Silex, France (via Harmonia Mundi in US)

cd cover Squashbox = accordions, melodeons, concertinas.
They are the very building blocks of a healthy musical life, and this collection is teeming with those little squeezy reeds in a look at the concertina music of the Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho people of southern Africa from 1930 to 1965. How this little instrument that only arrived on the continent in the mid-1800s became one of the cornerstones of popular music here is anyone's guess. But it is an amazing sound, and as adapted to the local music, so unusual as to seem like it grew up there as part of the local culture.

Zondie and Sindane
(30 sec. excerpt)
Interesting ties are made here, like the E.G.B. Zondie and Sindane, whose string band style pulls together both Zulu and Boer elements in a unique swing sound. Players like Enoch Malobo are precursors of the thundering township jive of the '80s. His playing and singing intertwine in a unique, driving groove, while Zondie and Sindane have an almost string-band swing to their music. In all there are 25 marvelous examples of this music. These are not only valuable historical documents, they are a roaring good set of songs and dances from any period. - CF

accordions return to rootsworld