Professor Rhythm - Bafana Bafana (LP)
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Professor Rhythm's 1991 recording Professor 3 is a vivid reflection of urban South Africa as apartheid was ending. Thami Mdluli's production project had young and old dancing to a sound that sought to unite Blacks within Southern Africa. "Our music gave hope to the hopeless," he says. Professor Rhythm's third instrumental album (which contains some background vocals, to be exact), portrays the moment when the dominant mbaqanga and American R&B-based bubblegum sounds being produced in Johannesburg and other urban centers were transforming into house and hip-hop-inspired kwaito. The pop of the 80's and all that went with it - from the models of synths and drum machines to the lyrical style - gave way to a changing melodic emphasis and new, much slower tempi using a completely different rhythmic skeleton.