“Erube Jambo” by South African band Unity. A Voom Voom Records reissue

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“Erube Jambo” by South African band Unity. A Voom Voom Records reissue

Hi Fred and thank you for granting us this interview live from Voom Voom Shop in Cape Town.
You're welcome!

Can you introduce yourself and present your label Voom Voom Records in a few words for those who are discovering you?
I am known as Fred Spider, originally from Lyon, in music since 1981, musician, DJ, producer, collector, artistic director. Later on, I moved to Barcelona and I have been in Cape Town since 2009 where I set up 2 vintage shops and a record store, and now a label. Voom Voom Records is my 5th label (Rotax, Plein Gaz Productions, 2Siders, Blindtest and now Voom Voom Records). I would say the label is more dedicated to South African music (but not exclusively), whether traditional, funk, jazz, or electronic, I don't set any limits, and a few surprises are coming soon...

On June 11, 2024, the reissue of the album "Erube Jambo" by the South African group UNITY, originally released in 1981, will be released on your label. Can you tell us more about this group that many are discovering in Europe thanks to you?
It's a somewhat unlikely discovery, I only found 2 copies in 15 years, so I think this record is very rare and not yet known to fans of this kind of music. A reissue will finally allow enthusiasts to discover this gem. Personally, from the first listen, I had a flash. The Moog-style synth sound, the Fender Rhodes, and the unique vibe that is quite different from what you generally hear in South Africa. The melodies make it a truly unique record. This record was also produced by the best production team of the time, here we have Greg Cutler and Patric Van Blerk, among others, who are behind many local "Hits". Simbad has remastered the album and I am very happy with the result. The sound is really fat and more modern!

There is a strong funk/disco influence and we have the pleasure of discovering lyrics in English and in a South African dialect, how would you describe the style of this album?
These are not dialects but languages, here between Zulu, Shangaan, Sotho. There are 11 official languages here. "Afro Folk Funky Moog" would sound like the most appropriate definition :)

Thank you for the clarification!
What was the process for reissuing it? Is it a complex path?

The most important thing for me was to have been in contact with the band leader, Poy-Poy Makhubela. It wasn't easy to track him down (it took me almost a year). Then I had to find out who had the production rights, sign contracts, and pay for a license, nothing is given. You need to know where to push, find a distributor, and yes, it's a whole business and it takes a lot of time. I also wanted to renovate the cover which I found a bit old-fashioned, so I took care of that myself! The cool thing is that we are going to reform the band for several dates in Cape Town in November 2024 and we hope to have dates in Europe too!

Where can one get it?
The vinyl record is distributed by The Pusher based in Paris, so it should be in many stores in France (Betino, Sofa Records in Lyon, Vinyl & Coffee in Annecy...) and abroad. It is already available for pre-order on Juno UK and many other online sites. And of course, it can be downloaded on all usual platforms, but I would recommend Bandcamp of course (because most of the sales come back to me and so the musicians will also benefit!).

Are there any other projects, upcoming releases within Voom Voom Records?
Definitely, I'm already thinking about the next 8 releases!! Remixes, reissues of really rare stuff, and obviously productions from fantastic local bands. Cape Town is a super creative city, the jazz scene is fresh, vibrant, and moving forward!



Discover also our mix Exit to South Africa selected by Fred Spider

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