While In South Africa My Brother…

posted by February 28th, 2007

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Jonas Gwangwa and African Explosion : Switch No.1
taken from the album “Who (Ngubani)?” on Jamal (1969)

Assagai : Cocoa
taken from their selt-titled album on Contour (1971)

Assagai : Barazinbar
taken from the album “Afro-Rock” on Sounds Superb (1971)

Makhona Zonke Band : The Webb
taken from the album “The Webb” on Soul Jazz Pop (197?)

…look for signs of DuDu. DuDu Pukwana that is.

Alas, my lil’ brodie, the frequent contributor to this site known to the music fiending public as Murphy’s Law, the young man who harnesses the elemental power of chaos in constructing the most devastating DJ sets this side of the sun, left for South Africa late last night. He is perhaps too shy to say so himself, but he’s scored a role in a film (he’s been living in L.A. for a reason) that’s shooting in a tropical jungle outside of Jo-burg. Poor bastard. Well, for us at least, it means a bit of a slow down in posts to the crate. I’ll do my best to pick up the slack, but bare with me for the next couple months while the young buck is prancing about in military garb – I believe it’s a ‘Nam flick. As a proper send-off, I wanted to put up some of my favorite South African goodies. I’m guessing his absence will inspire at least another post of music from the area (Soweto Jive perhaps?) and if we cross our fingers, Murphy just might be able to check in at an internet cafe to post up his latest findings from the road (keep looking for that Dick Khoza LP dood!).

As for DuDu, check out his early work with Jonas Gwangwa (the first black South African to release an album!!!) and then the recordings he made later with his own group Assagai. They were definitely pushing the boundaries both stylistically (mixing genres) and socially (mixing races with an integrated band under apartheid law). There’s plenty more audible gems on these records (including open drum breaks on “Telephone Girl” and “Kinzambi” and even a Highlife cover version of “Hey Jude”), but I only have time to leave you with a taste.

The Makhona Zonke Band have nothing to do with DuDu, but it’s a great South African groove that I already had digitized. Sound familiar anyone? Clearly they were listening to Donny Hathaway records and could relate. “The Ghetto” = “The Webb”. This song is a re-post, so you can refer to the OG (see below) for more info.

Those of you who’ve been checking this blog for more than a minute will remember that I posted “Barazinbar” and “The Webb” a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure it’s new music to most of you. Speaking of which… this post makes it 2 YEARS OF CAPTAIN’S CRATE! Hell yeah! Happy b-day to me. 311 songs, almost a gig-and-a-half of music. Not bad.

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