Friday 22 October 2010

Sea Water: minimal mbaqanga (1972)

Alfred Mthabane Ndima's track "Sea Water" appears on Nick Lotay's classic Mavuthela compilation shared on Matsuli during 2009. This album features Ndima with a session band playing "Sea Water" and eleven other tracks written by Tom Vuma. Most tracks are all more than decent 'stripped down'  instrumental mbaqanga samples - electric guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and sometimes accordion - just waiting for a trio of singers and saxophones to fill it all out. The guitarist sounds suspiciously good enough to be Marks Mankwane.

Rapidshare here
Mediafire here


  1. This is really quite a find. Amazing, rare, never-before-heard album!

    I really really like the "arrangements" -- that is to say, the lack of arrangements. As you note, it's as basic and simplified as mbaqanga can get, which really brings out the essence of the genre. Makes me wish that ALL mbaqanga tracks were made this way, just instrumentals with crisp individual instruments clearly audible.

    It really almost functions as a sort of karaoke record, for people to play as backing music as they try to sing on top of it.

    Of all the tracks, the standout hit to me is not the title track but rather "Flat Foot" on side 2. If I was a DJ on a pirate station in 1972, that's the track I would have played over and over!

    The universe thanks you for preserving this lost gem.

  2. Many thanks for the appreciation aperson.

  3. amazing...thank you!


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