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Wednesday 9 June 2010

Tsonga: Electro, Joe & Penny

The World Cup starts in South Africa on Friday, and this is likely to be my last post before it does as I'm going off to Paris for a few days. So I felt that the time was right to feature the last of the job lot of Tsonga Disco that I picked up in Cape Town at Easter. But before we do, a quick plug.

My new friend Wills Glasspiegel, a professional Brooklyn hipster dude and all round mover and shaker if ever there was one, has done a deal with Honest Jon's (the label owned by Damon from Blur or, for our younger readers, Damon from Gorillaz) to release a compilation of Shangaan Electro. Shangaan is the other name used for and by the Tsonga people and their music, and Shangaan Electro is essentially Tsonga Disco speeded up.

You can learn more about the background to the album in this recent article on Dazed Digital - which also has some excellent video clips - and Wills' own article on The Fader a few months back, which was what first brought us into contact. Clips of all the tracks can be heard at Honest Jon's website, and the album itself comes out on 28 June - BUY IT!!!

As good as it sounds, if forced to choose between them, I would still go for the Tsonga Disco. But then, unlike Wills and his ilk, I'm an old fart and not as supple as I used to be. If the same applies to you, here are two of the finest proponents of Tsonga Disco - our old pals Penny Penny and Joe Shirimani.

While in Cape Town I picked up two of their albums from the early years of the last decade, "Mariyeta Maria" (2001) and "Ndiwe Ndiwe" (2002). Neither album see the lads at the absolute peak of their powers, but there is still a lot of good stuff. Here are a couple of tracks from each.

From "Mariyeta Maria":

"Mberere" - Penny Penny & Joe Shirimani

"Hekele Heke" - Penny Penny & Joe Shirimani

From "Ndiwe Ndiwe":

"Nkosi" - Penny Penny & Joe Shirimani

"Let's Condomise" - Penny Penny & Joe Shirimani (featuring Evelyn Twala)

Penny Penny is affectionately known as Papa Penny to his many fans. Put Papa and Joe together and what do you get (roughly)?

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