The Indestructible Beat Of Soweto - Various Artists on LP
In South Africa, long-standing racial segregation, codified by apartheid, accelerated the growth of new musical styles in the black townships where black workers sought some release from the daily grind in music and dance. The resultant township music styles, known collectively as mbaqanga, had the raw urgency of postwar Chicago blues in the United States. With accordions, guitars, fiddles, percussion (and ultimately electric bass and guitar), mbaqanga was rollicking party music inspired by traditional Zulu and Sotho styles in collision with Afro-American rhythm 'n blues, jazz, blues and, later, reggae.
Originally issued in 1985, The Indestructible Beat Of Soweto collects some of the greatest mbaqanga tracks recorded during 1981-1984. Collectively, they are a moving, irresistible testament to the enduring vitality of the human spirit rising from the direct oppression. Full-throated singing, often harmonized, ride jumpy rhythms and counter melodies with joyous results. No wonder singer/songwriter extraordinaire Paul Simon used township musicians to recreate their sound on his acclaimed Graceland album.
"One of the 100 greatest albums of all time." - Rolling Stone