Ngiyakuhalalisela to the loyal listeners of the Dance Megamix! You passed the century mark!

This is the very, very, VERY special 100th episode of the podcast, featuring the rarest dance grooves from South Africa.

I began collecting this type of music in 2009 in advance to my epic journey to the World Cup, after I first heard an amazing disco boogie track called “Party” by Harari on a random DJ mix. It was a revelation. The music did not sound like the South African township music that I was familiar with, or for that matter any other “traditionally African” music that one would find in the World Music section at a Tower Records in the 90’s. This was a very heavy, funky Western sound that fit right in with my extensive collection of American disco and funk records.

I quickly became obsessed with this band when I found out that they were South African, and did all of the research I could to figure out if there was a connection between this group and the current phenomenon of house music dominating South African culture. It turns out, I was pretty lucky in how I stumbled upon this genre. Harari is not only an amazing band with a tremendous discography (spanning from Township Soul to Afro Rock to Disco), but they were also responsible for launching a sprawling talent tree of musicians who presided over the local music scene for decades. Max Mojapelo, a key South African radio deejay during that time, actually begins his oral history of South African music with Harari and lets the story of local music branch out from there. I was incredibly lucky to have started my musical exploration into South African music in exactly this way, just by pure dumb luck on my part.

For years, the Western-style rock, disco, funk, soul, and house music of South Africa in the 1970s-1990s was largely unknown outside of the continent. A lot of this popular music from the 80’s was assigned the genre “bubblegum,” which was to say that it was seen as disposable, and not taken very seriously by local critics, despite its popularity. But the lightness of its appearance gave bubblegum music the wiggle room to subtly advocate for urbanization, unity among tribes, and human rights. Apartheid not only contributed to the subversive way that this music was composed, recorded, and censored, but also limited its distribution beyond South Africa. Once the vinyl pressing plants in South Africa and Zimbabwe closed in the late 90’s and the music scene had moved on to kwaito and global hip hop, the previous generation’s music began disappearing not only stylistically, but physically as well. Many of the key musicians from this era had sadly passed away already, which made documenting the scene even more difficult. A whole era of music was on the brink of literally vanishing. Apart from Harari, who briefly toured the US, and the few big-name exiles (Hugh Masekela, Letta Mbulu, Margaret Singana, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Sathima Bea Benjamin), very few people outside of South Africa even knew that this music existed.

Sometime around 2008, with internet usage in South Africa starting to take larger hold, some of these songs and the stories behind their musicians began resurfacing online. Artists who had been long forgotten were suddenly back on the radar. Several local South African blogs, most notably Electric Jive and Afrosynth were launched, and began preserving and exposing this music to the outside world. Before long, the “afrosynth” title stuck, and now there has been explosion of lost music being salvaged and sold on the global record collecting marketplace. This effort recently culminated with the hugely successful vinyl re-release of V.O.’s “Mashisa” on Toronto’s Invisible City Editions label. I’ve seen this record sell out at my local shop in North Carolina and pop up on dance mixes online; I have no idea how many DJ’s know the history behind the genre or just how much more amazing music there is from South Africa from that era. It’s crazy how fast things have changed since 2009, let alone since 1979.

Thanks to my wife’s family, I’ve been lucky enough to visit South Africa a few times over the past 7 years. Back in 2010, I was making phone calls to record dealers and getting word-of-mouth referrals to “a guy” here or there, who may have had what I was looking for. Two of “those guys” who welcomed me into their homes to buy records are now proprietors of their own retail shops in Johannesburg and Durban, and are two of the biggest global sellers of this music online. It’s been fun collecting this music and trying to stay one step ahead of the big money collectors, and even more fun to listen to and enjoy this music.

It’s my sincere pleasure to share some of these rare, fantastic dance tracks from South Africa. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Here’s to another 100 episodes of the Dance Megamix. And don’t worry, we’ll get back the business of playing mostly classic house and disco next week.


