Purveyors of new and old rarities from across the world, Soundway Records have enlisted the help of Esa Williams to compile their next release, Esa Presents Amandla: Music To The People, a double LP of electronic gems from South Africa, Brazil, Tanzania and beyond.
Growing up during the end of Apartheid in South Africa, Esa remembers the power that music had in bringing people together. It was a medium that united, which is something he hopes to do with this compilation. Pulling together tracks from around the globe, including Tanzanian fusion, Afro-futurism and zouk from French Antilles, he joins the dots of his own personal musical journey and the artists he has met along the way.
Today’s premiere is from Alaska, one of South Africa’s most iconic Kwaito groups from the early 1990s, whose musical message called for celebration and mobilisation after Apartheid. A regular feature in Esa’s DJ sets, ‘Accuse’ is one of the band’s more downtempo cuts; a slow burner with a deep groove to start the night off on the right foot. One of the group’s founding members, Siphiwe Picat, shares some insights on the track and their message: “On most of our songs, and Accuse in particular, we try and capture real life issues in our hood. In this song we sing about those house break-ins, robberies and crimes that are still everyday occurrences in Ndofaya. Usually when these criminals get caught, they do not take the blame; they accuse each other instead. The wider message is that a life of crime is never of benefit to you: you’ll just end up in prison with no future, unable to unlock the power of your potential on earth.”
Esa Presents Amandla: Music To The People will be released in August. Pre-order from Soundway’s Bandcamp.