this rare 10″ by guitarist Francis Bebey was found in a box of records that I got from a good friend. Thanks for such a wonderful gift!
Unfortunately this record had once been a bit too close to a heat source, causing damage to the edge of the cover and the disc itself. The edge of the record has a warp so that side A can no longer be played, but fortunately side B plays quite nicely. Because these recordings are so beautiful and unique, I want to share them with you.
Francis Bebey, who was born on the 15th of July 1929 in Douala Cameroon, is both a composer and guitarist.
His compositions as presented to the public during various European recitals, are neither African folk music nor jazz, nor Western classical music. His music remains deeply attached tot he values of the African negro tradition, as he knew and lived it during his childhood.
Francis Bebey in a Q/A with Lepold Sedar Senghor -from a 1965 interview with Francis Bebey on the liner notes of the original cover.
A: ‘Black Tears ‘has three main themes: the first one represents tears of sadness and despair; the third, which is gayer, denotes tears of joy.
Q: You mean laughing till one cries?
Q: and the little tune which recurs from time to time, and on which the piece ends?
A: That is the theme of Life –always serene and indifferent to sorrow, pettiness or racial prejudice –Life, which has always been beautiful, ever since Creation
Q: in the tears of joy passage we hear a real African tom-tom sequence. Who accompanied you in this movement?
Q: You mean you superimposed it later?
A: Not at all. It was played at the same time, on the guitar. Of course, I was very happy when the idea came to me, and when I was first able to realize it. But I think we have talked enough –how about some music?
From the liner notes of Francis Bebey –Pieces pour guitare seule –Compositions for solo guitar
This year Soul Safari brings you a special Township Boogie & Disco Mix for the Yuletide season…most tracks were originally released as 45 rpm singles between 1979-1986. Some of the earliest examples of Boogie/Disco music from South Africa comes from Cape Jazz artist Mike Makhalemele (1979) and a gem by singer Kumasi (1982), along with long time favorites like The Hot Soul Singers, Street Kids, Ebony mixed with some real obscure goodies as well….Thandi Seoka, TSB and Thandi Bgonwe. One of the great Cape Jazz artists, Mike Makhalemele performs ‘Disco Freaks’, truly a 1979 Boogie/Disco holy grail from South Africa. Enjoy this mix as much as I loved selecting and mixing it. Happy Holidays!
one of the longest running and most consistent posts on Soul Safari is undoubtedly ‘Diggin’ in Japan’. Some are written by myself, other posts are first hand experiences by my friend and dedicated collector MP Flapp. All visits are documented with lots of tips on how to travel to Japan, how to get around within the cities, where to find the best places to eat, to chill and spend your cash…. no detail is spared!
The latest in the series is Mp Flapp’s report of his journey through the land of the rising sun and the many record stores in Japan, updated version 2018.
I believe the last time I put pen to paper with respect the hunt for musty vinyl in Japan was back in 2015. As you might expect a lot has changed on the Japanese vinyl trail since then… This trip was a particularly a good one as the adventure started in Amsterdam in a late night café with this blogs author Eddy De Clercq and Japanese DJ Jun following a fantastic party playing records in the adult kindergarten as part of the Wonderland event at the Paradiso on 14th December 2018. One of those events where the conversation naturally arrives as record shops both past and present… the places where unexpected treasures are found or the proprietor is always good at highlighting recommendations based on what you’ve selected to listen to or buy…
It would have been a missed opportunity (you never know what you might find) if the next morning DJ Jun and I hadn’t taken a quick tour of a subset of Amsterdam’s record shops before our respective flights… his back to South Africa and mine to Japan via Vienna and Frankfurt…
FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS I USED TO ARRIVE AT TOKYO’S NARITA AIRPORT WHICH IS SITUATED ABOUT 90 MINS OUTSIDE THE CITY…
after an epic overnight flight or en-route home with cases full of records it’s a bit of a long journey to and from the airport to the city centre. On the last couple of trips I’ve opted to fly to Haneda instead as the airport is within 20 min of the city centre by metro. It also has the advantage of being about 30/40 Euros by taxi from many central hotel locations. Flights to Haneda are about the same price as Narita Airport from Europe; at times they can be cheaper. A number of flights to Haneda from Europe arrive around lunchtime as opposed to 8 am meaning it’s possible to check-in to the hotel on arrival. In addition, with Haneda being so close to the city centre, there is no need to exchange your JR travel voucher for a Japan Rail Pass on arrival. Arriving at Narita it makes sense to obtain the JR travel pass to save buying a ticket for the train from the airport to the city centre.
