Going Back to My Roots, Oh Yeh Soweto! Funky disco, covered and edited
June 2, 2013 8:09 AM   Subscribe

In 1977, Lamont Dozier, Motown veteran, released his album Peddlin' Music on the Side, featuring "the Afro-centric disco hit" Going Back to My Roots. That sound was popular in the US, and also in South Africa, where veteran alto player Teaspoon Ndelu covered the song with his group Teaspoon & the Waves as Oh Yeh Soweto, "changing the lyrics and toughening up the beat, but with the same killer riffs!" The one fault with the song could be that it's only half as long as Lamont's original. Fear not, Dr. Horn has edited the track into an extended form, which you can stream or download from Soundcloud.

"Oh Yeh Soweto" was released on the group's now-rare LP in 1980, but the track has made a comeback in recent years. One of the earlier appearances was on the 2010 UK compilation John Armstrong Presents South African Funk Experience, and it appeared on the a compilation from the Beatz and Carrots blog in 2011. This year, it was released both on a Sofrito Super Single (Sofrito, previously) and The Rough Guide to African Disco (compilation booklet PDF), which includes an embedded live video of Osibisa's Dance the Body Music.

If you're looking for more from Teaspoon Ndelu, you're in luck! The fantastic Electric Jive blog has a four-song LP from 1981, for your listening pleasure, and as much history on Ndelu as I've seen online, though I can add that it appears he has been credited as Teaspoon Ndlela at least twice, once for work on Gumboots from Paul Simon's Graceland, and then for Love is Just A Dream by Juluka.

But if what you really want is more free disco edits, check out Dr. Horn's soundcloud page. There doesn't seem to be more Afro-centric disco, but there are some great extended disco edits.
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post!
posted by box at 8:19 AM on June 2, 2013

Thanks! This stemmed from hearing Oh Yeh Soweto on a local radio station and falling instantly in love.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:24 AM on June 2, 2013

If you don't know it already, you might also enjoy Dan Boadi's 'Money is the Root of Evil.'
posted by box at 8:37 AM on June 2, 2013

But if what you really want is more free disco edits,

ohhhhhhman yes that really is what i want what i really really want, thanks FLT!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:53 AM on June 2, 2013

Pretty much the best possible use of Ableton is making 12" Dance Remixes of old songs. I especially love classic rock dance remixes that just subtly crank the bass and give the beat a little more oomph but otherwise sound like a funkier version of the Eagles or whatever. If the internet never does anything else, that will be its justification.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:55 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Well, this is the perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday morning. Electric Jive is one of those blogs that has noticeably improved the quality of my life since discovering it, SO much great music.
posted by Lorin at 9:12 AM on June 2, 2013

Potomac Avenue, then visiting Dr. Horn's Soundcloud page can be a rabbit hole of edits, as you can follow his comments to (and comments from) other edit and remix artists of the similar sorts.

Lorin, I just came across that blog in my reading up on Teaspoon & the Waves! I'm surprised it hasn't made it to the Blue before.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:21 AM on June 2, 2013

I discovered it last year through the Paths to Graceland post. I think it was linked in the fine print of the actual Kleptones.com post as one of the primary sources.
posted by Lorin at 9:28 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Resulting from a random tv commercial or something (can't remember how we discovered it!) this is my five month old's favorite song! He's mesmerized by the beat. Anyone know the translation for the lyrics?
posted by boofidies at 4:13 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have been listening to "Going Back to My Roots" literally all day. Depending on how long this affliction lasts, I'll then determine whether to thank or curse the poster.
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:00 PM on June 2, 2013

damn this is nasty funky
posted by SomaSoda at 9:00 PM on June 2, 2013

I have been listening to "Going Back to My Roots" literally all day.

Mix it up with his critique of Nixon, Fish Ain't Biting.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:58 PM on June 2, 2013

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