1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Hotline”

Feel So Strong – Steve Kekana & Hotline

Feel So Strong - Steve Kekana & Hotline

Feel So Strong – Steve Kekana & Hotline

Sometimes when big named stars get together to record a duet the results are not that great and do not add up to the sum of the parts. Perhaps it is competing egos that result in the disappointing output, who knows. However when the local talents of PJ Powers and Hotline got together with our own Stevie Wonder, Steve Kekana, the result was not disappointing.

Written by PJ, ‘Feel So Strong’ is a song that jammed rock and township with a bit of gospel organ thrown in for good measure into 7 inches of vinyl brilliance and this is all coated in a thick layer of pop sensibility. The result is a catchy tune that rocks and you can dance to.

Despite the obvious contravention of Apartheid laws (a white woman and black man singing a song where the lyrics hint at a relationship across the colour bar – ‘I’ve never felt like this before/but being alone isn’t scary anymore’) the song got heavy rotation on the radio stations and climbed to number 6 on the Springbok Radio top 20. It was perhaps the use of phrases such as ‘I never thought I’d find a friend quite like you’ that made the censors think they were just friends.

Given Kekana’s European successes (he charted in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland) it is not too surprising that he and Hotline performed the song on the German Television music show Musikladen (see the Youtube video link below). Together they were beautiful and made beautiful music that rocked our world. Powers to the people who ‘Feel So Strong’.

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 3 (1994) GSP, CDREDD 610

Video:

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Dancing In The Moonlight – Wozani

Dancing In The Moonlight – Wozani

Dancing In The Moonlight - Wozani

Dancing In The Moonlight – Wozani

George van Dyk, the driving force behind Wozani was a one time bass player with Hotline who, strangely enough, produced an album called ‘Wozani’ in 1985. Other members of the band included ex-Zia (a band that Clout’s Cindy Alter fronted) personnel Graham Clifford, Abe Sibiya and Bheki Gumbi. Wozani’s only output was an album released in 1990 called ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ and the title track opens the album.

It is no small surprise that the song harks back to the sounds that Hotline and Zia made – danceable synthpop infused with township jive sensibilities and an obligatory blast on the sax (courtesy of Mike Faure). ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ does not have to be taken literally. You can dance to it at any time of day or night as that is what it was made for. It bounces along, toe a-tapping and bodies a-swaying, with a joie de vivre that has party written all over it. It is not too dissimilar to Lionel Richie’s ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’ and ‘All Night Long’ except that it was plainly made in Africa and is less clinical and more earthy.

George van Dyk delivers a powerful vocal to this little known gem from a time when the country was changing and this kind of music was beginning to go out of fashion. Perhaps it was released a little too late to have made a major impact on the local charts, but anyone who enjoyed the ethnopop that was produced in South Africa in the mid-eighties should enjoy this laatlammetjie.

Where to find it:
Not available on CD, you need to look for the vinyl: Dancing In The Moonlight – Wozani (1990), RPM Records, RPM 7135 (cassette CCRPM 7135)

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