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Tuesday 17 August 2010

Sakkie Sakkie Time!!

Tsonga Disco continues to spread acrosds the Internet like a rather slow wildfire. This humble blog gets a mention in an excellent feature on the Norient blog. It is largely in German but you don't have to understand German to appreciate the music and the videos. Norient features a lot more great stuff which you should definitely check out while you are there - I would particularly recommend the Iranian psychedelia.

What I like about Tsonga/ Shangaan Disco (and the newer variation, Shangaan Electro) is the way it modernises traditional sounds without losing what made them special in the first place. And the Tsonga musicians are not the only ones doing that in South Africa. Take Valiant Swart & Ollie Viljoen for example.

Boeremusiek is pretty much the traditional folk music of the Afrikaners. Not surprisingly given their origins it draws heavily on central European musical forms - there are plenty of waltzes and polkas, for example - but American country music is also a major influence. The Afrikaners seem to love it, and there are almost as many bad hat acts in bloemfontein as there are in Nashville.

Over the last forty years or so there has been a line of Afrikaans singer-songwriters who operate at one or two removes from the tradition. I suppose you would call them roots-rockers in one form or another - people like Anton Goosen, David Kramer (who we have featured previously), Koos Kombuis and Valiant Swart, the self-styled "Mystic Boer".

In 2007 Valiant teamed up with Ollie Viljoen, king of the Boeremusiek accordion, to produce his take on the tradition. The resulting album, "Vuur En Vlam" (Fire and Flame) combined some original songs by Valiant and some original tunes by Ollie with a few old standards, and turned out to be a much bigger critical and commercial success that they probably expected. Now in 2010 they have repeated the trick with their new album "Wild En Wakker" (Wild And Awake). Here are a couple of tracks from each.

From "Vuur En Vlam":

"Katrina Lawina" - Valiant Swart & Ollie Viljoen

"My Hartjie, My Liefie" - Valiant Swart & Ollie Viljoen

From "Wild En Wakker":

"Ruiter In Die Nag" - Valiant Swart & Ollie Viljoen

"Lospit Lolla" - Valiant Swart & Ollie Viljoen

I could happily listen to "My Hartjie, My Liefie" all day, and some days I do.

Here are the lads in action:

Other Afrikaans neo-traditionalists include the marvellously named Fokofpolisiekar. I am sure you don't need me to translate that for you. Their name is far and away the best thing about them, but here they are anyway in case you are curious.

1 comment:

  1. oh no! all files removed! possible re up? and are you interested in a possible trade? i have lots of rare african music traditional and modern, and interested in tsonga... thanks for your blog!