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Culture, Music

Heritage Mix

by Mahala High Five Brigade / 24.09.2013

It’s only Tuesday, and we’re already having a mid-week break. However you decide to spend your Heritage Day, do it in style. Do it to the beat of these classic tracks.

Chicco Twala – Move Over

In a time long before Shangaan Electro, the John Wizards, kwela-inspired indie bands and the slew of sample hungry emcees, this guy was pushing some strange bubblegum and Afro-synth envelopes. The year was 1986 and this shit is heritage gold. In fact someone could make a career just making modern house tunes from his samples.

Zinja Hlungwani – Nwa Gezani My Love

It fills us with national pride thinking that the EDM hipsters at festivals like Sonar are doing weird self-conscious variations of the Giyani Tshetsha hip jive to songs like this.

Thandiswa Mazwai – Zabalaza

Thandiswa Mazwai’s debut album, “Zabalaza”, was yet another landmark in the life of an artist who had been making – and continues to make – art which encourages society to inspect itself. She leaves an everlasting imprint, whether wrestling with post-94 South Africa via her exploits with the groups Jacknife and Bongo Maffin, or tackling issues of identity and belonging in her solo work. “Nizalwa ngobani?” she asks in isiXhosa. To whom do you belong? What is your heritage?

Revolutionary House

This one is obvious. And event though we like to think this was secretly produced by Black Coffee as political satire, it was actually made by a dude called David Law who produces radio jingles for his day job.

Snor City – Bernoldus Niemand

James Phillips was kak edgy and not enough people know about him. His album “Wie is Bernoldus Niemand” is literally pickled in anti-apartheid cynicism. This track “Snor City” is a fine example. “Hou My Vas Korporaal” pretty much says everything that needed to be said about whiteys conscripted into the army to prop up the apartheid regime.

Lucky Dube – Respect

One of the first major South African artists and still one of the best selling in the countries history. This man deserves a little respect. The man who marked the moment reggae took over Africa.

Solomon Linda – Mbube

It was a big hit, for the Weavers, then the Tokens, in mutated forms, as “Wimoweh” in the 1950s and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in the 1960s, covered over 170 times, and counting, before ending up in “Ace Ventura” and Disney’s “The Lion King”. For sheer melodic swing, the way it entertains, the way it gets under your skin, the way it makes you wonder about the person making these incredible sounds, and how they were treated because of their race, it’s just fucking moving and beautiful. Nobody has matched it. Nkosi Solomon.

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