South African synthpop band Umoja’s apartheid-era classic 707 gets reissue through Awesome Tapes From Africa

South African synthpop band Umoja’s apartheid-era classic 707 gets reissue through Awesome Tapes From Africa
So. Much. UNITY.

If you live your life like I do, you wake up every morning praying for news about the next special edition reissue of vintage African synthpop to hit store shelves. Well, good news: God’s (probably) not dead, because today, our prayers have been answered with the announcement that the South African collective Umoja’s landmark 1988 EP 707 is being brought back to life on CD, vinyl, and digital formats by the very aptly named Awesome Tapes From Africa. It’s due May 5, and pre-orders are open over at the imprint’s Bandcamp page.

For the (Godless) uninitiated: Umoja’s classic blend of funk, synthpop, and African rhythms reflect the era’s dominant sound; but 707 is more than just culturally significant; it’s some downright priceless sociopolitical currency. According to press, “the album encapsulates the trend-setting sound Umoja played in stadiums across southern Africa that was enjoyed by mixed audiences during a time of brutal apartheid-era oppression.” Bandleader Alec Khaoli aimed to embrace the spirit of harmony, saying that Umoja’s mission was “oriented towards society, advocating uniting of people. Race was the big thing. We wanted people to come together and unite and just form a oneness.”

And just in case either your brain or your hips still need more convincing, Awesome Tapes From Africa have generously shared “Take Me High” from reissue so that you might better grasp how those intentions manifested themselves in the band’s upbeat pop sound. Get a taste of their groove-laden optimism below:

707 tracklisting:

01. Money Money (Bananas)
02. 707
03. Take Me High
04. Special Night

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