Soweto To The Oldies?
:: The DarkCity Sisters - The Musicians ::
:: The Mahotella Queens - Bringing The Lights ::
:: The Mahotella Queens - Music Which Feeds The Guests ::
:: The Mgababa Queens - Our Own Money ::
If one comes across a record subtitled “Classic Female Zulu Jive” and one has never heard “Zulu Jive,” one should make a purchase to find out what the hell that sounds like. So, one did.
And what is it? It’s an Africanized take on American doo-wop that relies on five part vocal harmonies instead of the customary four. This vocal style merged and became infused with an already popular South African musical style, Mbaqanga, which up to that point consisted of instrumentals built around simple, easily repeated melodies and rhythms. The Dark City Sisters, a group of session singers in South Africa, were the main innovators of these united genres in the sixties. The formula was later expanded upon by a rotating group of session singers, The Mahotella Queens, who contrasted their intricate vocal harmonies with a deep-voiced “groaner”, named Simon Mahlathini Nkabinde. Some of the singers from this group went on to form The Mgababa Queens, who have the most rhythmic tune here with, “Our Own Money.” It’s so rhythmic, one could easily be taken off guard and begin dancing without abandon. If that should happen, one should take care not to look like a complete jackass.