Tracklist for March 29, 2017

01 :: Sky Jinx – Love Affair [On Records]
02 :: C.J.B. – Amanda [Sound Rays]
03 :: Letta Mbulu – Nomalizo [Be With Records]
04 :: Joe Masunga – Chipesane (Instrumental) [Soltone Records]
05 :: Cheek To Cheek – Do You Still Remember Me (Dub Mix) [Bullet Records]
06 :: Om Alec Khaoli – Sekuru [Gallo]
07 :: The Strikers – Ezikamagebula [The CCP Record Co.]
08 :: Warrior – Warrior Dance [WEA]
09 :: Mavis Maseko – Keep On Moving [Nu Beat]
10 :: Nomuntu & Chimora – Ricotamba [Roy B. Records]
11 :: Patricia Majalisa – Witch Doctor [Gallo]
12 :: Chicco – I Need Some Money [Roy B. Records]
13 :: Stanza – I’m Dreaming [Shandel Music]
14 :: Jabulani – Love And Understanding [Magic]
15 :: Al Etto – She’s Hot [Roy B. Records]
16 :: Whoosha – You Are My Only One [Sonovision]
17 :: Umoja – Oneness [Gallo]
18 :: Cheek To Cheek – Sunny Days [Bullet]
19 :: Kamazu – Korobela [Teal Sound]
20 :: Taxi – Ikhaya [Roy B. Records]
21 :: Supa Frika – Eldorado Park (Extension Mix) [Bullet]
22 :: Peta Teanet – Glory [Challenger]
23 :: Nomuntu Kapa – Come And Satisfy Me [Roy B. Records]
24 :: Joe Masunga – Nwananga Washaneseka [Quavers]
25 :: Wa’de – Bushy Bushy [Orange Records]
26 :: Venus – Soul Train [Cool Spot]
27 :: Black Moses – M5 [Soul Brothers Productions]
28 :: V.O. – Mashisa [Invisible City Editions]
29 :: The Allnighters – I Still Love You [Mob Music]
30 :: Brenda Fassie – Bump Bump [The CCP Record Co.]
31 :: Chicco – Koshana [Roy B. Records]
32 :: Bibbi – Guns On Fire (Flame Mix) [Diamond Music]
33 :: Chimora – Africano Americano [Teal Trutone]

Early edish of the Megamix! Don dusts off the old London pop and electro tracks for a night of party bangers circa 2003. He also tosses in some tracks from the reclusive years of 2004-2007!

Tracklist for March 22, 2017

01 :: Richard X vs. Liberty X – Being_Nobody (Main Mix) [Virgin]
02 :: Annie – Chewing Gum (Mylo Remix) [Big Beat]
03 :: CSS – Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above (Spank Rock Remix) [Sub Pop]
04 :: Plastic Head Band – Vacuum Packed Peanuts [Odori]
05 :: The Rapture – House Of Jealous Lovers (Original) [DFA]
06 :: Electric Six – Danger! High Voltage (Thin White Duke Remix) [XL Recordings]
07 :: Dannii Minogue – I Begin To Wonder (Dead Or Alive Remix) [Ultra Records]
08 :: Felix Da Housecat – Silver Screen Shower Scene (Static Revenger Mix) [Emporer Norton]
09 :: Goldfrapp – Strict Machine (Ewan Pearson Extended Vocal) [Mute]
10 :: Chicks On Speed – We Don’t Play Guitars (Tiefschwarz Black Box Mix) [Chicks On Speed Records]
11 :: Joe Moreno vs. Evanz D. – No More Electro [Tishomingo Music]
12 :: D.O.N.S. feat. Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (Kurd Maverick Aka Gian’s Crowd Is Jumpin’ Mix) [Kontor Records]
13 :: Kelis – Milkshake (X-Press 2 Triple Thick Vocal Mix) [Virgin]
14 :: Andrea Doria – Bucci Bag (Original Version) [Southern Fried Records]
15 :: Benny Benassi pres. The Biz – Satisfaction (Isak Original) [You]
16 :: The Sugababes – Freak Like Me (Different Gear Mix) [Island Records]
17 :: Majestic 12 – Robodrop [Phenomenal Recordings]
18 :: GusGus – David (Medicine 8 Remix) [Underwater Records]
19 :: Gold Ryan – Clean Track [CR2 Records]
20 :: Rasmus Faber – Get Over Here (Cato’s 202 Remix) [Azuli Black]
21 :: Wally Lopez & Dr. Kucho – Patricia Never Leaves The House (Justin Robertson Remix) [Bugged Out! Recordings]
22 :: Danny Howells & Dick Trevor – Dusk Till Dawn (Hoxton Whores Mix) [Cr2 Records]
23 :: DJ Exacta – Shake My Soul (Daley Padley’s Dub) [Subliminal]
24 :: Bob Sinclar – I Feel For You (Axwell Club Remix) [Yellow Productions]
25 :: Raven Maize – Fascinated (Tommy Vee Patu Mix) [Rulin Records]
26 :: X-Press 2 – Witchi Tai To (Spencer Parker Remix) [Skint]
27 :: Mousse T. – Is It ‘Cos’ I’m Cool? (So Phat! Mix) [Peppermint Jam]
28 :: Neon Heights – Show You The Stars [DIY Discs]
29 :: Rocket – People (Rob Mello’s “No Ears” Mix) [NRK Sound Division]

