPs - Spin Out - Atlantic City - AYB 1132 - 1972
14) The VIPs - Uncle Champ - Atlantic City - AYB 1135 - 1972
15) The Strollers - Sweet Ruth - Atlas City - ATB 703 - 1974
16) The Strollers - Congo's Corner - Atlas City - ATB 703 - 1974

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Young Lovers (1972)

Staying with 1972, a somewhat special soul and "afro-rock" offering that  will blow the socks off some of you. Well produced, tight band, strong vocals, with some echoes of West Coast 70s acid rock influences evident. The overall feel and some of the brass and flute arrangements remind me of elements of Arthur Lee's "Love".

Stand-out tracks among the five original compositions are the Zamrock-style "Tikoloshi" and "Feeling Shy". An EJ visitor has been hunting the brooding anthemic "Naledi" for years.

One of the reasons I chose to post this album "now" was because I knew there was nothing  I could tell you about the band - and I am just too short of time to put together a more substantial text for some other album. No info on the album or labels, and if you try and google "The Young Lovers", it gives you a flood of options, none of which seemed relevant to this album. This album speaks for itself though, enjoy!

Download link here