Soundway to drop ‘Gumba Fire’ – expertly curated by Miles Cleret and DJ Okapi

Miles Cleret and DJ Okapi have handpicked a killer selection of bubblegum soul and synth boogie and have further built on the South African canon. All tracks have never been reissued or available digitally before on Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth-Boogie in 1980s South Africa.

This Soundway compilation covers music that evolves from the disco-boom in South Africa and was mutating and morphing into a synth-orientated sound that was often stripped down and overlaid with deeply soulful vocals and harmonies. The 18 tracks here highlight a period where American-influenced jazz, funk and soul merged with local mbaqanga music. It then bridged into the 1990s when kwaito, pantsula and eventually house-music ruled the dance floors, shebeens and sent collectors into a frenzy (especially in recent times).

Miles Cleret is the label boss at Soundway and DJ Okapi is a world renowned collector and journalist thanks to his recent compilation work with Rush Hour and his fantastic Afrosynth blog and recently established record label. The pair explain: “The compilation takes its name from the band Ashiko’s track of the same name Gumba Fire that features on the compilation. It is derived from ‘gumba gumba’, the term given to the booming speakers of the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages. The phrase later evolved into ‘gumba fire’ to refer to a hot party.

“Whilst the title may be based on a specific song it is of course ultimately emblematic of the whole album, 18 tracks that radiate a glowing warmth in both tone and in the hot intensity of some of the rhythms that spark throughout, whilst also offering an important and intoxicating insight into the history of South African music – [the] sound dazzlingly contemporary in the process.”

To preorder, click: http://bit.ly/2FOQNol

World Seven release collectors’ jazz gem: Pacific Express’ ‘On Time’

World Seven continue their fine foray into world music classics with another hard-to-find jazz classic from South Africa in 1978. Besides the success in southern Africa this album became a regional hit as a pirated music cassette in Nigeria. It was also released in France and Japan.

Pacific Express emerged from Cape Town, South Africa in the 1970s. The band were from the so called ‘Coloured’ community and were ground breakers in both musical and political arenas.

The team at World Seven explains: “On several occasions the group fell foul of Apartheid laws and discrimination by the state broadcaster, SABC. On one occasion they were asked to leave the stage of an international tour by Australian act John Paul Young, because the law forbade racially mixed performers on the same stage. The promoter, management and band members all resisted and once the incident made the Australian newspapers the authorities had little choice and turned a blind eye.”

This album features founding members Paul Abrahams (bass), Jack Momple (drums) and Issy Ariefdien (guitar) and were joined by Chris Schilder (piano), Vic Higgins (pecussion), Barney Rachabane (alto sax), Stompie Manana (trumpet) and Zayn Adams amd Kitty Tshikana on vocals for this second album.

The band would go on to record one further LP in 1979 and a single in 1981. They carried on performing past that and their years together as a band acted as central hub for jazz musicians within the Cape Town area. Players such as Tony Cedras, Jonathan Butler and Alvin Dyers were able to gain experience alongside established names.

This World Seven release follows the sublime reissue of Michel Sardaby’s Gail LP.

Label feature: Glitterbeat (four times WOMEX award winners)

It was an extremely successful year for Glitterbeat Records in 2017 and 2018 has started in a similar vein.

To add to their WOMEX award the label collected in October, Glitterbeat starts the year with two of its acts in the top three of the World Music Charts Europe.

The chart currently looks like this: #2 TootArd توت أرض and their Laisez Passer album and #3 Saz’iso’s At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me LP.

World Treasures Music spoke to Glitterbeat about their success – click here to read it in the WTM Global section.

Check out TootArd’s video:

Next installment from Pasteur Lappe is his debut ‘We, The People’ LP thanks to Africa Seven

Africa Seven’s reissue of Pasteur Lappe’s We, The People is the first for the label in 2018. The second album Na Man Pass Man sounded well pressed last year and there’s more fresh tracks here for fans.

Nicolas “Pasteur” Lappe became a sensation on Radio Adele in Douala, Cameroon, in the 1960s. He went on to become the editor of the Douala Gazette newspaper and become friends with other African music stars such as Tala AM, J Moboule and Fela Kuti. This first album was recorded in 1979 with the backing band and production collective called the Zulu Gang, which include Douglas Mbida (who went on to release several top flight albums himself) and Jacob Desvariaux (who went on to form Kassav).

The album opens with one of the more pulsing grooves of the LP – More Sekele Movement – before taking the pace down into smooth, sometimes sleazy numbers. As Far As I Can Remember is a really trippy, spaced-out, cosmic groove with Pasteur crooning and introspective:

The slow stuff is nestled alongside dancefloor favourites, such as The Sekele Movement (check the amazing guitar at five minutes).

