whispers in the deep

Matt Temple, of the excellent African music blog Electric Jive, has just uploaded another fascinating compilation of rare and historical sounds. This time the focus is on music and censorship in South Africa, and tracks span the period from 1960 to 1994. Accompanying the download link is an essay by Peter M Stewart, written in 2003, when this compilation was originally made, which provides some context for listening.

whispers in the deep

“Given the recent Secrecy Bill passed by the South African Parliament it’s worth reflecting on music that caught the attention of the censors during the previous dark period of Apartheid… this is a compilation I put together for private distribution in August 2003, almost 10 years ago. It fits the Bill!

Whispers in the Deep collects a number of anthems, agit-pop songs, and propaganda pieces. Many of the tracks were intended as direct responses to the South African social order as it was prior to 1994. The other tracks might as well have been. Nevermind the revolution, nothing was televised in South Africa prior to 1976.

Whispers in the Deep also documents some of the ways in which access to popular music was restricted in South Africa – the obstacles that prevented persons resident in South Africa from listening to songs, hearing them broadcast, or seeing them performed. It explores the cultural boycott, censorship by the state in South Africa, and various manifestations of the ‘climate of censorship’.”

Read more and download it HERE.