Kumasi was a South African supergroup. The member’s work as musicians in South Africa dates back to the early ‘70s, recording with various projects around the Johannesburg area. A couple of years before Kumasi got together, Jabu Sibumbe (bass) and Lloyd Lelosa (keys) were playing with The Movers, co-writing albums of traditional, disco and jazz-funk music, and Ray Phiri (guitar, vocals) and Isaac Mtshali (drums) were core members of The Cannibals, who led a similar path through musical trends of the time. Both groups created a sound that was matched by few, and their back-catalogs remain to be a testament to the high caliber of their musicianship.
The four wanted to collaborate on a new project, however, The Cannibals were under contract to Gallo Records, a South African major label, which prevented them from recording releases under a different name. This meant Kumasi had to record anonymously to avoid breaking their agreements. Nazir Osman, a local music lover and candy salesman, was passionate about their music as The Movers & The Cannibals and offered to produce the hidden supergroup on his label, Kongas. They fused together, creating a unique blend of disco funk with emotive off-kilter vocals and a special South African tinge. Listening to the album, it’s apparent that the musicality displayed could be linked to its mysterious members. A further piece of the puzzle can be revealed listening to Stimela, one of South Africa’s most beloved groups; the group that Kumasi inevitably morphed into.
Kumasi reached heights of musicianship few artists from South Africa did. Their combination of interesting key changes and an unrelenting rhythm section set them apart as a legendary group in the South African ‘80s cannon.
This release presents a collection of six of their best songs. Five songs were pulled from their incredibly rare full-length LP “I Know You Feel It”, and we added their version of the South African classic, ‘Picnic’ to complete the anthology.
Remastered and Restored on 2x12” pressed at 45rpm. Comes with a protea flower sticker on the sleeve.