Soundway highlights South Africa’s 80s Bubblegum and Synth Boogie

With the Gumba Fire compilation, Soundway Records puts the light on the funky pop music scene of South Africa’s 1980s, widely known as bubblegum.

Picture: Black Five 

Bubblegum music was born in 1980s black South Africa, from the ashes of disco. It was a “usually stripped-down and lo-fi with a predominance of synths, keyboards and drum-machines and overlaid with the kind of deeply soulful trademark vocals and harmonies that South African music is famous for,” shares Soundway.

Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth Boogie In 1980s South Africa‘s highlight the country’s musical movements between “the ’70s where American-influenced jazz, funk and soul mixed with local Mbaqanga sounds, and the ’90s when kwaito and house music ruled the dance floors of urban South Africa.” 

The name gumba fire means ‘a hot party’, and comes from the phrase ‘gumba gumba’, a term for the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages.

Listen to first single The Survivals’ ‘My Brother’ in our Afro Groove Party! playlist on Spotify or below:

Gumba Fire:Bubblegum Soul & Synth Boogie In 1980s South Africa is compiled by Miles Cleret (Soundway) and DJ Okapi (Afrosynth Records) and will be out on 9 March 2018 (vinyl, CD and digital). You can listen to the excerpts here.