Get Hype #1: Shangaan Electro
I’m going to give a quick dissertation on what I intend “Get Hype” to be as a continued series of posts. Feel free to skip ahead a couple paragraphs to read about this album.
Every so often a person will ask me what I’m listening to or if I can recommend them anything. Fact is, most of the time I don’t feel right recommending things to people I’m not intimately familiar with. This is not to say I always come up empty with recommendations in person, but usually those recommendations are colored by what I might know of the asker’s tastes. What if this music that I recommend is way off-base with this person’s personal leanings? What if that discolors everything I say from that point on? Well, that’d suck at the very least. However, I’ve come to realize I don’t mind getting excited in general about anything on the internet (where the reader can instantaneously check these things out and make their own mind up). In “Get Hype” I’ll spoon feed that information over.
I’ve already seen half-year best-of lists. I think those are pretty silly. We’ve had a few reviews up on our site lately too. I might even do one or many in the future. This doesn’t quite fit in those categories. Some things just get me excited about music all over again. Last year’s Cloaks album did that for me (which was on my year-end best-of 2009 list [yes, still silly]). “Get Hype” is going to be reserved for albums that get me excited and perhaps even challenge my musical sensibilities (I do enjoy a challenge from time to time). It won’t be a review so much as a general statement of, “Yo, I think this album is the bees’ knees, yo. I can totally jive to this, my doggies! It is stupid fresh awesome def cool tubular to the max!” Get it? Get hype!
Various Artists “Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa” (Honest Jon’s Records)
So, here is the record that inspired this post. Enjoy all the cut up reviews and videos and links.
“On the new compilation Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa, you can find 12 songs released by the Nozinja Music Productions studio in Soweto between 2006 and 2009.
Shangaan is dance music. It is electronically music based on the South African traditional music that’s popular in the areas between Johannesburg, Limpopo and Mozambique. It is an extremely fast and energetic hyperactive hybrid of the traditional mbira, or thumb piano, and synthesizers that can reach 180 beats per minute. This genre is super popular in South Africa and tens of thousands of Shangaan records are sold each year. ” (The Smell Of Music)
“We don’t use the sounds of the hip-hop guys, or the afro-pop, or whatever, we’re using Shangaan sounds. The traditional Shangaan music is fast. You play it slow, they won’t dance.
Firstly it was played with bass and lead guitar. I’m the one revolutionized it, because when I came I didn’t use any guitar or any bass, I just used marimba and the organs. We are not using the live bass, we are using the marimba bass which is played from the organ. A small sample of voices, that’s what I specialize in. We use them in English. Those are the new aspects they never had before. At first people thought I was mad, and now it’s the in-thing” – Richard/Nozinja To Wills Glasspiegel, January 2010. (Honest Jon’s Records)
“The collection – lovingly compiled by Mark Ainley and Mark Ernestus (Rhythm & Sound, Hard Wax) – is hugely entertaining, and a fascinating insight into a musical phenomenon that has, up till now, been little-known outside of South Africa….it’s guaranteed to have you grinning like a loon” (FACT)
(And of course you can find more by clicking on the links in the videos.)
REDSCROLL has this for sale in the store on both LP and CD.