Mothers Township Sessions

Back in the mid-’80s, a group of women from the impoverished communities of Cape Town, South Africa formed a choir in attempt to spread messages of health and nutrition to community members through one of the most powerfully persuasive cultural forces available: music. Recordings of the Philani Mothers, originally released on cassette tapes in 1998, as one of a number of social initiatives in the region, have today been given the electronic once-over by some fairly familiar names in the world of synthesised grooves. Nitin Sawhney provides one of the hotter cuts with "Milk,” blending his trademarked soulful broken beat sound with the spliced-up vocals of the choir, while Kid Loco maintains his sunshiny self, mixing horns and spirited harmonics on "Learning.” Producers Faze Action and Layo & Bushwacka also turn in some reasonable interpretations, but the big name competition is soundly outdone by Manasseh, who turns in a skankin’ dubbed-out mix of "Home” that makes the best use of the Mothers’ lazy vocals. An interesting twist to close out Township Sessions comes via the track "Likufanele,” which first appeared on Zero 7’s Simple Things and that, upon second review, gives sole writing credits to the Philani Mothers. (Mr. Bongo)