Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Star Taxi Music 3 - 1988 South African taxi pop

Have you ever taken a minicab in London and loved the music playing and asked the taxi driver if you could buy it off them? I have.

In the bins at Dalston Oxfam Shop this week I discovered two tapes made by SABTA, the South African Black Taxi Association. I can't find virtually any information about them on the net, but they are musical compilations made of mostly South African pop from 1988 interspersed with some hilarious ads and commentary, intended for taxi drivers to play for their passengers during rides. This is not just irony in action, however. Some of the tunes are really great and this cassette and music will not appear anywhere on ebay or the net. I think my favorite track on here is Siyaya E Jerusalema by the Holy Spirits Choir, but also very good are Money by Splash and Ushukela Mningi Lapha by Ashiko. But you have to listen to some of the interludes as well.

This post was featured on BBC6 on 26 Oct. :)

Side A
(download all of Side A in one file here)

Interlude 1
Splash - Money
Interlude 2

Brenda Fassie - Party Time
Interlude 3
Sox - Don't Call Me
Interlude 4

Kamazu - Ju Ju Lady
Interlude 5 (interview with Rebecca)
Rebecca - Cheated
Interlude 6
Alexander O'Neal - Criticize
Interlude 7
The Jets - I Do You
Interlude 8
Mordillo - Cry Peter Tosh
Interlude 9
Peter Tosh - Equal Rights
Interlude 10
Coyote - Who's the Lord of the House
Interlude 11
Holy Spirits Choir - Siyaya E Jerusalema
Interlude 12
Vusi Shangi - Remake the World

Side B

Interlude 1
Chimora - Some More My Cherry
Interlude 2
Ashiko - Ushukela Mningi Lapha
Interlude 3
New Taxi - Don't Play with Fire
Interlude 4
Pat Shange - Undecided Divorce Case
Senyaka - Jordaan
Interlude 5
Gladys Knight & The Pips - Love Overboard
Interlude 6
Umoja - Money Money
Interlude 7
United Congregational Church Choir - He's the Only Way
Pure Gold - La Hao Le Teng
Interlude 8
Mr. D & the G Men - She Doesn't Live Here Any More
Interlude 9
Bibi Nsomi - What Kind of Love is This?
Interlude 10
The Rockets - Everlasting Love


Anonymous said...

This is great but you you please put the whole tape up when you've sorted when your new upload host will be. Great site!

Steve PMX said...

hahaha what's Peter Tosh doing in there???

bardo monitor said...

There's a web store for African music called Stern's.
They have track samples that are always the first 60 seconds of each tune. Here's the link for a gospel CD that hfeatures Holy Spirits Choir and this other dynamite ensemble called Holy Cross Choir:

The player opens when you click a note beside a track listing. A great collection of intros.

dalston shopper said...

Yeah, when I did a little searching it seemed that Holy Cross Choir is one of the few that had some other reference points. But none of the tracks I heard sounded quite like this one. Maybe because it's from the 80's.

bardo monitor said...

I have a cassette of the whole album that Holy Spirits Choir "Jerusalema" number is on. No info, just their name.
A friend brought it from Africa maybe 20 years ago, and made me a copy.

You de Man! You posted Holy Spirits Choir! Victory Music.

red one said...

thanks for posting this

squirmles said...

This tape sounds particularly awesome! but really I'm posting cos I just read this and thought of you:,,1927669,00.html
- the article-writer is lamenting having to get rid of his huge 90's dance collection, he ends up giving it all to...THE OXFAM SHOP IN DALSTON!
I wouldn't dream of telling you what to put with your blog or anything, but, a rave version of Van Halen's "Jump"? "Trance Orgasm Express"? "Naked In The Rain"? Whigfield? This stuff needs preserving for posterity's sake! erm...doesn't it?

dalston shopper said...

yeah. But the world of vinyl is completely different. And this article is an exaggeration anyway. He probably dropped some records off but you couldn't fit that many into a car boot for sure. Anyway, there are always good records up there for finding, but usually the selection of cassettes is more amusing to me.

squirmles said...

Fair enough - I think it's just cos I'm jealous! Up here, the ratio of cool stuff to Lena Martell/Sydney Devine(both big in Scotland, or at least in Scotland's charity shop bins)/"No Parlez" seems to be exponentially smaller...

Al said...

Just a small technical question. Are the downloaded tracks supposed to end suddenly or is this some problem on my end?

dalston shopper said...

I haven't noticed that the tracks are cutting off for some reason. But for some of the mp3s, which are interludes of the mc, it appears there is a cut because the next mp3 starts at the end. The original cassette is a straight mix, so I had to cut them somewhere or post the whole mix. If you want to download al the mp3s, then it should flow smoothly.

Anonymous said...

where can i get the full version of these songs?

benjamin said...

Nice one! Actually I believe the tape was made by Star Music, a full on taxi promo music service. When I was in Angola, I noticed the "candongueiros" - the minibuses, pretty much the only form of public transportation - played a huge role in promoting artists. Artists will pay to get their music played in candongueiros, where commuters get stuck in traffic for hours. Not uncommon to find beat up subwoofers pounding kuduro kicks all day long...

Star Music is at

I'm actually discussing this form of music promotion, among other topics, in two panels I'm moderating for Berlin Music Week:

Food for thought ;-p