28/30 compilation folk Isicathamiya Maskanda Mbaqanga Mqayisho revisited review

various artists – the indestructible beat of soweto (1985)

With the colossal status of Afrobeat and African rhythm more generally, it is hard to conceive of this compilation as groundbreaking. As it was at the time, this is the global record of 1985 and for some, the most important record of the 80’s. In its twelve songs, ‘TIBOS’ soaks up South Africa like a cloud and then rains down a lightly orchestrated, dense drizzle. Its fundamental joy is in the impossible layering, with each component gliding effortlessly beside the next. Much has endured in these tracks, perhaps most of all the sheer volume of its splendour—the listening experience remains unforgettably weighty and crisp.


A favourite: ‘Holotelani’ – Nelcy Sedibe

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