Malcolm McLaren – Soweto (12″)

sowetomclarenCutting edge stuff from 1983 with McLaren, displaying his aptitude for spotting the next big thing, in this case music from the South African townships. From his debut album, “Duck Rock” this mixes the styles with pioneering electronica helped by having Trevor Horn producing. From manager to performer, he settled for a mbaqanga mixture with fiddles and deep, percussive vocal chants. I’m sure Paul Simon was taking notes. Featuring the Mahotella Queens, called the Mclarenettes on the cover, Soweto was directly inspired by the infamous township. As usual McLaren mixes up the styles and the song turns and twists its way along. All originally “borrowed” from the uncredited, African musicians.

The second track has it’s own tale that I discovered from YouTube. “South African Music Video director Ian Gabriel took Malcom McLaren to visit the all male Zulu Mine Hostel in Johannesburgs Jeppestown. The result was this vibrant off the cuff celebration of some highs and lows of Zulu culture, including scenes reenacting the historic British defeat at the hands of the Zulus and the sacrificial killing of a bull before a village feast”

The B-side is basically a proto Art Of Noise track, all boombox and cardboard and came out on it’s own mini LP, I’d love to find a copy of that!


Charisma 811 183

A1 Soweto 3:57
A2 Zulu’s On A Time Bomb 3:23
B D’Ya Like Scratchin’ (With The Red River Valley Gals) 5:25

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