With a knack for plucking gems from the far-flung relics of time, Soundway Records‘ latest compilation revisits the pioneering dance of early 80’s South-African music. As an appetite for electronic Western sounds increased, so too did a DIY ethos and accessibility to technology which enabled independent labels like Heads Records to thrive and create their own distinctive sound, albeit for a short by time.
In the hangover of disco, the handful of tracks on the EP charts the emergence of pop-centric Bubblegum in South-Africa; rich in township culture and the bold expression that was ironically invoked in the apartheid era. Exhibiting traits of the traditional Sotho music typical of the region, Manyane’s ‘Thabong’ is invigorated by the synth-heavy electronic sounds infiltrating the musical output of the time. Sofrito’s Frankie Francis’ dub edit takes it down a more leftfield, spaced-out trajectory while still retaining its pulsating 80’s pop appeal.
Heads Records – South African Disco-Dub Edits is out now on Soundway. Grab a copy from their Bandcamp.