Amampondo - Electric Pondoland
Drums & Percussion


alt iTunes


Amampondo means people of mpondo from the Transkei of South Africa.

This is one of 3 albums released at the same time celebrating the 25th Anniversary of South Africa's most highly regarded percussion and marimba band who have toured the globe for a quarter of a century. Electric Pondoland features Amampondo's many collaboration with international dance and Electronica groups mainly Juno Reactor who are well known for their Hollywood film music for blockbuster films like MATRIX, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO and MORTAL COMBAT.

Amampondo, formed in 1979, has always attracted the attention of sonic collaborators. From the booming trance remixers of the mid-nineties to the cyber producers of today. With the emphasis of rhythm on the 21st century dancefloor, DJs have also been lining up to get a sample of the Mpondo power beats. We lifted a few choice cuts from among the many creative artists and producers who have been inspired by Amampondo. I hope you enjoy listening to how traditional African music can revive the digital and laptop revolution, whilst maintaining its inherent dignity. Robert Trunz


Track Listing (30 Second Samples) 

1. HO HO HO (3:30)
Saafi Brothers and Amampondo feat. Mabi Thobejane?Michael Kohlbecker, Gabriel Le Mar, Dizu Plaatjies, Michel Ludonga, Mandla Lande, Simpiwe Matole, Mabi Thobejane
Recorded at the Bowlcourt Juno Reactor studio in London during the Nottinghill Carnival of 1997. German Saafi Brothers are one of three groups to collaborate with Amampondo in 1997 in an attempt to get their rhythms into the club scene which was topping popularity. An acoustic live gig at Bagleys in Kings Cross around the same time proofed to be immensely popular with the club youth of London.
Composition by Kohlbecker/Le Mar and Amampondo
Published by Warner Chappel/Melt 2000 Publishing

Amampondo (remix by Chris Lewis and Nick Cohen in London UK)Composition by Amampondo publsihed by MELT 2000 SA
Original track from the album Vujani (BWSA2143)
Chris Lewis is responsible for a lot of Amampondo's recordings over the past decade. He has toured extensively with the group making sure the audience is served a proper front of the house mix putting across the raw and beautiful sounds of South Africa's master percussionists and marimba players.

Madosini (Azanian Pulse Remix by Rudeboy Paul)
Taken from the album RUDEBOY  AZANIAN PULSE (CDRBP 001)
When in Joburg tune into 99.2 YFM send hear DJ Rudeboy's offering of the hottest local and proudly South African music  a programme that makes YFM not just another youth station ! Rudeboy remixed Melt's traditional Xhosa artist Madosini taking her right smack into the centre of the dance floor. Madosini is well know by World Music lovers because of her many global appearances with Amampondo and solo gigs at the WOMAD festivals across the globe. The original track appears on Madosini's album Power to the Women. To top up Madosini'
s popularity she recently collaborated with Thandiswa of Bongo Muffin which was documented by national TV station SABC1.

Madosini, Dizu Plaatjies and Mzwandile Qotoyi ( MOZAIK UK remix)Remix using samples from the album MADOSINI  POWER TO THE WOMEN (BWSA 108)
Composition by Madosini , Dizu Plaatjies and Mzwandile Qotoyi
Published by MELT 2000 Publishing
Remixed by Juno Reactor collaborator Mike McGuire and Voodo People in London around the time when the collaboration between Juno and Amampondo was in its infancy.

LESLEY 4WAY (5:22)
Kris Weston
Kris Weston  Producer
Simpiwe Matole - Marimba Solo
Dan Zamani - Marimba Treatments
Composed by Simpiwe Matole (published by MELT 2000 Publishing) and Kris Weston This track originates from one of 3 different collaboration of AMAMPONDO with members of the Dance and Electronica elite. This time Simpiwe went into the studio with ex ORB member Kris Weston which resulted in a full length album to be released internationally by the artist. Lesley 4Way gives a taste of what Kris was up to during the recording of the album which took place not long after he left ORB.

Amampondo Composed by Amampondo lyrics by Dave Mayakane  Published by MELT 2000
Vocals by Dave Mxolise Mayakane
Remixed by Cape Town's most groovy and danceable label  Mama Dance! alt
Special thanks and respect to Craig McGahey for his help and strong belief in local artists.

