Cultures Of Soul Records are a cool as fuck label coming out of Boston, MA and as they proclaim “we release lost eclectic vintage sounds that you can dance to! “. We’re talking Afro Funk, SA Synth Boogie, Boogie Funk from Brazil, Roots Reggae from Boston, Jazz Funk, J-Pop Boogie, Sade synth digi covers, and loads more of the ‘which section can we put this into’ music that we love here.
Even though this got a release in March, this fine LP from South Africa’s Space Cats is totally worth further exploration and scrutiny. This is tough and funky Afro -soul music that sounds unlike a lot of the sounds coming out of South Africa in 1981 when this, their only record was released on the Rejoice label. Barely heard at the time never mind since, ‘Something New’ is a raw document of a band that really should have gone further but they only survived a year before the business caused their break-up.
A five-man band fronted by singer/bassist Themba “T’Rex” Mzwakali and singer/guitarist Santy Dladala, Space Cats were a gigging band and you can hear it, this is a band that gets right down into the pocket. Disco and Boogie flavoured but with a fire in the heart. Insanely funky bass lines, yearning voices that sometimes veer into Temptations territory and louche but lively rhythm guitar work. Perhaps their divergence from what was being created in other parts of SA is due to their locale, a mining city called Witbank, near Johannesburg but not big city life. This is real funk with a touch of Afro-Rock, carved out from working and playing hard, music to dance and cry to…Larry Levan would have loved this record if he had the opportunity to hear it. Can’t recommend it enough, get some Space Cats in your life!