This trip is a few days less than previous years. The loose agenda is to spend a day and a half in Tokyo, travel down to Osaka, go on to Fukuoka before return to Osaka for a few more days then back to Tokyo for a day before catching the flight home.
On arrival, bags dropped at the hotel there is
just under half a day left to go digging. From the hotel it’s possibly to go in
a sort of short circle by metro and take in two locations (Shinjuku and Ochanomizu)
both with a high concentration of stores before returning to the hotel.
In Shinjuku there are two clusters of stores either side of main train station. Short on time the focus is on the south-east side of the station and the pocket of Disk Union stores… with more time a trip to Dub Store on the other side of the station is more than recommended. My interest in Japanese music has changed quite a bit over the last few years… first port of call these days is the Disk Union Japanese Pop (Kayoukyoku) basement store… always loaded with great 45s and given it’s end of the year, the premium 60s/70s stock is out… often records that very rarely appear on-line are on display… not always cheap, but in person you can check the condition and quality. Depending on how busy the store is you can give batches of five to seven records a listen to ensure they are as expected…
A couple of
floors above the Japanese Pop store is the Disk Union soundtrack store… again
always worth a visit… not that I’m big on CDs, but there are some Japanese
soundtrack music from the 60s/70s that was never released at the time and only
issued on CD at a later date… always worth having a look just in case… with the
advent of relatively cheap one-off lathe cut 45s there’s not harm in buying the
CD and cutting a couple of the tracks (edited or not) to a one copy 45…
A few hundred meters up the street from the first location is the main Disk Union store in the area. The store is split over eight floors, covers near ever genre imaginable from almost every corner of the planet. I usually do the basement location first as it covers Japanese releases both old and new. There is a small crossover in stock with the Japanese Pop store, but in general the selection in unique to this location. From here it’s up to seventh floor of punk then down through the New Wave/Avant-Garde on the sixth floor to the Latin, Brazilian, African and Reggae on the fifth floor before finishing up in the Progressive Rock selection on the fourth floor.
another three Disks Union stores in the area worth visiting depending on your
taste: the Dance store covering everything from Soul to Techno, the Rock Store
split over two floors covering rock in its many forms and the General Store
which is completely across the board. To do all of these stores on a half day
you kind of need to be going through the racks fairly quickly and selectively.
It’s fairly easy to get side tracked and spend a lot of time waiting to hear
records. The listening policy is enforced quite strictly when the stores are
busy. At weekends or early evening it’s easy to end up in a queue of six or
seven people and lose 30/40 minutes waiting. The best approach is make a note
of titles that are unknown, try and check them on-line or keep the listening to
early morning visits, soon after the store has opened.
stop Ochanomizu which is a short ride on the Chuo from Shinjuku. In a couple of
hours you can do about seven stores before closing time which varies between
8pm and 9pm. There are a few more record stores in the area coupled with some
fantastic book stores, but that tour requires quite a bit more time to do.