Embo (remix by Ragga and 2Les)
Composed by Mantombe Matotiyana, original recorded by Chris Lewis at Brownhill Farm Studios England
Remixed at the Music With No Name Studio in Cullinan, South Africa 2005
Published by MELT 2000 Publishing

Composed by D Plaatjies, S Matole, M Qotoyi, M Lande & N Ludonga, Published by MELT2000 PUBLISHING LTD
From the Outernational Meltdown recordings in Cape Town 1994, first released on BW077 Healers Brew

INNER CITY (6:25)alt Lungiswa (remix by THE GRID)  LungiswaÙs Xhosa rendition of Marvin Gaye's song attracted UK outfit THE GRID who came up with this remix. Lulu, who performed with Amampondo for over a decade, sings about the homeless and orphan children of Johannesburg. In 2000 she released her first solo album with MELT produced by Tony Thorpe in London.The original version can be found on her album called Lungiswa  Ekhaya (BWSA 106)  Original composition by MARVIN GAYE,JAMES HYX with her own lyrics in Xhosa by LULU PLAATJIES Publisher Jobete Music

Dizu Plaatjies, Greg Hunter and Nandipha Nojilana
Recorded by Greg Hunter at 40 Washington Street in Langa township (Cape Town) in 1999 and effects added at Greg's studio in London.
The music was composed by Dizu, Greg and Nandipha. GregÙs gift encountering traditional artists lead through a series of great ambient orientated albums of which Alien Soap Opera  Second Wave remains my all time favourite. Following the recordings of Lotus Blossom with Pops Mohamed in Johannesburg Greg embarked on a couple of projects in Cape Town with Warrick Sony (Kalahari Surfer) and Dizu Plaatjies. So far this is the only track to be released from the Langa secordings with Dizu Plaatjies - a short extract from the work with Warrick can be found on the album AFRICA MELTDOWN vol.1
Lyrics by Dizu Plaatjies and Nandipha Nojilana
Dizu and Nandipha published by MELT 2000 Publishing, Greg Hunter by Copyright Control

SALAWENA (5:54)alt
Amampondo (Dub remix by Smith & Mighty in Bristol UK)
Previously unpublished Dub version of the original Salawena remix first released on the album Music With No Name Vol.2 Electric Melt ELM 8011, Original version of Salawena on the Amampondo album DRUMS FOR TOMORROW (BWSA 096) Composition by DIZU PLAATJIES,LUNGILE GADEZWENI,MANTOMBI MATOTIYANI  Published by MELT 2000 Publishing

JOURNEY (8:48)
Amampondo and Juno Reactor
Ben Watkins, Taz Alexander, Nick Burton, Mabi Thobejane, Michael Ludonga,Dizu Plaatjies, Simpiwe Matole, Mandla Lande Composition by Ben Watkins, Nick Burton, Mabi Thobejane, Michael Ludonga,Dizu Platjies, Simpiwe Matole, Mandla Lande and published by MUTE SONG.MCPS and MELT2000 Publishing
Juno ReactorÙs Ben Watkins first encountered Amampondo during a recording session in Johannesburg back in 1995. A couple of years later Ben invited members of Amampondo and Mabi Thobejane into his Bowlcourt Studio in London where the foundations for a longstanding collaboration started. Since then Amampondo toured the world with Juno Reactor stunning young fans from London to Tokyo.
Published by MUTE Songs and MELT 2000 Publishing

13. HULE LAM (4:01)
Juno Reactor feat. Amampondo
Ben Watkins, Mabi Thobejane (conga solo), Michael Ludonga,Dizu Platjies, Simpiwe Matole, Mandla LandeFrom JunoÙs album SHANGO, "Hule Lam" was included on the TV series "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" Composition by Ben Watkins and Amampondo Published by MUTE SONG and MELT2000 Publishing

In case you feel a bit tired here comes Mabi drumming as fast as a beat machine!
Pssst  did you know you can download the entire MELT catalogue from iTunes

Special thanks to:
All the Amampondo (past, present and future) family for giving us great rhythms for the last 25 years  respect !
Lenny and Rouvanne van den Berg  keep on promoting our local artists!!

All the collaborators and remixers for the respect you show in your work?Ragga for the flow....etry !
This album was compiled by Zwelakhe Zwane aka Ragga & Robert Trunz at the Cullinan Farm right on the border to Mpumalanga!
Mastered by Chris Lewis