Zulu multi-instrumentalist Noise Khanyile has been incorporating violin and mandolin into both his traditional and township jive performances since the late ’60s. He played with many of the hottest acts in South Africa including the legendary Boyoyo Boys of Johannesburg. In 1964 Noise Khanyile was still playing acoustically. He did not begin to play in a band which used drums until 1969. He went to Trutone Records, made a record, switched to EMI’s Umsakazo label but although the worked hard at several sessions, the result in being paid was a session fee of about 8 rands (UKP 0.50) a side. In 1972 he recorded with the Boyoyo Boys, a big jive band at the time.
He worked with the legendary producer West Nkosi on sessions like ‘2 Mabone’ which went gold twice for the FGB label. These ‘Mabone’ records were a bit of a craze among jive musicians. Mabone means headlight and the number describes the number of headlights on a car. There were loads of Mabone titles ‘3 Mabone’, ‘4 Mabone’ etc.
But jive music had not made much progress since it originated and consequently, the newer sounding disco took over as a popular form in the mid-’70s. Jive as a music form was put into the shade by disco music for some time, but Noise remained optimistic about its survival. Noise has never made disco records, he went back to the traditional music and also marabi, an early jive guitar picking style, where the instrumentation is guitar picking and rhythm guitar, plus occasional addition of saxophone, but no drums or bass guitar. In 1989 Noise had recorded with Mahlatini, the renowned groaner, and he made a special appearance as a member of the Jo’burg City Stars’ that same year. Text from liner notes by Carol Fawcett