Part of the series on Earthworks of current urban township-style songs from South Africa, Thunder Before Dawn is the second volume, overall a very nice collection of works, predominantly in Zulu, from Soweto. Quite possibly the main highlight of the album is the music from Mahlathini Nezintombi Zomgqashiyo, a South African supergroup comprised of Mahlathini, the quintessential groaner, the Mahotella Queens, and Marks Mankwane's Makgona Tsohle Band. The other nice surprise is the accordion work of Johnson Mkhalali. To find out what's been happening in South Africa as far as music is concerned (before the end of apartheid, that is), this series is key.
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AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg