Monday, 27 October 2014
Bra Sello - The Battle of Disco (1977)
Today we feature Bra Sello Mmutung's ironically titled: The Battle of Disco. Recorded in 1977, the LP features two long, single-sided tracks stylistically in the bump jive form. Perhaps its his pensive expression on the cover or the music itself, which, though wonderfully mellow, nostalgically refers back to an earlier time. Ironic, for sure, in that bump jive as a style can be traced back to Abdullah Ibrahim's Mannenburg (The Sun, SRK 786134) recorded a mere three years before this LP in 1974. Maybe Bra Sello's "battle" is more a generational critique of the coming disco soul jive explosion that was already sweeping younger consumers and would dominate record sales in South Africa until at least the early 1980s. Ironic also in that Bra Sello helped build the mbaqanga dance sound with hits like Lulu Come Back that led to the disco soul era. The album could also be viewed as a lament for the big band sounds of the majuba era. A lament, however, that certainly is uplifting!
Bra Sello Mmutung can be heard on the 1967 compilation Modern Sax Stars and the 1975 album Butterfly here at Electric Jive.
The Battle of Disco