Mike Makhalemele - Kabuzela LP
Label: Outernational Sounds
The great South African tenorist Mike Makhamalele was a graduate of the key early-seventies group The Drive (alongside Bheki Mseleku and Kaya Mahlangu); and a mainstay of the scene centered on the Pelican nightclub in Soweto. From 1975, he began to record under his own name, developing a sophisticated fusion sound in a musical lane which few of his contemporaries were travelling. Always attuned to other global fashions in Black dance and pop music, under numerous studio aliases he cut 45rpm covers of Fela's "Shakara" and the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight"; and in 1979 he entered the Gallo studios with producer Peter Ceronio to respond to the ascendant sound of disco. Named after a township dance craze, Kabuzela was the result: four extended tracks of bouncing, upful disco jazz. Perfectly calibrated for dancing, heavy on the bass and drums, the album is set off by a gleaming centerpiece, "Disco Freaks" - a joyous paean to the weekend and true lost gem of global disco, perfect for the most discerning dancefloors. Ultra-rare South African disco-jazz classic.