- For every music genre revival, there seems to be an attendant one that emanates from Africa. Fiends for fuzzy, psychedelic sludge can dig Zamrock, while disco and boogie DJs have a wealth of African material to choose from. And for those who want more synths, Cultures Of Soul's forthcoming compilation, Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth-Disco 1980-1984, will fit the bill.
The label teases that release with Benjamin Ball's "Flash A Flashlight," a 1983 track that came out around the same time as fellow South African act Brenda & The Big Dudes had a breakout hit with "Weekend Special." Ball's track is much weirder and warped, and would be maddening to the would-be trainspotter. It inhabits some parallel world between itchy reggae, queasy electro, slinky disco, naïf synth pop and proto-house, yet never quite settles into any of them. Considering its ability to tick off that many boxes, it's no wonder that it has a $300 asking price on Discogs.
On the flip, Gerd Jansons's edits don't have to do much, save for beef up the kick and synth line so that it cuts through the original's lo-fi haze. He nudges it just out of its ambiguous sound into something closer to club music, resulting in a flash that's just that much brighter.
A1 Flash A Flashlight
B1 Flash A Flashlight (Gerd Janson Vocal Edit)
B2 Flash A Flashlight (Gerd Janson Dub Edit)