Denmark born, DJ, Producer and Record collector, Simone Ahà, reveals his indispensable kwaito/bubblegum classics.
By: Simon Lundsgaard
I have always been very enthusiastic in the process of discovering new music. For a while I have been aware of the existence of South African kwaito and bubblegum but it was not before I heard Sandy B’s Student Night being played inside a small, Berlin club that I knew I had to dig more into South African music.
Since then I have eagerly searched for information on the topic from distance. Now I am here in South Africa to explore the genre even deeper.
Here is my top ten Kwaito/bubblegum playlist:
Malebu Satari – Smile (1986)
I love the way the arrangement and production play together in this song. It was done by Don Laka and Sidwell Duda. The sound of the synthesizer in the beginning is unreal in a very cheesy way.
Mashedo – Buttherworth (1990)
Buttherworth is a sublime piece of music from a bubblegum album with so many other good tracks. I do not know much about the band; I just really like their sound!
Ayobayo Band – The World Is Turning Around (1990)
Ayobayo Band did three really good bubblegum/pre-kwaito albums. This track is from their second album, Phuza Face. All their album covers have balloons and sneakers on them, another good reason to like them.
Sandy B – AmaJovi Jovi (1995)
I just fell directly in love with Sandy B’s lo-fi kwaito sound the first time I heard it. The EP (of the same name) has just been reissued on Canadian label Invisible City Editions. It contains other really good tracks like Student Night and Lifake.
Jivaro – Feel Me (1989)
This bubblegum/reggae ballad comes from an album of the name Saturday Fever, which contains a lot of good stuff. Also check out Your Way Is My Way and What Next.
Senyaka – Fuquza/African Rap (1987)
Senyaka needs no introduction. I stumbled upon this track in a video interview with Senyaka made for a Swedish tv documentary and I just had to find the song. I am still desperately looking for the vinyl and the music video which is nowhere to be found online.
Spokes H – Peace Magents (1997)
Everytime I listen to this late kwaito banger I feel like a teenager again. Spokes H is probably my favourite kwaito-artist. I was very lucky to find the album in a CD-store in Braamfontein yesterday.
Kamazu – Indiba Kabani (1991)
I just love everything I heard from Kamazu. This album is his take on house music and has appeared in many DJ-sets around the globe lately. He also has done some excellent bubblegum and kwaito material.
Volcano – Vanonyana Lava (1993)
After having dominated the 80’s with plenty of bubblegum, Volcano went on with the album Tshigubu Tshanga. Among other things the album contained this kwaito influenced pearl.
Head over to Afrosynth for more info on the record.
Emotion – Give Me The Feeling (1987)
Like the opening song of the list, this last track is produced by Sidwell Duda. That is about as much as I know on this song. It was released on a maxi with one other track on the b-side. Both of the tracks are very groovy.
Simon will be playing at Agog Gallery (Maboneng) on 22 November (19h00).
Simon Lundsgaard is a music producer, DJ and record collector from Denmark,currently visiting South Africa to research identity through South African kwaito in the 90’s.
Simon is looking for South African releases of bubblegum and kwaito on vinyl and CD and is will be very interested in seeing your record collection. If you have any records or information for his research he can be contacted on:
Facebook: Simon Lundsgaard