Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music from Africa documents the hyper-rhythms that boom from subwoofers all over South Africa. The elements are simple, but the results are boggling 180bpm slices of South African beat culture. This compilation draws from music released on the Nozinja label made by Shangaan people who live primarily in Limpopo and Mozambique. The label and movement is headed up by Soweto-based Nozinja, an artist, composer, and producer who moved Shangaan music away from its guitar/bass origins to its present incarnation, in which marimbas provide the beat, and vocals (usually sung in English) bring the flavor. Early listens reminded me of the Cy 1, Hector Zazou and Zaz Bikaye recordings from the early 80s if they were played through a Panasonic Car CD Player at 78 rpm, but repeats made it clear that Nozinja and friends are on another level.
Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa is out now on Honest Jon's