Founded by Lloyd Ross and Ivan Kadey, Shifty Records was an independent South African record label which existed for over a decade beginning 1983. In 1985 Ivan Kadey left South Africa to pursue other interests, and Warrick Sony was brought in as partner with the purchase of recording equipment.
(In)famous for having their studio in a caravan hitched to a Ford bakkie and moving to various venues to record music (hence the name of the label - 'Shifting' between places), the label provided a platform for many artists to express themselves politically against the oppressive system of the time. As a result, many of their releases were banned outright and were only available through mail order or "under the counter". When not on the road to record at different venues, Shifty Records consisted of a caravan (the control room) parked in a garage next to a lone house (studio) in a derelict mining village belonging to Rand Mines and situated South West of Johannesburg.
This is how Sankomota's debut album was recorded in Lesotho (there were no recording studios in that country at the time and the artists were forbidden entry to South Africa so the Shifty caravan did the recording parked next to the premises of Radio Lesotho) and it became to be the label's first release in 1983. Instrumental in what was to become the "boerepunk" and "voëlvry" movements, other artists who have appeared on Shifty included Koos Kombuis, Bernoldus Niemand aka James Phillips (4), The Genuines, Happy Ships, Cherry Faced Lurchers, Corporal Punishment (5), Jennifer Ferguson, Johannes Kerkorrel, Kalahari Surfers, National Wake, and Tananas. Shifty Records also holds the distinction to have recorded the first Rock Album in Afrikaans: Bernoldus Niemand - Wie is Bernoldus Niemand?
In the decade of its existence Shifty Records released nearly 60 records and now concentrates on its back catalogue.