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Boomkat Product Review:
Afrosynth’s guided tour of golden era South African dance music reaches the pivotal year of 1991 with the palpable optimism felt in Citi Express’ kwaito-style slant on garage-house and soul, including a 10 minute riff on a Stevie Wonder evergreen.
Citi Express’ sought-after 1991 album ‘Living For The City’ simply brims with a good times feel that can be heard to reflect a renewed buzz in the long suffering country. The sound clearly parallels movements in US and UK and beyond, but with a directness and soul particular to South African dance music. The production feels notably more sophisticated and in key with the likes of NYC deep house and garage or soul music from London at the time.
They hustle the garage/hip house buzz of ‘It’s Too Late’ next to what could almost be the Burrell Brothers sampling MLK in the robust, bass-led piano jam ‘Love Is the Message’, and nods to silky Larry Heard on ‘Victim of Your Love’. However that’ only half the story as they also come equally correct on a downbeat street soul tip between the gospel soul of ‘People of the World’, a 10 minute pearl ‘Living for the City’ channelling Stevie Wonder via Soul II Soul, and the semi-rapped/sung swinger ‘Open Invitation’ blushing with FM synth work.