So… funny story about this mix. I was totally brain-dead tired, and had a weird mix of records with me. I forgot to start the recorder during the opening, and felt like I was going to fall asleep after like 45 minutes. It was a mess.

But then, inspiration struck! I gutted it out and played a full 2-hour set, which has been mostly recorded here for your listening pleasure. Things get funky about halfway through — see if you can hear where I got my second wind.

Tracklist for March 15, 2017

01 :: Tevin Campbell – Round And Round (The House) [Paisley Park]
02 :: Soul II Soul – People (Timmy Regisford 12″) [Virgin]
03 :: Junior – Mama Used To Say (American Remix) [Mercury]
04 :: Beck – Deep Sky (Edit By Mr. K) [Most Excellent Unlimited]
05 :: INXS – Need You Tonight / Mediate [Atlantic]
06 :: Russ Brown – Gotta Find A Way (Vocal) [Jump Street Records]
07 :: Deee-Lite – What Is Love? (Holographic Goatee Mix) [Elektra]
08 :: Absolute – Introduce Me To Love (Original U.K. Version) [Fourth Floor Records]
09 :: Peter Brown – Burning Love Breakdown [T.K. Disco]
10 :: Clandestine feat. Ned Sublette – Radio Rhythm (S-I-G-N-A-L S-M-A-R-T) (Vocal Mix) [Sleeping Bag Records]
11 :: I.R.T. – Watch The Closing Doors (Extended Club Mix) [RCA Victor]
12 :: Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It) [Sugar Hill Records]
13 :: Unity 2 – Buckwheat The Rebel (Power Mix) [Reprise Records]
14 :: 33 1/3 Queen – Disco 4 [Nu Groove Records]
15 :: Prince – Do I Believe In God (LNTG Muscle Mix) [Razor N Tape]
16 :: The O’Jays – Put Our Heads Together [Philadelphia International Records]
17 :: Shirley Lites – Heat You Up (Melt You Down) (Vocal) [West End Records]
18 :: The Reddings – You’re The Only One [Believe In A Dream]
19 :: Gino Soccio – Try It Out [Atlantic]
20 :: Chain Reaction – Dance Freak [Sound of New York, USA]
21 :: The Beginning Of The End – Funky Nassau (Nicky Siano Edit) [Morgan Avenue Edits]
22 :: Jimmy “Bo” Horne – Spank (Instrumental) [Advanced Records]
23 :: Sister Sledge – Lost In Music (Special 1984 Nile Rodgers Remix) [Atlantic]
24 :: Andrés – Mighty Tribe [La Vida]
25 :: The Trammps – People Of The World Rise (Joaquin’s Disco Dub PT 1 Of 4) [Circuit T Promo]
26 :: Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars [Philadelphia International Records]

Don had to pre-record this one, but it is still all fire. Trust the DJ.

