Prog is a four letter word..right? So is ‘rock’, ‘jazz’ and ‘folk’ , these genres combined with classical and blues, are the foundation stones of what music scribes like to call ‘progressive music’ or ‘prog’. From rock’s emergence in the 60’s as a cultural force to be reckoned with , there have been artists and groups that have sought to push the boundaries of music, to step outside the box and blaze new musical frontiers without a nod to the crass pop commercialism
of the ‘industry’. Far from the acid drenched musical meanderings of the mid to late 60’s San Franciscan psychedelic rock experience, musicians globally, and in particular in the prog crucible of the United Kingdom, were creating challenging new music. Experimenting with abstract time signatures, unpredictable chord changes and incorporating influences from around the globe including Indian, Celtic, Arabic and African sounds, a new, thought provoking genre was born. In the UK, bands like Yes, Gentle Giant, Jade Warrior, Gravy Train, Audience and the like influenced hordes of emerging bands across the world.
In the early 70’s South Africa was in it’s third decade of self inflicted political and cultural isolation. Despite a concerted effort by the then Nationalist government to ‘protect the youth’ by blocking the flow of progressive cultural ideas via a series of bannings,restrictions and high import tariffs, rock music per se, and all it represented, managed to reach these Southern shores and inseminate a flowering home grown rock revolution….Although some groups simply emulated the sounds of their international counterparts, some South African bands embraced their African roots, drawing on home grown melodic and rhythmic structures, meshing them with European influences and producing a heady variant of progressive music that fits snugly alongside their international compatriots.
“Slowly …from the South” showcases the cream of South African prog rock of the last 40 years. Tucked inside you will hear the music of some of South Africa’s heavyweight musical sons & daughters, some familiar and others only recognised in name but never heard outside these southern shores, until now. Although it documents predominantly the 70’s and 80’s it also includes several current artists who are blazing new frontiers in progressive music.
“Slowly….” is the culmination of close to two years of research and planning, tracking down long lost masters, photos and information, at times akin to a Sherlock Holmes investigation..The concept credit really belongs to Tertius Louw, who is rightly regarded worldwide as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of South African popular music. Without his knowledge, extensive music and pictorial database this release would not have seen the light of day.
– Benjy Mudie March 2009
“This double cd compilation is unique in it’s kind. It is the first indigenous compilation set that showcases the cream of South African musicians who explored both jazz and prog rock genres during the seventies and beyond. A number of the artists also enjoyed international presence with their musical output and the tracks appearing on this cd were taken from sought-after albums that are fetching exorbitant prices on E-Bay these days”.
– Tertius Louw
Many of the artist’s albums featured on this compilation can be purchased online at www.freshmusic.co.za
1. Duncan McKay’s Chimera – Morpheus (edit) 8.38
2. Abstract Truth – Original man 3.40
3. Hawk – Slowly towards the North 15.05
4. Canamii – Come and fly 4.55
5. Impi – Sun 5.27
6.The Kalahari Surfers – Grensvegter 6.24
7. McCully Workshop – Stone man 9.47
8. The Square Set – Boys and girls together 6.35
9. The Tidal Wave – Get it out of your system 2.29
10. The Invaders – Ocean of peace 4.22
11. Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed – Tao Ch’ang Wu Wei 4.38
1. Assagai – Telephone girl 4.25
2.The Third Eye – Awakening 14.00
3.Freedom’s Children – About the dove and his King 3.34
4.Wildebeest – Hottentotsgot 4.02
5.Otis Waygood – In the sun 8.12
6.éVoid – Urban warrior 5.43
7.Ramsay MacKay – Saint Judas 5.10
8.Rabbitt – And the planets danced 3.49
9.Falling Mirror – Theme from a dream 3.18
10.Jack Hammer – Tribal fence
11.Off the Edge – Grandfather Time 6.37
12.David’s Confession – Sometimes 9.49
13. Neill Solomon – Magic Man 4.45