Moshe Sephula, Bantu High Life

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Recorded in 1967, Bantu High Life is a strange curio that depicts a culture in flux. On one hand, Rev. Moshe Sephula is playing simple contemporary folk songs from his native South Africa. On the other, he is recording many of them with triadic intervals, making for a decidedly Western sound. Sephula's subjects also offer a split: between the deeply traditional to the nascent, bustling metropolis. You can hear the difference easily on something like "Emgalezweni," whose tale of Christ upon the cross is plaintively sung and "Busy Bee," which celebrates a local rugby team and features joyous trumpet from Eddie Quansah.