Some strange things have afflicted us all this year - though we can't say they were wholly unexpected. South Africa faces some very serious challenges with corruption and leadership. It has been a year of despair and at times feeling hopeless as we watch people of the world drift apart and resort to bombing and fighting each other. As if such behavior is ever going to solve anything! Time for healing, time for love!
As we approach the holidays I am hopeful that we can all find the time and motivation to step back, step aside, and find that happy musical space where thinking is suspended, time stands still, and your dancing feet switch into automatic pilot mode.
I invite you to groove to some timeless and rare funky disco soul produced during those tough times in South Africa. No matter the trauma on our door-steps, we took care to feed our souls and dance among those we loved, always feeling re-inspired!
So, enough venting and sermonising, let me share the Electric Jive Durban Office Party 2015 menu with you.
We then slide off into 1977 for a beautiful funky and emergent disco anthem recorded by "The Drive", their last recording, just two weeks before Henry Sithole (that's him in Ian Huntley's picture above) and Bunny Luthuli (guitar) were taken from us in a car accident. Stretching out at over 16 minutes, the shimmering guitar, soothing brass, and rock-solid bass-lines of "Thando's Mood" will transport you to that place where you slowly peel away those troubles, and decide it is OK just to let go, and go with the flow.
We slip back into 1976, with the wonderful collaboration between the members of the pop band "Rabbit" Trevor Rabin and Neil Cloud, along with Malcolm Watson, John Galanakis, Mike Makhalemele, Thomas Masemola and The Jo'Burg Strings. Written by Patrick Van Blerk and Trevor Rabin, "For you Only" is an extended 14-minute laid back disco-funk groove.
"Spirits Rejoice" hardly need an introduction, though not everyone knows they were the core of "Dr Rhythm", backing Paul Petersen's guitar upfront. Recorded in 1981, and written by keyboard player Mervyn Africa, "Hook It Up" offers up more than eight minutes of upbeat funky disco, with the likes of Duke Makasi blowing up a brass storm, underlined by Sipho Gumede on bass, and Gilbert Matthews on drums,
Rounding it all off for this Office Party is the full sixteen minute version of the 1978 hit by the "Nzimande All Stars", "Sporo Disco". Not yet featured on Electric Jive!
I wish all visitors to Electric Jive lots of love and peace over this holiday period - whenever, it finally gets to come your way.
My hands are a little too full to find the time to be able to put up two downloads - one with separated tracks, along with the tradtional mix-tape. So, please bare with with me and understand - I promise, in the New Year, I will share the full albums that feature the tracks in the office party mix. Enjoy!
MF download here
And just when you thought that was all! No wait, there is more! Thanks to an anonymous person with a big heart, there is now a site where you can hear South African and African music recordings that you did not know existed. Taken from master tapes and sound-desk recordings of live shows over the twenty five years, you can hear the likes of Tananas, Oliver Mtukudzi, Marcus Wyatt, Toumani Diabate, Gito Baloi, Kesivan Naidoo, and more to come. Phew!