The first stop is the Jazz Disk Union which is five minutes’ walk from Ochanomizu station. There is a bit more than Jazz going on here as the annex on the same floor covers a broad selection of Japanese groove, Latin and funk. However, if it’s Jazz you’re looking for this is the place to come based on volume of stock and range on offer. One of the most notable changes over the years has been the change in interest from overseas Jazz to domestic Jazz. Gone are the days when Japanese Jazz records were easy to find at sensible prices… releases on Three Blind Mice, in top condition with OBI and booklet are now near impossible to find at regular prices.
short walk from the Jazz Disk Union is the main Disk Union store in the area…
it’s a fairly broad genre crossing selection, but the real gems are in the
selection of domestic releases in stock. The overseas Folk, Psych and Progressive
Rock sections are worth a mention as they tend to be loaded with items you only
see on-line or at record fairs in Europe. The records are suitably priced, but
it is nice to see these records appear as shop stock.
favourite 45 store, Orient is about 15mins walk from Disk Union down the hill
in Kanda. It’s not the size of the store that makes the place so good, it’s the
range of domestic releases from the 50s through to the 80s… it’s a curated
selection that tends to be in top condition. There isn’t the ability to listen
to records in store, so you need to know what you are looking for. That said it’s
fairly straight forward to find clips on-line.
towards Jinbocho from Orient there are four store of note: a further Disk
Union, Tacto – Showa Music, Fuji Record Sya and the highlight Record Sya. Record
Sya was established in 1930 and is affiliated to the Fuji Record Sya store. It’s
possibly not a store for the hipster, but for those collectors looking for
something a little off the radar…
One advantages of finishing the day here is that between Record Sya and Ochanomizu station there are a myriad of places to stop to eat and drink. The better Sake places tend to be Yakitori (grilled chicken) spots. However, for the vegitarians there’s a laid back Okonomiyaki restaurant in the area that is hard to beat. Okonomiyaki is a highly addictive savoury pancake like disk more associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan. Until I make it further south, this is an ideal way to finish the day… sort of a flavour of things to come.
When asked where would go record shopping with a whole day to spare?
My regular response is Shibuya and Shimokitazawa. The rational being both areas are relatively close together, have a great selection of records stores, are totally different architecturally and have more to see and do that just record shopping…
is Shibuya the first port of call is the basement of the main Disk Union in the
area for the Jazz, rare groove, reggae and global sounds… if possibly its best
to go early on a weekday close to opening time as the store is loaded with
stock, but a little tight for customer space. Aside from the mix of stock what
I like about this store is the broad price range… most of the stock is sensibly
priced and accessibly to anyone, but for the collector there are items you very
rarely see in a shop… the type of records that appear in auctions or on the
wall at record fairs… often not cheap, but priced and available… The priced
factor is quite a good point. There is nothing worse as a buyer than going in
to one of those stores where the records aren’t priced. Anything you bring to
the counter the sales assistant has to look-up on Discogs, often quoting the
highest price the record sold for… this isn’t cool in the slightest… it’s a bit
like buying a beer in Berlin and the barperson suggesting it’s eleven Euros as
that’s the price the last beer in Tokyo sold for… if you run a store… pick a
price, put it on a sticker and stick it on the record…
A short walk
from Disk Union is RecoFan on the fourth floor of Beam store. It took me a
while to realise why there weren’t really rare records in store. These items
appear to be made available on-line via stores Yahoo Auctions presence. Even
without a selection of high end records in store the shop is good for finding common
titles in great condition at sensible prices…
The next stop
is the local HMV shop which is little further along the street from Disk Union.
One of the strangest record stores (from a stock perspective) I’ve even been too
once existed on tenth floor of the building that now houses HMV on the ground
floor. Manuel of Errors stocked the broadest range of left field exotica,
lounge, private press and abstract electronica from the 1950s to present. Sadly
the shop closed about two years ago and to the best of my knowledge there isn’t
similar store anywhere in Tokyo. The HMV store may not be quite as exotic as
Manuel of Errors was, but fairly hard to beat. Split over two well sized floors
you can find a mix of both new and second hand stock with the ratio of new to
old being 30% new and 70% used. The blend of stock is further complemented by
the mix of accessibly priced and collector’s items which again are not often
cheap, but are available.