Tracklist for March 8, 2017

01 :: Urbanized feat. Silvano – Helpless (The Masters At Work Accadubba) [Maxi Records]
02 :: Melanie Williams – Everyday Thang (Sound Factory Bar Thang Instrumental) [Columbia]
03 :: MK feat. Alana – Love Changes (MK Mix) [Charisma]
04 :: Gabrielle – Going Nowhere (Red Underground Again Mix) [FFRR]
05 :: Rapination feat. Kym Mazelle – Love Me The Right Way (New York Blizzard Mix) [RCA]
06 :: RuPaul – Back To My Roots (Murk’s Curl Activator Mix II) [Tommy Boy]
07 :: The Lost Articles – Touch Me Baby (Jovan Blade’s Slave Mix) [Trance Fusion]
08 :: Da Rebels – Timbuck [Clubhouse Records]
09 :: Sequencial – Habit (Kis Kis Mix) [Who’s That Beat?]
10 :: Naked Music NYC feat. Catherine Russell – I’ll Take You To Love (Tee’s Freeze Mix) [Ton-A-Records]
11 :: Joi Cardwell – Trouble (Satoshi’s Def Vocal Mix) [Eightball Records]
12 :: Barbara Tucker – I Get Lifted (Boyd Slams The Organ Mix) [Strictly Rhythm]
13 :: Janet Jackson – You Want This (E-Smoove’s Anthem Dub) [Virgin]
14 :: Madonna – Deeper And Deeper (Shep’s Deep Makeover Mix) [Maverick]
15 :: Mood II Swing – Closer (King Street Moody Club Mix) [King Street Sounds]
16 :: A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Paradise Ballroom Mix) [Flim Flam Records]
17 :: Clubland – (I’m Under) Love Strain (Lost In Dub) [Buzz]
18 :: Kaos – Over You (M. K. Mix) [MCA Records]
19 :: Ten City – That’s The Way Love Is (Underground Mix/Extended Version) [Atlantic]
20 :: Tony Moss – I Got U (Club Mix) [50/50 Records]
21 :: Grant Nelson – (It’s A) Luv Thang (Miles 3 Scoop Thang) [Planet Records]
22 :: 33 1/3 Queen – Breakin’ Wind [Nu Groove Records]
23 :: Frankie Knuckles – Only The Strong Survive (Club Mix) [D.J. International Records]
24 :: Colonel Abrams – I’m Caught Up (The Mixmaster Touch) [Micmac Records]
25 :: Francois Kevorkian – Hypnodelic [Open]
26 :: MBG – Let’s Vibe [MBG International Records]

Woooooooo, ooh ooh! This is some hot classic disco madness right here.

Tracklist for March 1, 2017

01 :: Crown Heights Affair – Say A Prayer For Two [De-Lite Records]
02 :: Syreeta – Can’t Shake Your Love (Original) [J.V.S. Records]
03 :: Erotic Drum Band – Jerky Rhythm [Prism]
04 :: Black Soul – Mangous Ye [Beam Junction]
05 :: C.J. & Co. – Devil’s Gun [Atlantic]
06 :: Ashford & Simpson – Found A Cure [Warner Bros. Records]
07 :: Shalamar – Right In The Socket [Solar]
08 :: Dan Hartman – Relight My Fire [White Label]
09 :: Cerrone – Je Suis Music [Cotillion]
10 :: Dee Dee Bridgewater – Bad For Me (Long Version) [Elektra]
11 :: Thelma Houston – I’m Here Again [Motown]
12 :: Love Committee – Just As Long As I Got You [Gold Mind Records]
13 :: Phyllis Hyman – You Know How To Love Me [Arista]
14 :: Positive Force – We Got The Funk [Turbo Records]
15 :: Candi Staton – Victim [Warner Bros. Records]
16 :: Tamiko Jones – Tamiko Letting It Flow [Polydor]
17 :: Claudja Barry – Dance, Dance, Dance [Salsoul Records]
18 :: Linda Clifford – Runaway Love [Curtom]
19 :: Gwen McCrae – Poyson (Long Version) [Atlantic]