EFF sets the record straight with new sounds

CityPress - - News - GUGULETHU MH­LUNGU gugulethu.mh­lungu@city­press.co.za

Ev­ery rev­o­lu­tion needs a sound­track, and no one un­der­stands that bet­ter than the red berets of the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters (EFF).

The party first re­leased mu­sic two years ago and now they’ve done it again.

It was a dou­ble disc called Um­notho, which means wealth, (Disc 1) and Jazz Hour (Disc 2). This was fol­lowed by the launch of the very catchy gqom beat Zupta Must Fall in March this year.

The first re­lease is prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant of the two.

The new disc is called Our Last Hope EFF and fea­tures seven tracks that draw on some of the big­gest mu­sic sounds in the coun­try.

Track one is a catchy gospel-Afrop­unk fu­sion track with the catchy cho­rus “EFF mina ngi­hamba wena” (EFF I am choos­ing/go­ing with you). The beat sounds like the kind that’s per­fect for do­ing iiStep at a wed­ding. It’s fol­lowed by an up­beat Dur­ban House-type song with a fe­male vo­cal­ist singing about the suf­fer­ing and chal­lenges of black South Africans and how they need to open their eyes.

The re­frain says that peo­ple’s moth­ers are still wash­ing peo­ple’s dishes as do­mes­tic work­ers while fa­thers con­tinue to work un­der­ground. The song says the EFF is “ithemba lethu lokugcina” (our last hope).

The over­all sound of the al­bum is well pro­duced and EFF na­tional spokesper­son Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi wouldn’t say who had worked on the al­bum (at the re­quest of some of the col­lab­o­ra­tors), but con­firmed it was a va­ri­ety of peo­ple. There is a catchy hip-hop track that an­nounces the EFF’s ar­rival fea­tur­ing Julius Malema over a cool bass heavy beat.

Track six opens with a voice that sounds like Nd­lozi’s but he says he didn’t sing on the al­bum. How­ever, Woza 2016’s mes­sage is EFF irat­laba ro­belela, sizon­gena ngeSo­cial­ism...” (Come 2016, we will come in with so­cial­ism) un­der what sounds like another great gospel jam. I sus­pect this will be a hit at ral­lies and marches – it’s a re­sound­ing and con­fi­dent call from the party that I think sup­port­ers will love.

Per­haps the most stand­out song is the fi­nal track on the new Disc 1 which, in a cap­pella style, with a choir, im­plores “mabawuyeka umh­laba wethu/sikhalela iziwe lethu” (let them leave our land alone, we are cry­ing for our land/coun­try). The mes­sage is re­peated for the one minute and 33 sec­onds the song plays.

It’s emo­tive and pow­er­ful, and track 1 on the Jazz al­bum picks up from where it left off with a rous­ing song about how aw­ful this place is (“yimbi lendawo”).

It opens with re­peated gun­shots while the lead singer says “siyay­is­aba lendawo, yimbi lendawo” (we are afraid of this place, this place is ter­ri­ble) be­fore ask­ing that Malema save “us”.

There is also an homage to black con­scious­ness leader Steve Biko. It is an a cap­pella track on the Jazz al­bum that is about how, in 1976, we woke up to go and find our Biko and, when we woke up in 2016, we were look­ing for him again.

“Bayakhala aba­fundi, ayakhala ama fighter, bayakhala abo­mama, bayakhala abazali” (the learn­ers are cry­ing, the fighters are cry­ing, the moth­ers and par­ents are cry­ing). The 12-track se­cond disc (Jazz Hour 2) touches on many of the feel­ings of hurt, frus­tra­tion, dis­en­fran­chise­ment and con­tin­u­ing strug­gle that are so much a part of the South African ex­pe­ri­ence.

It cap­tures that ex­pe­ri­ence well and with some pretty good beats and melodies. Most poignant is track four on the Jazz Hour disc, which speaks of how “we saw them killing them at Marikana” and then asks “Sithini makunje?” (what do we do when it’s like this?) be­fore say­ing that the po­lice who mur­dered the mine work­ers “were sent by ANC deputy pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa”. You can down­load Our Last Hope EFF and Jazz Hour 2

from ef­fight­ers.org.za/down­loads

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