The last two stops in the area I visit are Face Records and El Sur Records… two independent stores that have existed for a number of years… Face Records is about five minute walk from HMV. It’s not the biggest of stores, but it is a store for the groove heads… the short fall in physical space is complemented by a well-stocked on-line presence and regular eBay auctions…
short walk from Face Records you’ll find El Sur Records… possibly the original
purveyor of global grooves… The location of the store is relatively new,
possibly three years old. The original store (also in Shibuya) was in a
building that was demolished as part of the rejuvenation of the area around the
station… as great as the original location was this new spot might just be a
little easier to find… the store is situated on the fifth floor of a free
standing block, whereas the old location was on the tenth floor of a fairly
non-descript 70s building located within a unit in a veritable rabbit warren of
small businesses on the floor…
leaving Shibuya you could do no wrong by dropping in Los Barbados (about a ten
minute walk from El Sur back in the direction of the station)… it’s not big… at
a push the restaurant seats eight to ten people, but has a fantastic selection
of Middle Eastern and African cuisine… with a décor to match the menu…
Shimokitazawa is four stations (about ten minutes) on the Keio Line from Shibuya. The Keio Line is a private line so you can’t use a JR Rail pass, but the fare is only about 150 yen. Aside from record shopping, the area is a fairly laid back part of town to spend some time in… around the station on either side of the railway are many small streets of boutique style stores, cafes, restaurants and bars… if I make it to Shimokitazawa it’s usually the last stop of the day in as much as when the shopping is over, often punctuated by more than one coffee stop, it’s the place to eat and have a few relaxed drinks before heading back to the hotel…
Of the twelve record stores in the area only one is a Disk Union, the others are independent. Possibly the best known store in the area is Flash Disk Ranch which has existed for a many years, run by husband and wife duo Masao’s and Atsuko. The stock changes frequently and the prices are sensible. The store is less about rare records and more about regular titles available as part of deals (three records for 2000 yen type offers).
Round the corner from Flash Disk Ranch is City Country City, a hybrid record store come café with a limited, but excellent pasta centric menu. Ideal spot for a coffee stop. The weight of the stock is dance based covering Soul, Funk, Rare Groove to modern electronica.
The Disk Union in the area is well worth a visit as it has an across the board selection covering almost every musical base. There are often a serious amount of rare records in store, particularly along the back wall. Almost directly across the street from Disk Union is The General Music Store. It’s not the biggest of shops, but the stock is very well curated. They often have a good selection of rare records from a broad range of genres.
Of the other record stores in the area, the highlight is possibly Ella Records situated on the other side of the railway from the aforementioned stores. This is the second Ella store. The original store is based in Hatagaya. The Hatagaya store is not the easiest store to find and a little out of the way, but well worth a visit if time permits. The more accessible branch office in Shimokitazawa is really a great asset to the area. The store is spacious and has a great range of stock from about every genre imaginable. From a price perspective there is a great variety, everything from bargain bin to serious collectors’ items. The stock changes frequently and like a number of other stores on key dates of the year the store has themed sales of harder to find items.
The accessibility to an eclectic selection stock combined with a broad price range is possibly some of the elements that make record shopping in Japan quite desirable. Visiting a physical store is way better than browsing lists any day of the week. Another factor, particularly if you are fan of Japanese music, is that until quite recently finding what you were looking for or finding what you didn’t know existed was really a chance undertaking. Google translates has opened up access to a set of fan based blogs that provide details on both artists and releases that would have potentially slipped you by based on the language barrier and the fact for many years very little Japanese music has been covered in western publications in any detail. Basically in the old days you had to know someone with local knowledge who potentially knew the music you might be interested in and could recommend releases based on your interests or records you had already bought… sort of a translator with a degree of censorship based on the intermediates knowledge. The Japanese on-line translation is not perfect by any means, but after a while reading translated blogs its’ possible to deduce the gaps in the software’s ability. The software tends to make the same mistakes in selecting language… keep in mind a few inconsistences in language is way better than the days when there was no translation available at all…
Compared to ten years ago where finding record stores in Japan was a
sort of word of mouth exchange or a chance occurrence, today most stores have
sort of on-line presence which can be translated fairly easily. One of the most useful sites is https://recoya.net/japan – use Chrome and
translate the catalogue to find the stores by city. The site is kept reasonably
A handy phrase to type in to google maps is “レコード店” – it means “record stores” – based on where you are matches will
appear on the map as green markers. Another handy one is “フリーマーケット” which translates to “flea-market” Not a perfect science, but it
does turn up places you wouldn’t expect.
