The Drive ‘Zone 6’ (RCA, RCL1214, 1976)
Produced by the ubiquitous township soul impresario and infamously sharp operator David Thekwane, Zone 6 is a further piece of The Drive’s expanding discographic puzzle. Unlike 1975’s Can You Feel It, also produced by Thekwane, the Zone 6 release is bereft of any detailed information concerning the personnel, although we might assume continuity from the earlier sessions (check the earlier post here for details). The genesis and importance of The Drive was covered here at Matsuli and some more of their output, as well as some biographical info, is detailed here at flatinternational.
The Drive might be seen as providing an important sonic bridge between the fertile but often lo-fi township soul scene and the complexities of a jazz scene which was in a state of flux and transformation during the mid-1970s. Zone 6, with its deep, warm funk tones and the evident similarity of ‘Iphi Intombiyam’ to the title track of Moeketsi and Matshikiza’s classic Tshona! LP, adds another layer of detail to our still partial picture of this most progressive and prolific group.