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Thembi Seete - S'matsatsa - Making Kwaito Kwaai again

2006-03-29 18:24

Enter Thembi Seete, ex-Boom Shaka dancer turned "Lollipop" girl kwaito pin-up and actress with a 40 odd minute set of characteristically effervescent kwaito cuts. Building on the bass heavy bubblegum grooves of her debut, Thembi enlists a cast of big name collaborators to spice up what was becoming a bland beat formula.

Dance floor inducing booty shakes ("Ayi Kabi" and "One Night Stand" featuring Kabasa) bounce off hip-hop street raps ("Move Your Body" featuring Skwatta Kamp), with old school flavours ("Maniginigi" featuring Mpilo) joining hands with smooth Afro-jazz sounds ("Phata Kahle" featuring Madala Kunene). Add hot young deck wizard D-Rex stirring the melting pot of moods with some seriously tight production, and S'matsatsa is a timely reminder of what made kwaito so "kwaai" in the first place.

Given the preponderance of polished Afro-house groovers 'n shakers dominating the clubs at the moment, you'd be forgiven for thinking that kwaito had been all but subsumed by its imported half-sibling. And what with homegrown hip-hop also challenging for a slice of the mainstream industry pie, you'd wonder whether kwaito's glory days were actually all but numbered.

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