News

Moroka's 'The Gospel of Kwaito' Mixtape

UK/SA producer Moroka shares his latest mixtape 'The Gospel of Kwaito,' and drops new single 'Running from the Law (Nomacala).'


The gospel that runs through UK/SA producer Moroka's latest mixtape is joyous. In The Gospel of Kwaito, Moroka delivers a selection of tracks that illuminate the presence of gospel music in South African kwaito tunes."Growing up in South Africa I was surrounded by sounds of African gospel and traditional song where the music is transmitted as a joyous soundtrack to weddings, funerals, protests and communal gatherings," the producer explained to us. It seems only natural that he would want to spotlight the revelry rather than the pains of gospel music.

As a result, The Gospel of Kwaito is a deep medley of voices and instruments that honors the sounds of the producer's youth in South Africa. Right from Zola's "Prophecy of the Village Pope," the guitar-sprinkled opening track featuring heartfelt woah-a-woah's from its singers, and as heard on the bouncy "Mama Ka Zuzu" by DJ Bobo, Moroka creates a jubilant 54-minute mix which ends on the reflective note of Lundi and The Jaziel Brothers's slow, drum-trodden "Ithemba Lam Likuwe." Stream Moroka's The Gospel of Kwaito and download his latest jagged guitar-riffed single "Running from the Law (Nomacala)" below.

The Gospel of Kwaito Tracklist:

1. Prophecy of the Village Pope - Zola

2. Moya - Sipho Makhabane

3. Monate (Kwaito Remix) - Brenda Fassie

4. Mama Ka Zuzu - DJ Bobo

5. Next to You - DJ Bongz

6. Re Tla Dula Re Rapela - DJ Call Me

7. Tlou - DJ Cleo

8. Track 7 - Bojo Mujo

9. Church Song (feat. Chaka-Chukwu) - DJ Killer

10. Halleluya Uyinkosi - Big Nuz

11. Inhliziyo Yam - Mzekezeke

12. Ithemba Lam Likuwe - Lundi ft The Jaziel Brothers

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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