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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gwigwi Mrwebi: Mbaqanga Songs

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Recorded in 1967, during the bloody heyday of apartheid South Africa, the joyful, defiant, easy-swinging jazz-jive heard on Mbaqanga Songs was then the recreational soundtrack of the country's black and coloured urban poor. After almost forty years off the shelves--and with impeccable synchronicity--the album was reissued late last month, just days before the death of P.W. Botha, the last hardline racist president of the country.

Made in London by a sextet which included four of the leading South African musicians in exile, the album was originally released as Kwela By Gwigwi's Band. Mbaqanga was considered too taxing a word for ...



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