Determined London-born producer, Barney Rattle, has spent the past twenty years working with musicians from South Africa and across the globe to change the face of black musical history – helping 100’s of musicians living in poverty, whilst building equality by introducing South African music to the western world.To celebrate two decades of progress, Rattle has now released an iconic six-album song collection, featuring all the artists he has recorded and worked with throughout his journey.
From 1996 to 2001, Barney Rattle and Lennox Tom lived and breathed township music. Whilst living in the ghettos of Cape Town, the pair started multiple campaigns to bring tourism to the area and helped arrange over 100 live concerts in Cape Town and its downtown district. They built two studios and three rehearsal rooms and worked with 100’s of township musicians to record over 300 songs, release eleven albums and make four music videos.
Barney’s next steps were to introduce the music to the rest of the world. By remixing his collaborations to fit into western culture, Barney believed the South African musicians could find acceptance within the elite group of wealthy partygoers hailing in Ibiza. This was a natural route into market and a great way to increase awareness of the music.
Barney Rattle is now releasing ‘African Storybook of Songs’ – six genre-spanning albums made up of 70 of the best songs produced throughout the 20-year journey. The compilation includes collaborations with a diverse range of artists including the likes of London-based DJ/producer Lennox Tom, jazz pianist and singer-songwriter Don Laka and jazz ensemble Abavuki. Covering material from the nineties to the current day, the album takes the listener on a sonic adventure sporting elements of electronica, jazz, reggae and funk, all infused with Barney Rattle’s distinct afropop stylings.
‘African Storybook of Songs’ comprises:
- Africa House
- African Township Funk
- African Storybook of Songs
- African Hustle
- African Chill Out
- African Roots Reggae
With the help of funds raised by the album, Barney and his team will continue their mission to bring South African music to western society. They are planning a series of live shows in the UK early next year, and Barney has also recently been working on a number of film and TV projects about the great music and history of South Africa, including the soon to launch ‘Love Music Show’.