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- Moving Along by Batsumi
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Here's another Batsumi reissue from Matsuli, this time their second (and final) album 'Moving Along', continuing their enduring forays into refreshing spiritual jazz and energetic Afro-funk full of subtle polyrhythms (as with the first album there's a mixture of hand drums and drumkit as favoured by modern-day hype masters Goat - while they don't sound like this per se, it does sound like something they've been listening to) and bright brass and piano settling into simple, trance-inducing melodic repetition.
The vocals are very catchy and dramatic to the point of being almost theatrical, especially in 'Evil Spirits', but the main focus is on the bubbling, hypnotic rhythms that roll deliciously along, imbuing the simple melodies with an irresistibly kinetic funkiness even in the more reflective moments like soulful closer 'Sister'. Really excellent stuff from 1976 South Africa.
8/10 DISTORT YRSELF CLEAN Customer review, 22nd January 2015
Matsuli Music specialise in releasing beautifully packaged and impeccably researched reissues of long lost Afro beat records. They don't release too many (4 LPs to date) but I'm a fan of the whole lot, especially this their third release and the second album from Batsuli. The four tracks simmer away with Afro rhythms, twinkling jazz pianos and melodic chant like vocals. 'Evil Spirits' is the stand out track which is kind of like a two-tone brass ensemble over a Sowetan motorik beat. What's not to like there?
As previously mentioned Matsumi Music have plenty more to offer. Batsuli's first eponymously named LP is worth checking out and I would highly reccommend the 'Chapita' LP (even though Normans don't have it!) by South African Jazz drummer Dick Khoza, which is an LP that won't leave your record player for a while. Perhaps some labels should take note- less is more.
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