Various Artists - Esa Williams Presents Amandla: Music To The People

Esa Williams Presents Amandla: Music To The People

Various Artists

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12" Vinyl Boxed Set 10 tracks £17.99 Available 5 July 2019

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Various Artists - Esa Williams Presents Amandla: Music To The People

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This summer, Soundway Records will release Esa Presents Amandla: Music To The People, a double vinyl electronic music compilation by DJ and producer Esa Williams.

Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, during the last days of Apartheid, Esa recalls the immense power of music had in resisting oppression and division. “Amandla, Awethu”, which literally means “the power is ours”, was an ubiquitous chant echoing throughout the politically charged atmosphere of the time – a call to unite, and a call from which this release derives not only its title, but its intention as well.

“Music was a crucial way of bringing people and communities together”, reflects Esa, “and it’s what I hope to achieve with this compilation, too”.

For Esa Williams is not only a musical polymath but also passionate about connecting people through music. A skilled DJ, producer and educator, Esa has found ways of bringing people together and enhancing the talent present - from being a band leader, reigniting the legendary Ata Kak band from Ghana, or a collaborator with the likes of Tanzanian artist Mim Suleiman, to focusing his energy on electronic music-focused educational programmes in Cuba, Brazil, and East & South Africa.

The last few years have seen a recent surge in interest in South African music from the 80s and 90s, including bubblegum, which was recently showcased on Soundway’s critically acclaimed 2018 compilation Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth Boogie in 1980s South Africa, put together by DJ Okapi. It was only natural that the label looked to delve deeper into the country’s rich musical legacy and tap another of its esteemed ambassadors for the role of compiler.

The result is a rainbow of complementary electronic styles hailing from not only South Africa but further afield, including zouk from Brazil and the French Antilles, as well as Afro-futurism and Tanzanian fusion. Together, they form a comprehensive picture that connects the dots of Esa’s musical journey – from growing up in South Africa, to artists he has encountered in his worldwide travels who have helped develop his identity as a musician.

One such artist is South African icon Penny Penny, whose kwaito house anthem “Shilungu” has been made available for the first time on vinyl since its original 2001 release – both on Amandla, as well as on the compilation’s 12” teaser released by Soundway in May 2019. Penny Penny’s first album “Shaka Bundu”, while a hit in South Africa on its initial cassette release in 1994, it was reissued by Awesome Tapes From Africa in 2013, propelling him and the sound of Tsongan disco into the global spotlight.

Tracklisting

12" Vinyl Boxed Set (SNDWLP131)
    1. Penny Penny - Shilungu
    2. Alaska - Accuse (Instrumental)
    1. Ze Spirits Band - Tucheza (Esa Extended Mix)
    2. Nonku Phiri feat. Dion Monti - Sîfó
    3. Os Panteras - Melo Do Anjo (Outra Edit)
    1. Pascal Latour - Lague Yo (Boulo Edit)
    2. Mim Suleiman - Presha Kuka (Unreleased Version)
    1. Esa - Pantsula Traxx
    2. Narchbeats - Cheeks
    3. DJ Spoko - #Justsnares