We’ve known JJS since the beginning days of this blog and he’s always come up with interesting stuff from time to time. We were one of his earliest supporters and it was via our pages that some of his early material was signed up by labels as we didn’t have one back then.
He must be going through one of his most creative periods atm with his primary involvement in the GQOM scene in South Africa. This what he he said about it to STW some months back:
“Gqom. Pronounced a bit like the French ‘gomme’ but the q is a post-alveolar click. A post-alveolar click is made by your tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Like the sound people make when they are imitating horses galloping. Got it? Good. Let’s move on.
Gqom comes out of Durban. It started out being called Broken Beat and in a way was a reaction to SA house, stripping away everything until it was just a beat. Gqom is not 4 on the 4. The kick is broken and syncopated, any musical content is distilled down, usually to one note and any vocals are reduced down to shouts, yelps and exclamations. It’s repetitive, hypnotic, dark, tribal music and when I first heard it I went mental. MENTAL. Gqom was the biggest influence on my music since arriving in SA back in 2007.
It’s made by kids, most of them unknown – I could do entire sets with tunes that have a phone number or BBM pin as the song name and artist! Most of the tracks are low-bitrate mp3s that are overly compressed and slightly distorted at times, but all of this adds to the charm. In a way it’s comparable to UK Grime where kids have got their hands on computers, cracked versions of Fruity Loops and Reason and gone to work. Mostly, the crews end in Boys, Boyz or Boiz, for example: Rudeboyz, Illumination Boiz, AudioBoyz, Naked Boyz, 3 Way Boys, DJ Lag, DJ Julz, Menchess, Citizen Boy.
In so many ways, it’s one of the truest and purest youth music movements to come from the country as it does not take influence from anything outside SA. It takes the existing vibes of kwaito and house in all its forms in SA (Durban, Bacardi etc.) and moves it forward. And yet, it exist in a bit of a vacuum even within SA. It’s not very well known and that’s a shame because Gqom is the real fucking deal.
The best place to find Gqom is kasimp3.co.za where kids upload their tunes for free download. They get paid from advertising on site, it’s a wicked site that is supporting this new generation of boys having a bash. In the UK people like Okzharp are flying the flag at gigs and on mixes and Kode 9 even stuck a couple of DJ Lag tunes in a recent mix for RA. So go check out Okzharp on the twitters for your educations.”
So after all that, I think he put this new mix together with Valentines Day firmly in mind showcasing the more romantic side of GQOM: