COKES - Babylon Water (1988)

Third World / Sounds of Soweto / Tusk, TWL 547
Producer: JP Lebona
Engineer: Craig Ballen
Recorded at: The Sound Studio

Bubblegum meets reggae on this little known album from blind singer Bra Cokes, featuring slick synth and drum programming and conscious, uplifting lyrics. Producer JP Lebona was the brother of Kaloi Lebona, who a few years earlier had helped launch Brenda's career.

"Giyany" samples Ennio Morricone's vintage western theme to pay homage to the Shangaan capital. "Afrika Mamela" warns against beating up the sisters ("Hey, what you doing to that woman? leave her alone, she's not your size").

The title track is the only track with serious reggae vibes. It cautions against the dangers of booze and gives a nod to the Rastas of Mzansi . . .

"Babylon water is poisonous, and its not good for the Rastaman.
Babylon speak is so dangerous...
It's a strange religion, but some say its a strong religion, 
It's so good for the Rastaman."
We're not strangers in this land, we've got to try, try try, try.

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