Strut Records is back with their Next Stop... Soweto series, offering the fourth volume in their perspective of South African music from the 20th century - running at an impressive 70 minutes. It's a mind blowing collection front to back, bursting with the cross-over synthesizer styles that were occurring all over the world between the late '70s and the early '80s. Tightly controlled by oppressive Apartheid laws, South Africa's music scene had nevertheless progressed into myriad new directions, embracing funk, soul, rock and disco.åÊ The era marked a crossroads for the country's black musicians. While domestic stars of mbaqanga like Mahotella Queens had temporarily disbanded during the onslaught of disco, younger artists like T.Y. Boys and Elias Maluleke embraced and progressed the style in new ways, adding punk and disco touches to the familiar bassline swing. Imported US R&B and the powerful socio-political message of the Afro-American soul stars, championed by pioneering producers like Hamilton Nzimande in South Africa since the '60s, continued to be a powerful force. Influenced by bands as diverse as War, Edwin Starr and Yes, as well as producers like Norman Whitfield, South African collectives including Xoliso, Marumo and Kabana new soul and rock directions, led by Zulu lyrics, township harmonies and top level musicianship.