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Monday 7 September 2020

Monday Newness

There are a couple of new records that you should check out.

The first is "UPRIZE!" by South African jazz collective SPAZA (the capital letters are theirs not mine, but they are deserved). It is the soundtrack album to a documentary film of the same name about the 1976 Soweto uprising, sampling extracts from interviews and news coverage that are used in the film.

The film and album are of particularly interest to me because in 1976 I was a 13 year old living in the (white) suburbs of Johannesburg, and I remember the events very well. The uprising started when children of my age and above in Soweto protested against being taught in Afrikaans and it escalated from there. 

My family had moved to South Africa a few years before and - while I had always thought that some of the day to day aspects of apartheid like having to sit on different benches in the park were a bit weird and petty - this was probably the first time that I started to understand the bigger picture.  

The album isn't available until 18 October but the single, "Sizwile", came out last week. You can buy the single on all the usual platforms and pre-order the album on Bandcamp.  

If "Sizwile" is hot off the press, our second record is really rather dated by comparison. When I got sent it back in July I was told it would be released on 11 September so I've been respectfully waiting until now to mention it. But when I looked on one of the online stores yesterday to check it was available for pre-order I discovered it was been all over the Internet since June. Which is good news because it means you can buy it immediately and not have to wait.

The album in question is "Big Heart Manners", the first album in eight years by LA Americana ensemble Atta Boy - and its a goodie. Here is the video for one of my favourite tracks, and the one with lyrics that give the album its title.

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