Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth​-​Boogie in 1980s South Africa

Via Bandcamp Daily, some cool afro pop goodness...

'As the days of disco wound down in the early 1980s, pop music around the world mutated in various ways, all of it influenced to some degree by the proliferation and new accessibility of synthesizers and drum machines. In black South Africa, there was “bubblegum”—not related to Western manufactured teen pop, it was an effervescent mix of bouncy drum pads and funky synths with soulful, harmony-heavy vocals, meant for pure fun and uplift, something sorely needed during apartheid days.

And indeed, this compilation of rare tracks meant as an introduction to the sound is a true delight from start to finish, from the moody synth melody on The Survivals’ “My Brother” to the power vocals on the freestyle-esque “Do You Trust Amajita?,” by Ntombi Ndaba, to the whistle percussion on Condry Ziqubu’s “She’s Impossible.”

One can imagine these tunes soundtracking block parties then and now, bringing neighbourhoods together. Bubblegum might not have been built to last, but I’m incredibly glad these tunes have another life decades later; the sugar rush, hearing them, springs eternal.' – Jes Skolnik

Out now on Soundway, 2LP/Digital

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