1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “egyptian nursery”

God’s Window – Egyptian Nursery

God’s Window - Egyptian Nursery

God’s Window – Egyptian Nursery

God’s Window is a viewing point of some stunning scenery near Bourke’s Luck potholes in Mpumalanga near the town of Graskop. The viewing points looks out over a valley and some beautiful mountains. There is a sense of serenity whenever one is faced with such beauty and it’s not surprising that people call it God’s Window.

It’s not clear if Egyptian Nursery had this particular bit of scenery in mind when they wrote the song ‘God’s Window’, but whether they did or not, they were certainly thinking the same thoughts one does as one looks out over the world. The song is a chilled out affair that seems to capture the beauty and peace of majestic mountains and beautiful valleys. There is even a repeated flute-y sound emulating the cry of a bird that you would hear when looking at such a view.

Arlene Bechard’s vocals float lazily like that bird catching the updrafts, stretching its wings as it glides across the land while Cragie Dodds’ beats take one along on the journey, colouring in the scenery with African sounds that root the song in the continent. About halfway through we are treated to some French rapping from Mojama Kalume, the final member of the band.
The album of the same name features an ‘Easy Mix’ which was also included in the second ‘Breathe Sunshine’ compilation, but this a drum and bass mix and, to my mind, less easy on the ear than the original version. It’s good laid-back drum and bass if you like that kind of thing, but its not my personal favourite.

I wish my eyes could see though God’s Window/I wish that I could see myself through God’s Window’ sings Arlene. Well all she needs to do is to put this track on, close her eyes and imagine herself looking out over the hills and valleys of Mpumalanga and she’ll be there. And due to the wonders of modern technology, you can do so too.

Where to find it:
God’s Window – Egyptian Nursery (2000), Blue Flame Records, 398 50382

Original version:

Breathe Sunshine Easy Mix:


Search – Egyptian Nursery

Search – Egyptian Nursery

God’s Window - Egyptian Nursery

God’s Window – Egyptian Nursery

A Pom, a Maurituian and a Congolese walk into a South African group and call it Egypitan Nursery. This may sound a bit like the start of a bad joke, but its not. Despite their different nationalities and naming their group after a 4th, Egyptian Nursey became one of the dance acts in the country during the late nineties and early naughties.

‘Search’ is funky, sexy, slick and earthy. Cragie Dodds (the Pom in the equation) creates the soundscape of chilled beats, funky guitar licks and keyboard beeps and noodlings. Ariane (the Mauritian) lays down a silky and sexy vocal about searching the whole world but never finding the rich man she’s after, then Mojama (the Congolese) comes in, firstly with a sung vocal that is not too dissimilar to those found on a Blk Sonshine record, except that here they are in French, adding to the sexiness of the song. He returns later for an English rap.

This laidback dance music opened the way for acts like Moodphase 5ive, Felix LaBand and others on the African Dope label to explore further. Dodds himself went on to work with Jenny Delenta and QZoo before returing to the UK to have some success with the Sugababes.

Where to find it:
God’s Window – Egyptian Nursery (2000), Fresh Music, FREDCD100


Fall – Jenny Delenta

Fall – Jenny Delenta



Jenny Delenta rose to fame as part of Not The Midnight Mass. She was the epitome of the old adage – dynamite comes in small packages as, despite her short stature, she could belt out a spine chillingly accurate version of Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’. Not a feat many can accomplish.

With the help of Cragie Dodds from Egyptian Nursery (who went on to work with the Sugababes), Delenta changed styles on her eponymous debut. The album is packed with brilliant trippy-pop tunes which garnered some favourable comparisons to Madonna during her ‘Ray Of Light’ period. ‘Fall’ opens the album and sets the tone. Delenta’s sultry vocals cast a magic spell over its chillout beats and electronic beeps. Catchy and danceable, the song was a strong start to a strong album. All the signs were there for more great material from this highly gifted singer, but sadly, this has been her only offering so far. We can live in hope.

Where to find it:
Delenta – Jenny Delenta (2000), BMG, CDRENT(LF)100


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