Monday 14 December 2015

Strange Things: Electric Jive Office Party 2015

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 kick off with the S.A. Supremes in 1973 chasing a funky rhythm guitar and organ-led groove, singing "Strange Things":  Oh, these strange things in my life, Why, they do go to me, Oh I need someone to save me, Oh, somebody come and help me. These Strange Things, they worry me so!".

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!

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! 


  1. Three cheers for another Office Party! They never fail to thrill. And extra cheer for another wonderful year of ElectricJive. Your efforts are cherished.

  2. Thanks Doug, as always, for your kind words and encouragement - you are most welcome. Wishing you everything of the best as we all keep on doing what we doing :-)

  3. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks for all the pleasure and joy you bring at the click of a key..... you have exposed me to much that I would never have heard without you ! Heres hoping that all of the contributors to this wonderful blog snatch a few days of rest and relaxation over the holiday season and year end, going into the NEW YEAR recharged and energised .

  4. Thanks so much Eyepictures, great to have you around again! We look forward to journeying further with you in the new year. Best wishes!

  5. Hello.
    Nice blog. I find very much rare South African music.
    I am looking for two songs as a mp3 un-mixed tracks - Black Duke - "Mamaki" and Unknown artist - "my friend" from Sukasambe compilation.
    Could you upload these tracks in a next several weeks?

    It is unavailable.

    Best regards.

  6. Hello.

    Nice blog. I find very rare South African music.
    I am looking two songs: Black Duke - "Mamaki" and Unknown Artist - "My friend" (from Sukasambe) as a un-mixed mp3 tracks.
    Could you upload these songs in next several weeks?

    Best regards

  7. Love the Office Party! However many years it has been, you always make it merry!

  8. Wow..........Thanks Again Electric-Jive for sharing this hidden Jams, appreciated

  9. Thank you so much for sharing "For You Only" - if you would be willing to post the a-side of the You and Me record ("Come With Me") I'd be so grateful, I have been wanting to hear it for YEARS!

  10. Thanks all for your comments - on those requests for the additional tracks - please hold thumbs, my 4 x 3TB network attached server has crashed, possibly taking with it my entire library of digital music, including hundreds of 45rpms and 78rpms that are not stored elsewhere. I am working on a recovery plan -


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