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Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth​-​Boogie in 1980s South Africa

by Various Artists

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rustyorpaul thumbnail
rustyorpaul This compilation is an absolute goldmine 🙌 Gotta love a bitta synth boogie 🔥🔥🔥
Cranston thumbnail
Cranston Ich habe immer "Baba Jaga" verstanden, mir die Finger danach wund gegooglet und mich dermassen gefreut, als ich es auf dieser Compilation entdeckt habe. Re-Rewind-Alarm! Favorite track: Ashiko - Gumba Fire (Madlakadlaka).
Efa_O_Neill  thumbnail
Efa_O_Neill Stunning Album - uplifting, funky and tropical with 80's vibes a plenty. Too hard to pick just one track!
Catsley's Cornucopia // Lubey Lu
Catsley's Cornucopia // Lubey Lu thumbnail
Catsley's Cornucopia // Lubey Lu This might just be my favourite compilation I've heard yet. These songs are absolutely irresistable, highly accessible, but beautiful and political. ♫ All I need is to survive / All I want is a piece of bread ♫ It's a classic! Favorite track: Ozila - Wola Wola.
A.W.Raworth thumbnail
A.W.Raworth Absolutely fantastic! Gumba Fire is riddled with synth grooves that perfectly reflect the tightness of the black community of South Africa in times of hardship, violence and oppression. This compilation needs to be acknowledged by the world for its enormity and the cultural significance of the tracks that exist within its three giant floaty discs. Favorite track: Stimela - Mind Games.
Michael Feihstel
Michael Feihstel thumbnail
Michael Feihstel Been looking forward to this one. Outstanding compilation showcasing a uniquely uplifting, fun, feel-good sub set of african boogie.

Edit: 4 years later and I still keep coming back to this compilation all the time. One of the Alltime Greats. Favorite track: Condry Ziqubu - She's Impossible.
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Beautifully presented triple vinyl encased in a gatefold sleeve, with detailed liner notes from DJ Okapi, and the original album covers from which the tracks were taken.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth-Boogie in 1980s South Africa via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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*16 rare cuts selected by Miles Cleret and DJ Okapi - available for the first time on digital, and first time on vinyl outside of their original release*

- "The real, real sound of South Africa" MOJO
- "Unsurprisingly this is amazing. Beautiful, uplifting sounds." Alexander Nut (Eglo Records/NTS Radio)

In 1980s black South Africa a local form of pop music evolved as the disco boom died down and slowly mutated. It was often ubiquitously described as Bubblegum - usually stripped-down and lo-fi with a predominance of synths, keyboards and drum-machines and overlaid with the kind of deeply soulful trademark vocals and harmonies that South African music is famous for.

Compilers Miles Cleret (Soundway) and DJ Okapi (Afrosynth Records) present a selection of 16 rare, handpicked 1980s cuts that highlight the period that nestles in between the ‘70s (where American-influenced jazz, funk and soul bumped shoulders with local Mbaqanga) and the ‘90s when Kwaito and eventually house-music ruled the dancefloors of urban South Africa.

Alongside French-Caribbean Zouk this kind of music has slowly been making its way into the DJ sets of many of the most open minded selectors around the world. This compilation is in many ways a sister release to the hugely popular compilation of Nigerian boogie and disco that Soundway released in late 2016 : “Doing it In Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980s Nigeria”.

The album takes its name from the band Ashiko’s track of the same name Gumba Fire that features on the compilation. The term is derived from gumba gumba, the term given to the booming speakers of the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages. The phrase later evolved into Gumba Fire to refer to a hot party. Put this record on and feel the heat!


released March 9, 2018


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Soundway Records UK

"Simply put, England's Soundway label equals quality. " Pitchfork

Founded in 2002 by English DJ and Producer Miles Cleret, Soundway Records has released a number of critically acclaimed compilation albums and re-issues of African, Caribbean, Latin and Asian music from the 1950s-80s.

Since 2012, the label has also begun to issue original contemporary releases from around the world.
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