Tuesday 19 January 2010

Mbaqanga from the men of Super Ten (1981)

The Super Tens herald further wishes for a "super" 2010 to all ElectricJive readers! This year’s third instalment of electric jive is a double-dose straying into the early 1980s and to a highly popular all-male band dispensing an increasingly sophisticated and rounded mbaqanga, re-introducing some marabi jive, but also flagging a taste of future 80s sounds.

Fronted by three tight saxophones (including Lemmy 'Special' Mabaso), the honey-smooth vocal harmonies, funky keyboards, and a pinch of synth, glide along to a strong mbaqanga drum and bass foundation.

EJ reader Gordon O’s request for the Super Tens got me digging out these two LPs bought at the store that traded in traditional medicine, plastic buckets and African music LPs at the top-end of Church Street next to Pietermaritzburg Central Railway Station in the early 1980s. Named after the first wave of 1970s ten-seater taxis, ‘The Super Tens’ spoke deeply to migrant workers - a pervasive beerhall sound-track, pulsing from straining speakers in the doorways of furniture and clothing stores across downtown urban South Africa.

From the inside cover of 'Umuzi Wempi': “The ‘Super Tens’ formed with some of the finest musicians in early 1981. They have gone from strength to strength, and their first release entitled “Ukuhla’ekweni” went double gold on release. Since then they have had hit after hit, establishing themselves. As one of South Africa’s top groups they have sold in excess of 160,000 units in records and tapes, with hits such as   Indod’Iyakhuluma”, “Khatazile”, “Usithathapi Usibandi”, and many more. This new album shows the true talent of the “Super Tens” and every number on the album is a hit. We are sure that the fans will enjoy the new release entitlted “Umuzi Wempi”, which took a long time in the studio to ultimately get the right sound. The “Super Tens” would like to thank all their fans for supporting them, and also to Maxwell Mngadi for his fine production of their LP’s.”

Musicians on “Umuzi Wempi”:
Lemmy Mabaso – Alto Sax and Tenor Sax
Noah Nduweni – Alto Sax
Maxwell Mngadi – Lead and bass guitar
Henry Ngwenya – All keyboards and synthesiser
Cyprian Cele and Sipho Bhengu – Vocal and Harmonies
Reggie Mfeka – Bass Guitar
Sipho Xaba – Drums
Richard Bongani Hadebe – Lead Guitar

On “Indod’Iyakhuluma” - the band has a third sax player in ‘Boy Mpongose’. Sipho Yeni plays keyboards.

"Umuzi Wempi"
1. Umuzi Wempi
2. Okwa Bonwa Yimi
3. Izinto Ziyajikajika
4. Uyokhala Zome
5. Sa Sala Sihlupekha
6. Ithemba Alibulali
7. Uyindod’ Enjani?
8. Umgumxa Banisi
9. Phindile
10. Lizzy
Beat City QBH 1026. (1982)

MF Link

1. Indod’Iyakhuluma
2. Ukhulumelani Kabi Ngegamalami
3. Khatazile Yini Ngawe
4. Kant’Uyintombenjani?
5. Ucele Uxolo Njalo
6. Mama Ka Nonhlanhla
7. Ba Ka-Sipho
8. Ngiboniseni Madoda
9. Ustithathapi Isibindi
10. Ngiyazisola
Beat City QBH 1023 (1981)

MF Link


  1. thanks for this
    and thanks for using media fire!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. love the blog, cant wait to check out the archives! Im putting you on my blogroll too, thx!

  4. Many thanks. -- Murf

  5. Hello, thank you very much for the music and for all your other posts!
    Unfortunately I'm a bit late on this and the links for "Umuzi Wempi" are dead. Could you kindly re-up this? Thanks in advance and have a good time! Greetings from Germany!

  6. Hi Frank - thanks for letting me know about the dead links - will fix these immediately - the first rapidshare link is already up and working


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