Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Headquarters: "Sweetie" (1977)

Some seriously funky and soulful dance-floor filler noticeably South African music lurks under the very competent disco veneer of this album.  This band is certainly up there with anything Reggie Msomi and Almon Memela were able to produce at the time.

In addition to a strong seven-piece outfit featuring Lemmy ‘Special’ Mabaso on alto sax  and Joe Zikhali (Chapita) on lead guitar, Zane Cronje takes credit for the string arrangements. I cannot find further reference to alto sax player Boikie Piliso, and do not know if he was related to the famous Ntemi and Shadrack Piliso brothers.

When Cambridge Matiwane started his illustrious music career I am certain he could not have foreseen producing a 1977 disco date, heavy breathing included.  

 Joe Zikhali wrote “Sweetie”, the most ‘disco’ of the tracks, replete with the rhythmic moans and grunts that seemed popular to this genre at the time. From there it is three tracks of upbeat funky guitar and horns, with occasional strings holding onto that disco dance-floor and mirror-ball feel.  

The two tracks on side two are penned by keyboard player Dimpy Tshabalala, who in 1987 went on to join the reformed Elite Swingsters. “Moshate” features an eleven-minute fusion, funk and disco workout. “Lazy Bones” is my personal favourite, looping, loping and driving. Enjoy!

If there are enough 70s disco lovers still lurking 'out there', let me know and I will make the effort to dig out some more South African disco from that era.

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  1. Yeah.Excellent stuff.Please dig for more..

  2. Thanks Matsuli.
    Big Up,
    Conscious Pilot

  3. hi, really interested in stuff like this.. please write to me at "j dot evan dot jordan at gmail dot com." There are a few SA records I am really after and hope u might help :)


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