Sunday 29 March 2015

Almon Memela: Broken Shoes (1976)

Finally, herewith another holy grail the Electric Jive team has long been searching for. As Siemon said in his earlier post on Almon Memela's Funky Africa:  "The album is tight and excellent, but we might reserve the title of “holy grail” for Memela’s even scarcer album Broken Shoes (1976, Highway Soul, HSL 2009)… or at least until we listen to it!"

In my view Siemon, you will not be disappointed by these two fifteen-minute tracks of musical chemistry from guitar wizard Almon Memela and the stalwarts of Soweto's Pelican Club house band.

Memela's musical journey was a rich and diverse one. His earlier recordings start off with maskandi, move through penny-whistle and swing (I will share some 78rpm recordings at a later date), take a delightful diversion via Soul in the late 60s - you can find the A.M. Stragglers recording here. In the 70s Memela's music branched out into jazz, bump, mbaqanga and funk, to reach the pinnacle shared here with you today. You can read more about Memela and browse a partial discopgraphy on Flatint here.

Thank you Manzo for making it possible to access this crisp and clean recording.
Download link here

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Best of Spokes and Reggie (c1961)

These artists need no introduction—Spokes Mashiyane and Reggie Msomi can be found countless times here at Electric Jive. The New Sound album featured today brings together a wonderful selection of early sax jives probably first issued on 78 rpm around 1959 and 1960. This compilation (c1961) follows two hit volumes also issued by Gallo: New Sounds of Africa Vol.1 (NSL 1001) and Vol.2 (NSL 1002). While those earlier LPs focus primarily on Spokes Mashiyane, Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks, this record may be the first 33 rpm to foreground the talents of Gallo producer Reggie Msomi. Of course, this disc is marked as "New Sound Vol. 3" but it is hard to know if it follows that earlier series or whether NSL 1004 and 1005 are its precursors. It may be possible that Reggie can be found on those "missing" LPs. His 1961 classic Twisting with Reggie (NSL 1007) can be heard here at Electric Jive. For a partial discography of Gallo's New Sound label check out flatint.

Spokes Mashiyane and His Big Five
01) Nyakaza Stan
02) Chukuchuku
03) Lova
04) Bochabela
05) Phatha Phatha No. 2
06) Mojira Special

Reggie Msomi
07) Phatha Phatha No. 2
08) One One
09) Dubula Magazini
10) Washesha Mfana
11) Dabuli Bayi
12) Oh! Mtwana

Spokes Mashiyane and Reggie Msomi
Best of Spokes and Reggie
New Sound
NSL 1005
ABC 21460/1

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Sotho Vocal Jive - Top Hits Vol 2 (1977, Motella)

Back once more with a serious does of electric jive courtesy of the Matsuli archives. 
This LP was issued in 1977 on the Motella label and includes key vocalists and the backing
 band of mbaqanga's heyday. The compositions are all credited to Rupert Bopape and 
Marks Mankwane and the backing band is almost certainly the Makhona Tshole Band.
 I'm sure that fellow contributor Nick Lotay can help us out here with any clarifications!

Various Artists - Sotho Vocal Jive Vol 2 (Motella, 1977)
1. Mathari - Mbaqazo Boys
2. Sibata Simabifi -Mbaqazo Boys
3. Ditokolosi - Indoda Mbhodlomane Zezitombi Zomoya
4. Obadumedise - Indoda Mbhodlomane Zezitombi Zomoya
5. Moratoa Ke Batho - Irene & Sweet Melodians
6. Mmaditaba - Irene & Sweet Melodians
7. Mamokgadi - Izintombi Zo Moya
8. Ngoana O - Izintombi Zo Moya
9. Ntshwarele Ntate - Mahotella Queens
10. Nyalo Ea Tshwenya - Mahotella Queens
11. Hakena Sebaka - Mahotella Queens 

ENJOY: Mediafire Link