Strut Records presents the definitive remastered edition of Miriam Makeba’s ‘Pata Pata’ for the latest instalment of Strut’s Original Masters album reissue series.
The all-time classic of South African music, and international breakthrough for Makeba, has been mastered by The Carvery from the original reel to reel tapes,available in its mono and stereo versions for the first time. Living in exile in the US after the anti-apartheid film ‘Come Back, Africa’ gained international attention, she quickly built her career in New York during the ‘60s, mentored by Harry Belafonte.
After a period with RCA, she revisited to one of her older hits ‘Pata Pata’ with early vocal harmony group The Skylarks. Rerecording this time with producer Jerry Ragovoy, the new version brought a lighter uptempo R’nB arrangement, adding some English lyrics. “It was my first truly big seller,” Makeba recalled “In the discotheques, they invented a new dance called the ‘Pata Pata’ where couples dance apart and then reach out and touch each other. I went to Argentina for a concert, and across South America, they are singing my song.”
Other songs on the album include a version of the traditional Xhosa classic, ‘Click Song Number One’ (‘Qongqothwane’), the atmospheric ‘West Wind’, later famously covered by her friend Nina Simone, and a version of Tilahun Gessesse’s ‘Yetentu Tizaleny’ which Makeba learned on a trip to Addis to perform for Haile Selassie at the Organisation Of African Unity.
Physical formats also feature brand new sleeve notes alongside rare photos from the time of recording and session details.
‘Pata Pata’ is released on 6th September on 2LP, 1CD, streaming and digital.
Take a blaring fanfare from New Orleans parading during a funeral. Blend it with a snappy calypso. Then add swinging Latin rhythms from South America. Add a hint of African rhumba and combine all this with the question and answer patterns from West African music …. and what is cooking in today’s post? Kaseko! A real melting pot of styles that represents the roots of Africa and Holland in South America perfectly, and without any doubt the most danceable music from the former Dutch colony across the Atlantic Ocean.
Kaseko is a corruption of the French “casser les corps”, which means as much as ‘break their arms/body’. And even after all those years it is still the most popular Surinamese dance music, derived from traditional Surinamese Creole kawina music, as played by Creole street musicians in Paramaribo since the early 1900s. That is clearly the link to New Orleans street fanfares….but Kaseko is not defined that easily at all. Read on….
from Kawina to Kaseko
Kaseko is based on two important elements of traditional kawina music: the patterns of question and answer singing and the use of percussion instruments. The most important percussion instrument is the skratjie, consisting of a large drum / pauk with a cymbal on it. This indicates the basic rhythm. The name literally means trestle and indicates that this drum is usually placed on a wooden rack. In the 1920s and 1940s, under the influence of the New Orleans Jazz, Surinamese folk melodies simultaneously improvised on brass wind instruments. The typical roll pattern on the snare was contrasted by loose, varying beats on the bass drum. This ‘bigi poku’ was also played at folk dance parties by members of the Military Chapel out of service. After the Second World War this form of music was strongly influenced by Latin American music and calypso, which resulted in a new Surinamese type of music that was called kaseko and quickly became popular. The influence of rock and pop music complemented the percussion instruments with western pop music instruments, such as an electric guitar, a bass guitar and a drum set. The use of the electric organ also increased.
