Don Laka’s South African synth funk reissued on vinyl





One of the first commercial records made on a Fairlight in South Africa.

Cultures of Soul are reissuing Don Laka’s debut LP, I Wanna Be Myself, this November.

Read more: How jazz became the music of resistance in apartheid South Africa

After completing music school, Don Laka was unable to enrol at the Pretoria Conservatoire due to apartheid laws, so he took a job as a grocery store clerk.

Joining jazz outfit Sakhile in the early ‘80s, Laka was introduced to synths by Harari’s Alec Khaoli, and soon began experimenting with the Oberheim, Juno, and Prophet 5, while using a Commodore 64 to sequence them.

I Wanna Be Myself was one of “the first commercial record made on a Fairlight in this country”, recalls Laka.

The new reissue follows Culture of Soul’s reissue of Bro David’s 1984 Modern Music From Belize. A combination of Belizean brukdown music and funk, soul and disco picked up in the US, it was one of favourite albums from September.

Head here for more info in advance of its 22nd of November release, check out the tracklist below.


Side A

1. Don’t You Like It
2. Need To Love
3. Falling In Love With Love

Side B

1. Let’s Celebrate
2. I Wanna Be Myself
3. Let’s Move The Night