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Kalahari Surfers


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Formed in 1982, the Kalahari Surfers was essentially a string of studio projects realised by Warrick Sony at Shifty Studios during the 80’s. These involved various personel from that environment whose names were altered or simply reduced to first names to safeguard against security dirty tricks persecution.The band itself was a fictional collective designed to dodge any flak that may have appeared from these forces. The first release was inspired by the do-it-yourself punk ethic and was a cassette packaged in a silver spray painted box containing 60 minutes of music all recorded in a bedroom on a 4 track Portastudio. It was titled ‘Gross National Product’.

Material was made up of early tape experiments, audio collage , songs , cyclic trance tracks accompanied by free verse and looping bass/drum ideas. The Surfers second release was a double single package released on the Pure Freude label in Germany and consisted of 4 sides of heavy dub influenced songs. German group CAN were involved with this label and were an important influence on the Surfers sound at this time. Some of the Canterbury music scene bands in England were influential on the surfers sound but mostly the work of Robert Wyatt and Henry Cow. Weirdly these artists were the Surfers introduction to the South African exile jazz sound of Mongezi Feza , Dudu Pukwana and Johnny Dyani which also inspired them. Dudu played with Henry Cow at one point.


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