Various Artists - Rhythm of Resistance (1988)
This is the soundtrack from the same-name film that was shot in apartheid South Africa. It features what would go on to become some of the top names in South African music (as understood by a Western, global audience). This includes Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mahotella Queens & a young Johnny Clegg performing under the ‘Johnny & Sipho’ moniker. In many ways, the film and this record introduced some of these bands to a larger, international audience and, in fact, Paul Simon mentions in the liner notes to #Graceland, that this documentary was where he first heard Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They would, obviously, go on to do Graceland together which was a huge hit for LBM.
During apartheid, many forms of resistance were used to break the hold of white settler colonial rule. From armed resistance, to international boycotts (including by musicians), to marches and demonstrations. But, as this record affirms, there was a robust cultural resistance happening alongside these, as there is in any resistance movement. As the back cover notes, this album is “a creative resistance that springs from a living musical culture.”
And this resistance is threatening to forms of power – as the record producer & filmmaker note on the back, they were followed by police repeatedly and when they tried to film a group of workers chanting what included “The whites be damned!” the police moved in to intervene. Records such as these are part of the international archive of Black resistance, of Black insistence on their cultures and humanity in the face of oppressive whiteness.
#southafricanmusic #africanmusic #ladysmithblackmambazo #johnnyclegg #mahotellaqueens #worldmusic #soundtrack #instavinyl #vinyljunkie #vinylcollection #recordcollection #vinyllove #resistance #musichistory #shanachierecords