donderdag 8 februari 2018

Professor Rhythm - Bafana Bafana


 Professor Rhythm is the production moniker of South African music man Thami Mdluli. Throughout the 1980’s, Mdluli was member of chart-topping groups Taboo and CJB, playing bubblegum pop to stadiums. Mdluli became an in-demand producer for influential artists (like Sox and Sensations, among many others) and in-house producer for important record companies like Eric Frisch and Tusk. During the early '80s, Mdluli projects usually featured an instrumental dance track. These hot instrumentals became rather popular. Fans demanded to hear more of these backing tracks without vocals, he says, so Mdluli began to make solo instrumental albums in 1985 as Professor Rhythm. He got the name before the recordings began, from fans, and positive momentum from audiences and other musicians drove him to invest himself in a full-on solo project. It was the era just before the end of apartheid and house music hadn’t taken over yet. There wasn’t instrumental electronic music yet in South Africa. As the '80s came to a close, that was about to change. Professor Rhythm productions mirror the evolution of dance music in South Africa. “Kwaito” can refer to many things. Mdluli simply describes kwaito as, “like club music with a township style.” The townships, segregated suburbs where blacks were forced to live, on the outskirts of Johannesburg and other cities, were where kwaito evolved into a distinctly South African form of dance music and hip-hop.. Mdluli makes clear that as the popularity of English-language bubblegum pop shifted to kwaito during the period of Mandela’s release from prison and the dismantling of apartheid. The country was in turmoil, there was violence and crime in the streets. The upbeat music he made as Professor Rhythm sounds the way it sounds, because “people would make themselves happy with the songs we were playing then. When they listened, it took them to different places than they were at the time.” released October 20, 2017, Awesome Tapes From Africa

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