In the wake of a 2020 edition of Movement in the City's second album Black Teardrops (1981), Sharp-Flat returns with a prequel by way of a reissue of the band's self-titled debut from 1979.
As the 1970s were drawing to a close, the epic Black Disco studio project with its signature pairing of drum machine and organ had run its course. After delivering a killer trilogy of cosmic lounge outings dating back to 1975, the group yearned for funkier grooves and the core trio of composer Pops Mohamed on organ with Basil Coetzee on tenor sax and Sipho Gumede on bass decided to hire a drummer and rebrand as Movement in the City. In contrast with the New Age detachment of Black Disco, Movement in the City was conceptually grounded in the bleak social realism depicted on its photographic album covers and leaned into the vivid sensibilities of library music from the era. Blending Cape jazz with funk and soul, the group's output evokes a soundtrack for South African city life at the outset of the 1980s while nodding allegorically to the subterranean movements that were in the course of shaking the cage for political change.
With its cast of jazz fusion all-stars, Movement in the City is the manifesto of a band in transition - a bold and slick first offering that delivers a modern South African sound capable of both the funky exuberances of "Mister Lucky" as well as the down-home pathos of "Blue Sunday." Restored from its original tape masters and released in partnership with As-Shams Archive and Pops Mohamed, this rare artefact of South African jazz history is back in print for the very first time since its original 1979 release.