Friday 14 May 2010

Batsumi brings the sunshine

"Contemporaries of Malombo, the Dashiki Poets and other conscious African artists, Batsumi fused jazz, African drums, poetry and words delivering a powerful fusion that was in itself an expression of freedom from physical and mental chains. Just two albums of original music was recorded and released although a third LP is mentioned int eh sleeve notes of the second album. In 1982 an LP under the band name Marumo and titled Modiehi (Spade, 1982) included some members of Batsumi. There is also a catelogue number on the Stax label (Stax 5517) which appears to have been allocated to the first Batsumi LP. To add to the confusion a compilation of Batsumi tracks was issued in 1977 and the first LP was reissued in the same year on the J-Town label. " Matt from

BATSUMI (RTL 4041, 1974)
Produced by Baba Matiwane. Cover illustration by Zulu Bidi.
1. Lishonile
2. Emampondweni
3. Mamshanyana
4. Itmuleng
5. Anishilabi
Musicians: Thabang Masemola (Flute & Jew Harp), Themba Koyana (Tenor Sax), Buta-Buta Zwane (Vocal and Bongos), Maswaswe Mothopeng (Vocal and Guitar), Sello Mothopeng (Organ), Thabang Masemola (Batsumi Drums), Lekgabe Maleka (Drums), Zulu Bidi (Double Bass)
EDIT: Links removed due to forthcoming licensed reissue via Matsuli Music


  1. thank you soo much! i loved the music on the comp and have hoped someone might post the actual albums. do you happen to also have their second?

    all the best

  2. Thank you! How wonderful to have this old favourite back.
    I still have a very murky-sounding cassette copy I made of it in the mid- '80s. It's a prized possession but doesn't get played much.

    Finding a copy of the compilation from 1977 was just frustrating as all the tracks from this album are truncated. (Itumeleng is 8 mins long as opposed to 16 mins here!)

    You made my day, thank you. What magnificent music!

  3. Lovely album and another completely new discovery for me. Many thanks, as ever.

  4. Never heard of this before, so thanks for the education.

  5. Excellent thank you. Found your site via my friend James.

  6. very nice, much longed after the compilation at matsuli, thank you

  7. Thanks, just as corvimax said....
    peace, E-mile

  8. Thank you!! I completely identify with upshaped's and james's comments.

  9. Links have been removed due to the forthcomin reissue on Matsuli Music label. Watch out for a nice remastered reissue!


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