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La Casa Tropical House | Deep House 3 Items

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Bees, The - Mamezala / Never Give Up
Bees, The
Mamezala / Never Give Up
12" | 2020 | EU | Original (La Casa Tropical)
16,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves, Electronic / Dance
The Bees are a textbook case of the chew and spit cycle that was the late 80’s South African music industry. Although their unknown story is likely unique, it is just as likely that it is no different to that of many other young artists who dreamed of getting their music heard at the time. By 1988, the independent record label was no longer as uncommon as it had been at the beginning of the decade. As the 80s went on, more seasoned A&R reps and Producers that had gained experience and connections from their work under major labels would be trying to cash in on a market they helped create. Without the need of big rooms or expensive recording equipment, the digital advancements allowed many Producers to open or work in smaller studios and promote unknown artists under their own imprints. They would then have their catalogs marketed and distributed by the same major labels they had been working for just years prior. This would open up the possibility of a new era of stars as potential talent no longer had to be pitched to major labels in hopes of them taking a chance on a new signee over their already established artists. With the market growing and a struggle to keep up with the demand for new sounds this agreement would allow the major labels to put new emerging artists or groups on their catalog with little investment and high reward if it happened to be a hit. ON Records was just one of the independent players at the time. Ronnie Robot had just signed the unlikely trio The Bees in hopes of adding a hit group to his label roster that consisted of solo acts. Despite the debut’s fresh house inspired sound, it failed to catch on was outsold by the bubblegum disco the label was known for. Over the years unsold back stock and promos would build up with the distributor. Luckily this allowed sealed copies from the label’s catalog to survive into the 90s when the distributor’s stock was unloaded and picked up by legendary Johannesburg jazz shop Kohinoor. Here sealed copies of the Bees first attempt sat under appreciated for over 20 years before becoming a hot title after they started circulating online and became club staples. This is how the first album of an unknown group with no success was able to become a collectors item and earn a reissue over 25 years later. With their first record behind them The Bees were ready move forward and get back into the studio. A suggestion from producers had the trio change camps and go work with the newly formed Creative Sound Recordings, the label that promised “Music for the Future” and ended up being an essential studio in the early years of Kwaito. They would work with producer Chris Ghelakis and guitarist George Vardas, while a young Marvin Moses sat behind the desk. Musically the sophomore album was as good as a follow up as you could get. Building on the first album, Mashonisa delivers catchy melodies backed by heavy drum programming that would score points with any Pantsula. The Black Box inspired “ Never Give Up” was one of two tracks chosen to be pressed as the promo for the album, hoping to trick listeners with their catchy version of the hit( A year later the label would release their first volume of Black Box covers sang by neo soul diva BB, it would be a great seller). The label printed up an unknown amount of these in a last attempt to push the release in Shabeens and on Radio. The cheaper route of flooding the market with promo copies would only pay off 25 years later when unplayed copies started being rediscovered and had survived the years in a quantity that original run of the full album could not. Once again it was clear that with no mainstream appeal, the quality of the music on its own was not enough to garner any success at the time. The album flopped worse than their first and failed to make it past it’s initial run, making it one of the harder titles to get from the CSR catalog. Mashonisa would be the last attempt from the Bees. They would disappear from the scene as quickly as they appeared. Of the three members it is only known that lead Singer Solomon Phiri continued in music fronting a wave dance group before he mysteriously vanished in 1993, never to be heard from again. Through a combination of luck and circumstance the group, which is unknown in South Africa to even the most plugged in musicians, producers and radio hosts of the time, managed to finally get some of the recognition they deserved 30 years later. Unfortunately this small blip of fame would happen with none of the band members present to give their side of the story, or even aware of how their two albums became popular enough to be printed on different continents in a new millennia. The Bees suffered the same fate as countless other artists of the time, who thanks to emerging independent labels and willing producers were given an opportunity to have a short career, only to be replaced by the meat grinder of the music industry when they failed to produce a hit.
