It’s easy to forget, or to simply remain unaware, that the South African music scene back in the 70s and early 80s was a fertile breeding ground for sonic creativity, much of which has sadly never been heard because it was made in a township. Next Stop Soweto, now in its fourth volume, is a collection of tracks that had somehow escaped the Apartheid government censor’s scissors. It is loaded with some rare, unpolished gems.
One in particular that deserves your ears is this one, “Unga Pfula A Chi Pfalo” from the years-ahead-of-their-time Sowetan band Kabasa. Formed by guitar-slinger Robert Doc Mthalane (previously of well-known band Harari), Kabasa recorded as many as four full albums (all released overseas) before disappearing into untimely musical obscurity.
Dig these funk-infused guitar licks laid down by South Africa’s own Jimi Hendrix and that rich baritone voice, which could almost be tarmac it’s so gravelly.
Bonus fact: Doc’s son, Dan, is keeping the tradition alive with his own psychedelic funk rock band called – simply – The Zulu Rock Band!