Makgona Tsohle Reggi

by Various Artists

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    ★★★★☆ "An intersection of inspiration: ska-inspired riffs with 1950s rock & roll guitar... infectious swinging jive.. and Stax-esque. It's indicative of a band that can - as the name suggests - do anything" - UK Vibe, December 2020
    • "A showcase for one of the most prolific, popular, and sought after bands from the era... organ-drenched staccato chug, guitars that seem to push past the limits of their amplifiers... saxophones-as-human-voice... and drum patterns that skitter and jab" - RootsWorld, January 2021
    • The 50th anniversary reissue of this epic, rare experimental LP by South Africa’s answer to the Motown Funk Brothers
    • A unique South African take on Jamaican ska, ‘reggi’ and soul, plus the finest 1960s Afro sax jive on record
    • Fully licensed and transferred from the original master tapes in the Gallo archive vault
    • Digital download comes with liner notes on PDF, featuring extensive history, personnel and newly discovered Makgona Tsohle photos from the archives
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  • Limited Edition 180g Vinyl
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Deluxe 12" heavyweight vinyl enclosed in 350gsm glossy sleeve, with digitally restored cover and label artwork. Includes full colour double-sided insert featuring extensive historical notes, personnel and newly discovered Makgona Tsohle photos from the archives. Manufactured with quality by the experts at Mobineko. Strictly limited to 400 copies!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Makgona Tsohle Reggi via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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about

"The Band That Can Do Anything". That’s the literal English translation of the name of a band whose creativity, productivity and influence ran far and wide during the notorious era of racial oppression in South Africa. The Makgona Tsohle Band was easily the most popular and highly productive instrumental team in the African music business of the 1960s and ‘70s. Assembled by formidable talent scout and producer Rupert ‘Bops’ Bopape, Makgona Tsohle provided musical accompaniment on literally hundreds of Gallo recording sessions, as well as creating some of the biggest dance hits of the era. They are often credited with the invention of that staple township music, mbaqanga. A big boast – but only a slight embellishment. Makgona Tsohle’s members were utterly crucial to the style’s formation and development. Their fresh innovations helped to reinforce the more modern, danceable, electrified jive as the leading force in South African township music until the mid-1970s.

The secret to the band’s success? They adapted with astonishing ease to the genre demanded of them. Every style, whether sax/accordion jive, American funk, bump jive, soul or jazz, was explored thoroughly in the studio. Each Makgona Tsohle tune had its own memorable hook and riffs, its own distinctive ambience and beautiful entwinement of guitar, bass, drum and leading instrument – be it saxophone, organ or violin. And now, 50 years on, Umsakazo Records proudly presents an opportunity to hear the Makgona Tsohle Band in their formative years, raw and unfiltered, direct from the original master tapes in the Gallo archive vault.

"Makgona Tsohle Reggi" was originally issued on Rupert Bopape’s Inkonkoni label in 1970 and comprises several of the band's most recent hit singles. This record reaffirms the breadth of the Makgona Tsohle Band’s exceptional musical genius, from pure African sax jive through to swinging ‘60s soul and Jamaican ska, with hints of Motown, rocksteady and ‘reggi’ along the way. This is the authentic sound of Soweto from “The Band That Can Do Anything”!

credits

released December 7, 2020

Makgona Tsohle Band members:
West Nkosi (alto sax)
Marks Mankwane (lead guitar)
Vivian Ngubane (rhythm guitar)
Joseph Makwela (bass)
Lucky Monama (drums)
Kid Moncho (organ)

Original release: Inkonkoni LNKO 2001 in May 1970
Original production: Rupert Bopape and Shadrack Piliso
Recorded between March 1969 and April 1970 in Studio 2, Gallo Center
Reissue production and liner notes: Nick Lotay
Audio transfer and remastering: Rob Allingham and Ian Osrin
All tracks licensed from Gallo Record Company
(See vinyl insert for further historical notes, personnel, archive photographs and other information)

Special thanks to Siemon Allen, Rob Cowling, Joseph Makwela, Irene Mawela, Ethel Mngomezulu, Lucky Monama, Tebogo Ramatswi, Norton Ramavhoya, Bal Singh, Dave Thompson, Hilda Tloubatla and Alex Zarmakoupis for historical information, photographs and assistance

An Umsakazo Production

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Umsakazo Records UK

Welcoming back the joyous sound of South Africa's townships. UK-based record label celebrating the heritage of vintage African jive through reissues, new beats and compilations of out-of-print music

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