PVP - Malende
PVP
Malende
LP | 2020 | EU | Original (La Casa Tropical)
22,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves, Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 18.12.2020
After two tracks were successfully taken for a limited Maxi single, the whole album is now available on Double LP - Nicely remastered. Patience, Violet ,and Pinky recorded their first Album in 1992. Knowing each other from the music scene, the back up singers turned friends teamed up with Emmanuel Diale and signed with Mob Music to embark on their music career as their own act. The first two albums were straight African Disco, A leftover sound of the 80's that some had still hoped to capitalize on. By the time they released their third album Why O Nketsa so Baby, loosely translated to "Why are you doing this to me Baby", Kwaito was still called either Disco or International House, and it was new sound that was taking over. The third album was influenced by the Shangaan sound made largely popular by artists like Penny Penny and Peta Teanet. Looking back now, at the time Mob Music was really leading the pack with this new sound. Being one of the last labels to have official releases with artwork and a group of young talented producers given full creative freedom they pushed the sound in a way only few other labels of that time can be given the same credit. For their fourth and final album on Mob Music they worked with legendary producer/songwriter Malcom "X" Makume. With three years of songwriting experience and stellar talent behind the desk the result was the LP Malende. Eight tracks that would combine the early kwaito sound with the more uptempo International House topped off with productions heavily inspired by what had been slowly making its way from Chicago over the last 10 years. At the time they had some success and to this day are well known amongst the real heads. The girls would go on to record one final album once their contract with Mob was up and then after a 5 album catalog would hang up their matching outfits for work a in a newly free South Africa. They remain friends to this day.
Scotch - Jam Alley / Bafana Bafana
Scotch
Jam Alley / Bafana Bafana
12" | 1995 | EU | Reissue (La Casa Tropical)
16,99 €*
Release:1995 / EU – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves, Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 08.01.2021
By 1995 Kwaito was already a well established and distinguishable sound compared to the International House Remixes that preceded. The tempo was slowed down, Soulful vocal samples were replaced by catchy and repetitive hooks and versus sang in vernacular. The new hit sound had a template and studios worked around the clock to pump fresh releases into the demanding market. After the successful 1995 release of Import mixes Vol 4, The Groove City team behind the productions now decided to venture into the territory of Mid Tempo. They would craft an album for a young frontman with the help of Kwaito pioneer Oscar Warona, and without much trouble, the team had their first hit on their hands. Filling the boots of their cars with copies of the cassettes and taking the stock to various townships around Johannesburg the tape quickly circulated and sold out every new batch that was printed. Demand was high for the release but as with much of the music at the time, the fast paced demand for the music moved on. Without a follow up release Scotch failed to ride the momentum built by the debut and remained largely unknown although he is still in the music industry to this day. Even with their first artist release being a success, the following years proved more difficult in reaching such a large audience for the Kaleidosound studio. With popularity for the genre growing, the simple templates for early classics were changing as Kwaito fused with hip hop. Rapping took over as the preferred vocals for the masses. Mysterious production teams and labels that served as guides for music lovers were eclipsed by frontmen and groups that could draw crowds. The fight for fresh sounds continued as the airwaves became the main battleground for artists and the more club oriented music was pushed back underground, eventually evolving into some of the earliest examples of Deep House seen on the continent. The Kaleidosound production team would finally strike gold again in 1997 when reviving Groove City for vol. 5 which acted as the debut for the newly formed group Chiskop. The group would become superstars of the new commercial era that followed, sparking solo careers for the members and creating some of the biggest hits the genre knew. To this day Scotch remains one of the best albums to come out of the golden era of Kwaito. Although it was outperformed by other groups from the time it has a special place for those who knew it and can still be found as a treasured piece in many collections. The various people involved created a one off fusion of sound that has remained fresh for 25 years. Playful lyrics over floaty grooves resulted in favourites like “Jam Alley” which uses catch phrases from the beloved TV show and “Bafana Bafana” guaranteed to get the boys on the dance floor. Here you have these two tracks taken from the album pressed on a club ready Maxi Single for the Deejays
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