ROTW: Gumba Fire!

There are plenty of funky, sunny, feel good grooves here on this awesome new Soundway compilation Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth-Boogie in 1980s South Africa! that comes out this Friday, March 9th on cd and triple 12", featuring 16 tracks fully living up to the description in its subtitle.

Basically if the terms "Bubblegum Soul" and "Synth-Boogie" sound good to you, you'll probably love this, and we think you'll understand why it's our Record Of The Week pick this time 'round as soon as your ears fasten on to the irresistible beat and catchy refrain of this comp's title track "Gumba Fire (Madlakadlaka)" by Ashiko – check it out:

Could spin that one again, and again, and again... but then, when would we listen to the rest of the cuts on this comp, which are awesome too?? Tracks by The Survivals, Stimela, Hot Soul Singers, Zoom, and all all the rest, so good.

For sure, the cover graphics don't lie (see below), it's very '80s sounding indeed, naturally with lotsa Yamaha DX7 as our synth loving pal Lee quickly noted, all of which means this has a certain retro nostalgic charm too, but the South Africa part of the equation means these are tracks that probably you (and certainly we) hadn't ever heard before, so super fresh sounding too, and thus extra ripe for the repeat spins alluded to above.

By the way, what IS a Gumba Fire? We're told that it's "derived from gumba gumba, the term given to the booming speakers of the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages. The phrase later evolved into Gumba Fire to refer to a hot party." Aha, okay.

Of course, the unique cultural/political/historical context of this music is also doubtless interesting and relevant, we assume the liner notes delve into all that but we haven't read 'em yet, too busy grooving to the music...


  1. Holy smokes - I got this based on your post and it's a total grand slam. Every single track on this comp is amazing!

  2. That's what we wanna hear, Marky! Thanks!