No fewer than twenty languages are spoken in Suriname. Most Surinamese are multilingual. Sranantongo is the lingua franca, besides the Sarnami Hindustani (Surinamese Hindustani), the Javanese different Maroon languages (especially Saramaccan and Aukan) Chinese (Hakka, Standard Mandarin and Standard Cantonese)
Here are 10 favorites from my personal collection
The first two recordings are pure Kawina, drums and chant. The following tracks are typical styles of Kaseko, most are sung in Sranantongo, and the track ‘Jimmy’s lazerus’ being sung in Dutch!
listen to the podcast Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko MIX
total time 52:32
1) Sopiang Kawina -Kolibrie
2) Sopiang Kawina -Opete Kwasi
3) Orchestra Tropical -Tata Vodoe
4) The King Stars -A Sina Maro
5) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Gado
6) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Jepi
7) The Action Stars -Fyamang
8) J. Jones & The Action Stars -Jong Boy Boyo
9) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -El Yo Yo
10) Kaseko Masters -Aisa Vodoe
11) Ricky -Poeirie
12) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -Jimmy’s Lazerus
13) Kaseko Masters -Veanti
14) The King Stars -Boto e Lolo
LISTEN….I was invited as guest dj for the 2nd hour of the program BROKERS on Belgian radio station The Word. These nice guys gave me carte blanche for a selection of personal favorite tunes….thanks Oswald Moris for the great introduction and your seamless selection of timeless disco/boogie/electro tunes. LOVE!!
All records in the 2nd hour of the BROKERS show from my own collection, vinyl only!! Listen to this mix filled with ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too. And to top it off the 2nd hour closes with a previously unreleased remix of one of my own productions; ‘Changes’ with Sylvia Kristel (RIP), a mellow sexy funky mix by Zuco 102. Yes, that is the Brazilian band Zuco103 minus 1. This remix is yet to be released. All vinyl, all good! Make sure to check my blog on Africa, ‘Soul Safari’: https://soulsafari.wordpress.com/
tracklist 2nd Hour The Word Brokers -EDDY DE CLERCQ
The Drive – Iphi Intombi Yam pts 1 + 2 The Jazz Clan – Oh Happy Day Salah Ragab – Egypt Strut Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Inner Languages Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Put Your Spirit Up Luisito Quintero feat. Francis Mbappe – Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo (Roots Mute Mix) Ray Munnings – Funky Nassau Freddi Hench & The Soulsetters – I Like Funky Music Chocolate Milk – Who’s Getting It Now Tom Scott and the L.A. Express – Jump Back Jackie Moore – Heart Be Still Patti & The Emblems – It’s The Little Things Patrick Moraz – Rana Batucada EDC & Friends feat. Sylvia Kristel – Changes (Zuco 102 Mix)
Listen here to the full 2 hours Brokers show with the first hour by resident dj Oswald Moris, followed by my own mix of ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too….enjoy!
enjoy this mix of South African synth-disco/bubblegum/electro-boogie
some real unknown gems of the ON label and other in-demand tunes released originally between 1987-1989 in South Africa
ON! YULETIDE 2018 MIX
Mara Dee -Phinda Mzi
Odessa Traffic -Odessa Jam
Mara Dee -Rhythms Of Life
The Bees -She’s A Witch (Thokolosi)
The Bees -Mjondolo (Bus House)
Stanza -I’m Dreaming
Pamela Nkhuta -Gambling
Peter Maringa -Mama Jane
Street Kids -Dancing All Night
Mafika -Roadblock (Taxi Mix + Vocal version)
Odessa Traffic -Traffic Jam
Mercy -Sex Appeal
ON -the sound of ON Records 1987-1990
South African synth-disco/bubblegum/electro-boogie
Soul Safari is proud to present a brand new compilation featuring some real unknown gems of the ON label released originally between 1987-1989
The ON label was active in South Africa between 1987-1992, an era following the end of the apartheids regime and defining the new sound of Young Black South Africa in the early 90s.
The late 1980s in the rainbow nation was a time when disco was mutating into what was becoming known as Bubblegum: pop music aimed at the black population of South Africa.
