The Rainbows – Futhi

• “Futhi” set to a picture of the housing album cover.

8.5 “Excellent Africana from South Africa”

From the v/a compile “Zulu Jive/Umbaqanga” (Earthworks ELP-2002) issued in 1983.

It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the recording date for this one but it sounds to me like quite a fresh production from around the same time that it was released on Earthworks, actually one of the first long-players to be released on the Sterns’ imprint.

In the UK, the name of Sterns has long been synonymous with African music, and the London shop/label was, for a long time, the largest distributor of African records outside of Paris.

On this compile, Josh Sithole’s backing group, The Rainbows, proferred a neat-line in accordion/guitar jive, and stepped into the limelight once or twice for the main billing. The vibrant “Futhi”, which can loosely be translated as “again” or “furthermore”, demonstrates excellence in the mbaqanga genre. They are the real deal.

The album is long out-of-print but can be downloaded for free from the mind-boggling Global Groove treasure trove.

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