This is a compilation of tracks from The ON label which was active in South Africa between 1987-1992, an era following the end of the apartheid regime and defining the new sound of Young Black South Africa in the early 90s. TIP!
The late 1980s in the rainbow nation was a time when disco was mutating into what was becoming known as Bubblegum: pop music aimed at the black population of South Africa.
Bubblegum was a response to Western styles like disco and the fast spreading house music which originally came from the black ghettos of Chicago and New York. When the second Summer of Love took over the UK in 1988, firstÂ house, and other electronic music styles conquered South Africa as well. DIY - do it yourself - a motto that had already appeared in the punk movement, lifted the young local scene to the next level. With a minimal set up - keyboards, some drum machines and samplers it was suddenly possible to make music without having to rent expensive studios.
The Bees are probably the most sought after group, releasing only one album in 1988 and a handful singles that are now highly collectible.
Themba Wawelela is a prolific South African artist/producer who is best known as 'Little Big Man'.
Another star of the ON Record stable, Mafika Shabalala set himself apart from the rest with his lyrical skills, sung over the homegrown dance rhythms that soon gave rise to kwaito and later bubblegum.
Whoosha released an album called “Mosquito” in 1987, which was produced by Julian Laxton, Ronnie Robot and the late Charles Sejeng who was the voice of the group. Two tracks of that album are featured on this compilation.
As the only female singer on this compilation Pamela Nkutha proves that her brand of bubblegum pop is never less than utterly fresh and original.