SCOTCH - JAM ALLEY / BAFANA BAFANA
Format: Vinyl - EU12''
Catalogue No.: CASA 1203
Release Date: 25th December 2020
Genre: House - Kwaito / South-Africa
By 1995 Kwaito was already a well established and distinguishable sound compared to the International House Remixes that preceded. The tempo was slowed down, Soulful vocal samples were replaced by catchy and repetitive hooks and versus sang in vernacular. The new hit sound had a template and studios worked around the clock to pump fresh releases into the demanding market.
After the successful 1995 release of Import mixes Vol 4, The Groove City team behind the productions now decided to venture into the territory of Mid Tempo. They would craft an album for a young frontman with the help of Kwaito pioneer Oscar Warona, and without much trouble, the team had their first hit on their hands. Filling the boots of their cars with copies of the cassettes and taking the stock to various townships around Johannesburg the tape quickly circulated and sold out every new batch that was printed. Demand was high for the release but as with much of the music at the time, the fast paced demand for the music moved on. Without a follow up release Scotch failed to ride the momentum built by the debut and remained largely unknown although he is still in the music industry to this day.
Even with their first artist release being a success, the following years proved more difficult in reaching such a large audience for the Kaleidosound studio. With popularity for the genre growing, the simple templates for early classics were changing as Kwaito fused with hip hop. Rapping took over as the preferred vocals for the masses. Mysterious production teams and labels that served as guides for music lovers were eclipsed by frontmen and groups that could draw crowds. The fight for fresh sounds continued as the airwaves became the main battleground for artists and the more club oriented music was pushed back underground, eventually evolving into some of the earliest examples of Deep House seen on the continent. The Kaleidosound production team would finally strike gold again in 1997 when reviving Groove City for vol. 5 which acted as the debut for the newly formed group Chiskop. The group would become superstars of the new commercial era that followed, sparking solo careers for the members and creating some of the biggest hits the genre knew.
To this day Scotch remains one of the best albums to come out of the golden era of Kwaito. Although it was outperformed by other groups from the time it has a special place for those who knew it and can still be found as a treasured piece in many collections. The various people involved created a one off fusion of sound that has remained fresh for 25 years. Playful lyrics over floaty grooves resulted in favourites like “Jam Alley” which uses catch phrases from the beloved TV show and “Bafana Bafana” guaranteed to get the boys on the dance floor. Here you have these two tracks taken from the album pressed on a club ready Maxi Single for the Deejays