1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Kafkasque – Freedoms Children

Kafkasque – Freedom’s Children

Battle Hymn For The Broken Hearted Horde

Battle Hymn For The Broken Hearted Horde

Kafkasque - Freedom’s Children

Kafkasque – Freedoms Children

‘Kafkasque’ was Freedoms Children’s third single and was written by Ramsay MacKay and Harry Poulus. It was included on their debut album ‘Battle Hymn For The Broken Hearted Horde’ and is a good insight into the development of a band that went on to produce the classic album ‘Astra’. It features one time member of The Gonks Craig Ross on vocals and Julian Laxton on guitars.

It is not as dense and heavy as the material on ‘Astra’. The opening feels almost medieval with a sort of harpsichord-like sound which leads into the vocals which are spacey and somewhat out there. This gives way to a chorus of ‘la-la-las’ which I can only describe as heavy metal folk (if I can be permitted to have ‘heavy metal’ and ‘folk’ in the same sentence). Just over halfway through the song, we get a real foretaste of what is to come on ‘Astra’ with about 30 seconds of heavy psychedelic guitars and growled vocals.

The CD release of ‘Battle Hymns…’ includes ‘My Death (Kafkasque 2nd Movement)’ which is more experimental and, in my opinion, is somewhat directionless compared to ‘Kafkasque’. The latter was an important stepping stone in the development not only of Freedoms Children, but also South African rock music generally.

Where to find it:
Battle Hymn For The Broken Hearted Horde – Freedom’s Children, (1968, 2008), Fresh Music, FRESHCD152 

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