Various Artists

Zulu Rhythm and Harmony: 1962-82

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South African popular music evolved, changed and advanced during the 20 years spotlighted on this disc. It includes slow, swaying numbers with tight backing, furious polyrhythmic tunes that many normally associate with all African music, and others with an almost country orientation in their lead vocals and arrangements. The sound quality varies, with some of the earlier tracks a bit scratchy, but that's of no consequence. What's instructive is how the tracks progressively become more sophisticated and the guitar voicings and backings more intricate and layered, yet without a corresponding dip in intensity or exuberance. It's a worthy introduction to one among many extraordinary styles on the African continent.