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Memory Lane
with Bob Redys

Latest Global Music

The South African production and vocal trio releases the video for their country-wide hit, after months of viral dance challenges and millions of streams.

A few months ago, as often in the South African music scene, a short snippet of an infectious chorus was released only on social media: “Namhla senz’umlando” (roughly translated as “today we’re making history”). The extract was accompanied by a video of a young shirtless man, wearing iconic Jonathan D shoes and a bucket hat, doing a funny and contagious choreography on unorthodox sites like a table, a trolley a shower… In a few days, the extract went completely viral, occupying the space of online dance challenges, and “uMlando” was officially released in January 2022, with 9umba and Mdoovar on production and Toss, Sir Trill, Sino Msolo, Lady Du, Young Stunna and Slade on vocals. Two months later, the single is platinum and accumulates 270 million views on Tik Tok. 

‘uMlando’ has changed our lives and has given us hope since we’ve been the underdogs for too long”, says 9umba. Mdoovar adds: “”uMlando is proof that there is always power in numbers, we are stronger together than apart.” “It’s great to see a dance that started as a social media sensation turn into a whole music video! I definitely had fun rocking with everybody on set,” Toss concludes.

Shot in the township, the visuals feature scenes of different people from different generations, imitating Toss’ viral hip dance move alongside the amapiano superstar vocalists. It also authentically showcases many Kasi (township) culture elements: Jägermeister bottles, street hairdressers, bucket hats… From a  40 second extract to a full-length video, no doubt “uMlando” will continue to resonate in every South African nightclub!

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The London-based label Beauty & the Beat reissues a cult Guadeloupean gwoka track by Gaoulé Mizik. PAM shares an exclusive remix by Kay Suzuki.

Time Capsule curators Cedric Woo and Kay Suzuki recently spoke with sharp pan-African selections on our PAM Club series and PAM Sound System radio show. A few weeks after the release of the compilation Léspri Ka, the two teamed up again to reissue three tracks led by legendary singer Michel Laurent, for the label Beauty & the Beat. “A Ka Titine” has become a classic of the parties of the same name that have been rocking London for the past fifteen years. It is a pure Guadeloupean gwoka track, sung in Creole, which relates Michel’s island life on a toumblak rhythm, one of the seven distinct rhythms of the genre.

Played with drums of different sizes called “ka”, the gwoka sound inherited from slavery represents not only a singular style but also the identity of an island. If the gwoka sound adapts to the occasion – be it a baptism, carnival or funeral rites – the song in question here breathes love and joy in a rather traditional spirit, even if Gaoulé Mizik was known to experiment. By releasing two cult albums in the 80’s, the group was part of a modern gwoka movement open to fusion, in the same spirit of Erick Cosaque or Edmony Krater. To echo this, the Japanese-born Kay Suzuki brings an afro-cosmic dub touch on a hybrid remix made for clubs, maintaining respect for the original. Note that the EP also includes the tracks “Kan Sizè Sonné” (slightly edited by Cedric Woo), and “A Kolad”, two tracks released at the same time under the name of Michel Laurent.



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