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Saturday Night: South African Disco Pop Hits 1981-1987

Cultures Of Soul
Few nations experienced as much change as South Africa did in the ’80s, starting the decade with UN-backed cultural boycotts and ending it with Madiba’s release from prison. This compilation documents the country’s wave of disco pop. Not a music of resistance, it’s rather a South Africanisation of Italo disco and early Madonna. White singer Margino in fact perfectly apes the young Madonna on ‘You and Me’ and even covers ‘Holiday’. Black singers from townships on the other hand, such as vocal trio Hot Soul Singers or popular singer Brenda Fassie (once dubbed “The Madonna of the Townships” by Time Magazine), decrease the bubble-gum factor and leave behind more traces of the Zulu roots music which had ruled in the ’70s. More than any history class, though, this is just a massively fun and garish party of forgotten ’80s hits. TRISTAN BATH