Music transcends boundaries and sometimes makes for revolutions. Influenced by the jazz and funk already popular in the United States, bands across apartheid South Africa – especially the Southwestern Townships (hence So-we-to) – used popular western music as a form of rebellion evident in the Heroes’ “Come With Me” and the women-empowered “Akulalwa Esoweto” by the Mgababa Queens.

Though recorded in the early ’70s Next Stop... Soweto Vol. 2 has a surprisingly contemporary feel. Many of the songs carry a mixture of world culture from samba, jazz beats with hints of the Doors thrown in. Of the rapid drumbeats and screaming organs re-emerging in music’s indie-pop scene, the sounds from Soweto continue to connect to a time of tradition and musical innovation.

Grade: A+



Next Stop… Soweto Vol. 2 is currently available.