With acts like Die Antwoord, DJ Mujava and Culoe De Song currently grabbing the attention of the worldwide underground, South Africa’s music scene has never been healthier. A great time then to start sharing some of the spoils with you… I’m honoured to drop my first post for Generation Bass and I hope you’ll join me for a regular survey of the most super sounds from the southern tip of Africa.
Apparently South Africa has the biggest house music market per capita on the planet, and house is the core ingredient in homegrown Kwaito. When the two genres play nicely together, the results can be dancefloor-destroying and much of the most compelling music SA music is just a township take on the 4/4 rhythms reverberating on the floors of Chicago, Berlin and London.
Two labels explore this area really well: House Afrika, who have been doing it for 15 years, and Bass Breaks & Beats, a relatively new outfit who – on the back of hits from Liquideep and hook-ups with the likes of Lars Behrenroth – are soaring sky-high right now.
In the 1990’s, House Afrika played a pivotal role in making the beats being spun off vinyl in clubs by top DJs like Vinny Da Vinci, Oskido and Christos available to the public on CD (and cassette, the format that got it into taxi soundsystems and the ears of the general public). The label also snapped up groundbreaking, authentically South African dance music by groups like Rhythmic Elements – and they won a South African Music Award last year for the track below (in the only category where the public votes for the winner). So as an indication of just how big house grooves can get in SA, here’s ‘2 by 2’: South Africa’s Song Of The Year of 2009:
House Afrika and Bass Breaks & Beats recently teamed up for a top-selling compilation of local house music spread across 4 CDs – each mixed by one of BBB’s crew – titled ‘House Afrika Sessions’, and C.9ine (from East of Johannesburg – read more about them on Rage) expertly handled the edgiest of the four mixes. Here’s one of the tracks off it, a dark banger from the deepest south…
The best selection of South African dance music is available to purchase online at AfrodesiaMP3.