Boston-based label Cultures of Soul is releasing a South African compilation selected by DJ Okapi – Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth-Disco 1980-1984. Famous for his Afrosynth blog – which has highlighted numerous treasures from the country – this selection of his homeland’s music is out in September.
Many of the country’s best young musicians were guided by funk and the new synthesizers arriving there. A UN-sanctioned cultural boycott related to Apartheid meant much of the music remained domestic at the time. Together with Cultures Of Soul head honcho Deano Sounds this release will shine a light on six seminal acts from the era – Harari, The Cannibals, Neville Nash, Benjamin Ball, Don Laka
and Al Etto.
The music shows a period of innovation, exploration, as well as the context of isolation and political instability. Genres such as bubblegum and kwaito are the result, as well as reggae, disco and boogie fusions.
Boogie Breakdown tracklist:
A1. Cannibals – Hey Tonight
A2. Cannibals – We Keep On Keeping On
A3. Harari – Party
B1. Harari – Good Vibes
B2. Don Laka – I Wanna Be Myself
B3. Don Laka – Let’s Move the Night
C1. Neville Nash – Breakdown
C2. Neville Nash – Perfect Love
C3. Benjamin Ball – Flash A Flashlight
D1. Benjamin Ball – I Just Keep Dancing
D2. Al Etto – You’ve Got the Love
D3. Al Etto – Hold On to Love
“Jeff Swallom from CoS first approached me in November 2014 about putting together, and we’ve been working on it since then. The first year was about listening and choosing tracks, the second about getting the paperwork together.” There will be more in the future on WTM from DJ Okapi.
For now check out this WTM mix of kwaito, disco, boogie and more: