Our friend and former South African correspondent blogger for Generation Bass, Greg Bowes who via Generation Bass introduced most of the world to stuff like Shangaan Electro just did this huge piece on the history of South African House for the Boiler Room.
To celebrate South Africa`s Freedom Day on April 27th, international soulful house music phenomenon, Black Coffee, presented an optimistic new staging of his live orchestral show, Africa Rising, on Soweto`s historic Freedom Square.
Vince & I were in SA in 2010 and we witnessed first hand just how explosive this scene is in Jo’ Burg, it is for real!
We met some of the Artists who are legends within this scene and they gave us an intimate account and mini-tour of how this scene was unfolding there back then and it blew our minds. We still have some audio interviews with pivotal artists like Black Coffee and DJ Christos which we never got around to featuring on the blog. Maybe we will get around to that soon.
This is a good introduction to the scene put together by RA!
If you like what you’re hearing, you might wanna check this mix out:
We’ve had plenty of great house music producers in South Africa lately: Jimpster, Quentin Harris, Abicah Soul, Ralf Gum… And Little Louie Vega is here next week – phew… I’ve been fortunate enough to chat to all of them and when asked about South African music, the first name on everyone’s lips is Black Coffee.
Our biggest beat ambassador currently, Coffee has carved out an international name for himself by exhibiting a worldly sophistication while remaining aware of his South African roots, and by making, as Abicah Soul describes it, “real music – not just tracks.”
Coffee has been Culoe De Song‘s mentor and funk facilitator, and by mixing with (and remixing) South African music maestros like Hugh Masekela, he’s made SA’s urban youth aware of their musical heritage and brought classics from the local canon into contemporary clubland.
His skills have been recognized across the world: he has records out on France’s Real Tone, Germany’s GOGO Music and the UK’s Kronologik. According to Abicah Soul, his tracks are being rinsed in Chicago, the birthplace of house music, and there can be no bigger compliment.
There’s one more reason to feature him this week: Black Coffee recently broke a world record by spinning music continuously for over 60 hours! Read the full story on The Telegraph. So not just a worldwide representative for South African dance music, Black Coffee is now a world record-holder too – and he’s done all of this without the use of his left hand, which he lost at the age of 13.
A truly remarkable and groundbreaking individual.
Have a listen to a quartet of his mixes on Red Bull Music Academy Radio and check out the rather cool, comic book-inspired video for “Superman” (featuring Bucie) below.
One of the coolest things I’ve come across on the internet in a long time is this excellent mix of South African prodigy Culoe De Song‘s ‘greatest hits’, put together by Frazer at the House Proud blog. Seamlessly strung together, it highlights the high points in the output of a producer who is – alongside his mentor Black Coffee – the most successful South African electronic music ambassador.
From Durban (though representing a sound that’s more smooth, repetitive and internationally saleable than the artists covered in the excellent piece on the ‘Durban Sound’ Umb put together this week), Culoe came to prominence when he was asked to put together a Resident Advisor Podcast, and since then he’s seen his stock soar, performing at Sonar and having 12″s released on Germany’s Innervisions and Japan’s Mule Musiq.
All of those are represented on this standout mix, which reiterated for me how unique Culoe’s music is, because when sampled as a whole it sounds utterly coherent and quite unlike anything else out there…
One of the ICONS of South African music has sadly passed away.
“The queen of maskandi, Busi Mhlongo, died in KwaZulu Natal overnight after a long struggle with cancer. She was 63. Mhlongo will be best remembered for her 1999 album Urban Zulu.” – The Daily Maverick.
Busi first came to the International spotlight with her work for the Melt 2000 label and here’s what they said:
We lost Mam Busi Mhlongo
We just learned that Busi Victoria Mhlongo lost her fight against cancer on June 15th 2010 atAlbert Luthuli Hospital
Our condolences go to Busi’s family and her daughter Mpume.
All my family and friends cherish the memory of the good and bad times we shared with Auntie Busi.
Our bro’ Frederic Galliano also remixed one of the tracks on this CD.
Featuring tracks and remixes by BlackCoffee, Culoe de Song, Frederic Galliano,Castro B, Kalahari Surfers with Greg Hunter, Monde Mkhizwana, Rudeboy Paul,DJ Zee, Soothsayers and Dj Qness.
A singer, dancer, and composer whose music defies categorisation, MaMhlongo, as Rudeboy Paul fondly refers to her, draws on various SouthAfrican styles, such as Maskanda, Mbaqanga, Marabi and traditional Zulusongs. Born in Kwa Zulu, Natal, Busi Mhlongo grew up with a song on herlips.
Her debut maskanda album for M.E.L.T.2000 in 1998 called “Urban Zulu” brought her international fame. Touring internationally and bewitching audiences with her powerful stage presence and vocal prowess she hasrightfully taken her seat in the musical arena as one of the most phenomenaland exciting musicians to have ever emerged from South Africa.
Ranked alongside Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu and The Mohatella Queens, unique in becoming the first female to spread the maskanda vocal style internationally, Busi has been applauded by audiences the world over.We like to thank all the artists who contributed remixes and original tracks for this album for their dedication, love and respect for the original compositions by Ma Busi and her co-composers Themba Ngcobo and the late Mkhalelwa Spector Ngwazi.
A huge loss to SA and to the world of music.
Generation Bass condolences to Busi’s family & to the whole of SA!
ooooooohh yeah! a lil later than you are used to the posts of my bro UMB, but that’s how we do it here in Holland. Well… not really, It’s just my lazy ass! 🙂
I’m getting ready for the first game of the soccer championship as we speak. uuhh type, and wanted to drop a short line on this first. The vibe is good in SA man, people are ready for it. Eventhough the FIFA maffia has kinda forced SA to invest in million dollar stadiums instead of needed housing and plumming in the ghetto’s, there’s no hard feelings from the ordinary man in the street. I just hope that some of the money flows back into SA’s economy instead of Seb Blatter’s already bloated pockets and I hope this will bring what the SA peeps are hoping for. The respect and new investments the country needs!
Onwards with the music talk though, I’m sure you didnt visit GB today to hear my political bull 🙂 After yesterday we had some nice meetings set up again by our homies ENZO & THABANG, i’m sure you know who they are by now?
So we got some assistance from our new friend CHRISTOS as well and he helped us set up a meet with the man of the hour: BLACK COFFEE! Currently this guy is doing really well over here in Europe with his own blend of more traditional African rhythms and modern deephouse vibes and we talked in lenght about his classical training, his jazz background and all the good stuff that’s still coming up from this dude. His tracks are being played by some of the biggest dj’s in Europe right now and he’s flying into Paris and London on a regular basis these days! Here’s some of his stuff for you to check out, plenty of DL’s coming later 🙂
That last one is on constant rotation my house now man. This guys and his protegé CULOE DE SONG are totally killing it right now!
These cats are doing well and we were meeting them in the middle of DIEPKLOOF, one of the townships of SOWETO. this was a real eye opener for us as well, to see how the ‘normal’ people live and work in this million city called JOBURG. There’s a lot or poverty of course, but even here, the vibe is still very positive and up! We talked about the industry right now and how they were doing as young black entrepeneurs in this thing. here’s an old vid for these guys and you can hear they fuse some of their older KWAITO stuff with very modern sounding US southside hiphop to get something that’s very catchy!
And this is a cut off their latest cd RE-DIAL 985, with a splashy lil video and this one is getting some serious airplay as well in JOBURG. People know the dance routines and when they play live they also do em in unison! good stuff man, good stuff!
After a long chat and a vidit to their studio as well, where they showed us new video material and we also hooked up with B-ZEE, a talented guy on the same style, who’s coming up with some new chuuns that are KILLA! More on this guys as well later!
So we went to grab some food and then we went to the big ting this night BIG TINGS POW POW POW POW! yeah, that’s dancehall style! 🙂 We went to the RAGGA ATTACK nights, hosted by a guy from London actually, with a superb MC who kept dropping the funniest lines in there the entire time. The stage was full of dancing girls and guys and they were dropping some of the craziest moves in there man. Damn! Also cool were the many SIZZLA lookalikes, who were all selling joints in the venue. And every time a SIZZLA joint dropped, they went mad and started junping super high, MASAI tribe style! Amazing! We stayed out till about 2 I think and then we headed back to the cottages, our heads filled with deep DANCEHALL bass n CULTJAH!