“Tsamaya Moratuoa” by Mahotella Queens - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1980Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Although it doesn't invoke the adrenaline rush of their thumping 70s prime material, “Tsamaya Moratuoa”, released in March, 1980, was decent enough, rounding up 12 single sides from 1979, all sung in the Sotho language, under the direction of Marks Mankwane at Mavuthela Productions. They are: Emily Zwane (lead vocal), Irene Mawela (lead vocal), Caroline Kapentar (vocals), Thandi Nkosi (vocals), Sheba Malgas (vocals) and Olga Mvicane (vocals). Backing them are The Beggers: Marks Mankwane (lead guitar), Mzwandile David (bass), Thamie Xongwana (organ) and Mike Stoffel (drums). Whilst retaining distinctive South African charms, all of the mbaqanga-styled artists were incorporating disco rhythms at this time, and the organ was in vogue, all of which is evidenced here. My highlight 1-2-3 is delivered consecutively at the beginning of side two, with the more traditional sounding “Re Basadi Kaofela” (sung by Irene), “Maqaqailana” with that ice-rink organ sound and “Tshoara Khaitsedi” which flirts with reggae licks via bass, guitar, organ and sax. Historian Nick Lotay offers excellent insight in the notes below, so be sure to have a read on some more of the fascinating background.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:41] 6.0.png Mahotella Queens - Tsamaya Moratuoa (Emily Zwane) Africana
A2 [02:46] 6.8.png Mahotella Queens - Tshoara Khaitsedi (Emily Zwane, Irene Mawela) Africana
A3 [02:49] 6.5.png Mahotella Queens - Mokgadi O Fihlile (Caroline Kapentar) Africana
A4 [03:02] 4.9.png Mahotella Queens - Ke Utloile (Caroline Kapentar) Soul Ballad
A5 [03:08] 6.0.png Mahotella Queens - Mmina Tau (Emily Zwane, Willie Rasebotsa, Mzwandile David) Africana
A6 [03:00] 5.6.png Mahotella Queens - Mpulele (Traditional) Pop
B1 [02:58] 7.7.png Mahotella Queens - Re Basadi Kaofela (Traditional) Africana
B2 [02:52] 7.0.png Mahotella Queens - Maqaqailana (Emily Zwane) Africana
B3 [03:20] 6.8.png Mahotella Queens - Maile (Irene Mawela, Willie Rasebotsa) Africana
B4 [02:48] 6.6.png Mahotella Queens - Tsoela Fela Ngoanana (Emily Zwane) Africana
B5 [02:48] 6.4.png Mahotella Queens - Ha Bo Tle (Caroline Kapentar) Africana
B6 [02:44] 5.9.png Mahotella Queens - Seteng Sediba (Traditional) Pop Ballad

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