World Treasures Music Radio: 2017 Highlights and 2018 Preview

Playlist

Georgian State Merited Ensemble of Folk Song and Dance/Anzor Kavsadze – Chakrulo

Unknown (Voyager Golden Record) – Greetings (excerpt)

Okyerema Asante – That’s My Girl

Esa – Rent-A-Disc

Unknown (Voyager Golden Record) – Greetings (excerpt)

Majid Bekkas – Soudani Manayou (Cervo Edit)

Dr. Alimantado – Born For A Purpose/Reason For Living

Geoffrey Landers – So

Maria Rita – Cantico Brasileiro No. 3 (Kamaiura)

Moral Fibro – Take A Walk In The Sun

Alex Rosa – Sistem

Dub Oven – Dub Oven

Zazou/Bikaye/Cy1 – Eh! Yaye

Patrick Cowley – One Hot Afternoon

Minoru ‘Hoodoo’ Fushimi – Nikuzuke (Living Desk OF Flesh)

Kingsley Bucknor – You Gotta Keep On Luvin’ Me (Instrumental Hot Re-Mix)

Burnin Beat Feat. Olive Masinga – Searchin’

Focus – Rock Batlanga

Unknown (Voyager Golden Record) – Greetings (excerpt)

Donny Benet – Konichiwa

Daisho – Simba

Los Camaroes – Miss Ya Ntem

Iftiin Band feat. Mahmud Abdalla “Jerry” Hussen – Anna Qaylodhaankaan

Gilberto Gil – Toda Menina Baiana (Tahira Re-edit)

Senyaka – Bayanyonyoba

Mugwisa International Xylophone Group – Drop the Beat (FYI Chris Acid Drop)

Ambrose Roan Horse, Chester Roan, and Tom Roan – Navajo Night Chant, Yeibichai Dance

Arthur – Close To You

Minoru ‘Hoodoo’ Fushimi inteview – Japanese translation

It was one of the highlights of 2017 on Left Ear Records. Minoru ‘Hoodoo’ Fushimi’s In Praise of Mitochondria. The great man has kindly translated his interview (he did with WTM earlier this year) for our Japanese readers.

To read it: Click here.

If you missed it first time, visit the WTM Japan section.

Minoru’s music featured in World Treasures Music ‘best of the year’ show. Uploading tomorrow.

Kalita is dropping disco and boogie heat with Iwabo, while unearthing the stories behind the music

Kalita Records is an independent record label based in London and is setting the bar high with selection, integrity and journalism. All releases are officially licensed with the rightholder’s consent. Plus, the label is even filming interviews with artists and broadcasting them on their website.

Kalita is up to their third release already with Iwabo’s Reggae Down. This track was the band’s only release and was originally out in 1985. This fine reissue continues the label’s attention to detail – with liner notes and a never-before-seen photo of the band – following the in depth interview with Okyerema Asante for Kalita’s last release.

World Treasures Music spoke to Kalita boss Chris Webb and found out that this is only the beginning:

WTM – Give us a run down of the releases so far – how did you come across the music and eventually choose to reissue it?

“Firstly, in relation to NST Cophie’s, I had known about E Clôlo for a long time, as I had heard it on an obscure Youtube clip without any track title and instantly fell in love with the song. After then hearing Bian Kou a few months after, I knew that his album Mon’Da Center was truly a lesser-known gem and deserved love and attention once again. Quite out-of-the-norm, Ernest actually has his own website through which I tried to contact him to ask if he would like to re-release his music, but never received any response. It was only after finding him on social media that we were finally able to make contact and he was responsive and interested in the fact that music lovers in London were so into the music that he had released in Paris and Abidjan 36 years before.

“After a short time we had agreed to re-release three of his songs from the album and he was willing to send a photo of himself from the time for the sleeve cover, as well as being kind enough to answer some questions that I had – the responses being truly valuable for putting together the liner notes.

“Secondly, in relation to Okyerema, Sabi (Get Down) has been quite well known for some time in the West, in large part since diggers in the West started focusing on the amazing music that emerged out of Ghana in the 1970s, 80s and 90s for that matter. However, the B side That’s My Girl (which in fact has received more airtime recently than Sabi – something I wasn’t expecting, but which looking back is totally understandable) was still a semi-hidden gem. I contacted Okyerema through social media and he was very much willing to discuss working with Kalita in celebrating and re-releasing his music. After obtaining an agreement, I was able to learn more and more about Okyerema’s amazing career, from being part of Ghana’s legendry Hedzoleh band, to moving to America as part of Hugh Masekela’s outfit, and then pursuing a successful solo career whilst simultaneously working with megastar musicians such as Paul Simon, Lonnie Liston Smith and Fleetwood Mac. It has been an honour to work with him and I hope that this is just the start.”

WTM – the interviews with artists are a great idea, really well done and a credit to you.

“It’s something that I believe needs to be done much more and as anyone who watches the interview can see, we both had a great time discussing Okyerema’s life and career (as well as learning of things I hadn’t known previously, such as the fact that he had been in an ill-fated 2-week long band with Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas and Kiki Gyan!).”

WTM – what else is coming up?

“Although the first two releases are West African disco records, Kalita isn’t just focused on West African disco. I try to unearth and re-release great music regardless of where it is from. Reggae Down is by the Trinidadian musician Victor (Irenaeus) Perelion, the fourth is a huge American gospel disco single, and the fifth is a much needed official reissue of dancefloor-focused disco out of Tampa, Florida. I guess the main theme running through is disco and boogie, but more generally it’s just music that I love that I believe needs to be celebrated again. Let’s just say that we’re only just getting started, and that 2018 is going to (hopefully!) be a great year.”

For more tunes, mix links, news and more – go to the Kalita Records website.