Bubblegum was a response to Western styles like disco and the fast spreading house music which originally came from the black ghettos of Chicago and New York. When the second Summer of Love took the UK over in 1988, first house, and other electronic music styles conquered South Africa as well. DIY – do it yourself – a motto that had already appeared in the punk movement, lifted the young local scene to the next level. With a minimal set up – keyboards, some drum machines and samplers it was suddenly possible to make music without having to rent expensive studios.
The Bees are probably the most sought after group, releasing only a rare album in 1988 and a handful singles that are now highly collectible.
Themba Wawelela is a prolific South African artist/producer who is best known as ‘Little Big Man’.
Another star of the ON Record stable, Mafika Shabalala set himself apart from the rest with his lyrical skills, sung over the homegrown dance rhythms that soon gave rise to kwaito and later bubblegum.
Whoosha released an album like Mosquito in 1987, which was produced by Julian Laxton, Ronnie Robot and the late Charles Sejeng who was the voice of the group. Two tracks by Whoosha are featured on this compilation.
As the only female singer on this compilation Pamela Nkutha proves that her brand of Bubblegum pop is never less than utterly fresh and original.
ON -the sound of ON Records 1987-1990
South African synth-disco/bubblegum/electro-boogie
The Bees/Little Big Man/Mafika/Pamela Nkhuta/Whoosha
The late 1960s saw the rise of American soul music in South Africa. Singers like Wilson Pickett and Percy Sledge were very popular, as well as the sound of instrumental groups like Billy Larkin & The Delegates and especially Booker T & The MG’s. The latter inspired many local South African musicians to enter the field with an electric organ, a bass-and-drum rhythm section and an electric guitar. The Sound of A New Generation was born and lasted until the mid 70s when disco took over…
Combined with a typical South African approach the sound evolved slowly into a funky soul-jazz mutation, released on small independent labels like Dawn or Atlantic City. But more on that later…
To kick off a new series of instrumental soul-jazz records in which I highlight some exceptional great local artists here is the LP SUPER SOUL BY THE SOUNDS on the Number One label from 1974 . Not much is known on the members of this band that consisted of mainly session musicians; C. Dlathu who went to produce singer Paul Ndlovu later on in the 80s, C. Malete who was the drummer in 1987 on Margaret Singana’s world hit “We Are Growing – Shaka Zulu”, B.D.Seathlolo and S. Msimongo. The music is a great mix of jazz, funk and soul, fantastic rhythms….
at Soul Safari we love great LP cover art…and travel by airliner. When traveling by plane was still glamorous fun….
Founded in 1953, Trek Airways was the only South African airline apart from SAA to fly international services. At the beginning, flights were operated from Europe to South Africa with one over-night stop. The aircraft used at the time was the Vickers VC.1 Viking. Since the Viking did not have the range for the operations, they were replaced by the Douglas DC-4 and Lockheed L-749A Constellation. Later on it operated the Lockheed L-1649 Starliner.
Trek operated from London, Düsseldorf, Vienna and Luxembourg to Windhoek and Johannesburg with two or three intermediate stops.
In 1964 a co-operation with Luxair was reached whereby Luxair took connecting passengers to other European airports.
In was in 1968 that the first jet aircraft was used when a Boeing 707 was introduced, but due to the embargo of South African registered aircraft due to Apartheid Trek had to suspend flights for a period of time. Those operations were re-established in 1991 and once again a co-operation with Luxair was established whereby Trek used a Luxair/Luxavia Boeing 747-SP painted in the old Trek color scheme. It was also during this time that Trek founded a subsidiary called Flitestar using Airbus A320 and ATR-72 aircraft. In 1991, politics changed again and the South African Government deregulated its aviation policy. Trek Airways applied for and was granted a license for a South African domestic service, in direct competition to SAA. Flitestar was born operating Airbus A320’s. On 11 April 1994, Trek ceased all operations.
But the most favourite of this gallery of airline travel must be “Jet Ride!” by Duffy Ravenscroft. Simply for its space age artwork and the old South African Airways logo and cabin crew message system….