MAGIC MIX

Bass Music . Future Beats . Grime

WEEK STARTING 5 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of Gqom Oh! The Sound Of Durban Vol.1 by Various Artists.
'Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban Vol.1’ represents the first full length compilation collecting the sound of the suburbs and townships of Durban, South Africa known as “gqom”. The album unites many of the local young producers of this fresh genre over 15 tracks on double LP released via the Gqom Oh! label. The result of Rome-based DJ and musician Nan Kolè teaming up with South Africa-based Lerato Phiri, the Gqom Oh! label was set up to highlight the music and artists of Durban, the often overlooked cradle of the new South African sound.

Kolè says of Phiri“ Thanks to her work the artists I was interested in had greater trust in a stranger who contacted them from Italy to promote a kind of music that even South African promoters don't want to promote or to enter the club.” Derived from an onomatopoeic Zulu word signifying a drum,“gqom” - in the local slang - “iz da sound u get wen u drop a rock on tiles”. This extraordinary, apocalyptic bass music encompasses many influences. Each polyrhythmic track draws on the darker side of electronic music, hip hop, soundsystem culture, kwaito, UK funky and deep tribal African vibrations. As Kolè puts it: “You can feel the troubled history of South Africa. It’s riot music." Tied to a specific dance called bhenga, gqom happens in a DIY-oriented universe, grafting organic and homemade samples on sourced software to create this wholly unique sound. The label’s greater aim is to invest in much needed technology to help build a local creative infrastructure. ‘The Sound of Durban Vol.1’ features a host of local talent including Julz Da DeeJay, Cruel Boyz, Citizen Boy and Formation Boyz. This compilation was preceded by a 12 ” EP release in summer 2015 described by Hyponik as “thunderous prime time music” and Complex said “ it surely won't be long until clubs across the UK are shaken by this new South African sound”. Resident Advisor’s review mentioned “these three tracks muster up a hulking sound out of very few elements, and they do it without coming off macho or alienating — an achievement on its own”. South Africa is a unique case in the African continent, a place of the soul that has no equal: so strongly western and so deeply African at the same time. With its mix of ethnic tradition and urban tension it has been a cradle of cultural phenomena. In its own way it is a country of great wealth, particularly rich of contradictions, yet 20 years after the end of apartheid little appears to have changed for the millions of black people that live in its notorious townships. It is from this background that innovations are continually being injected into the living body of the local music culture. The heartbeat of Durban is gqom.

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Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist trio Archie Pelago step up to inaugurate the Styles Upon Styles label proper with the "Hall of Human Origins" EP / mini LP. Previously, SUS have been issuing music under the excellent conceptual BASH series, and their decision to branch out from that is justified with this excellent release from Archie Pelago. Brought to wider attention on last year's self titled debut on Mr Saturday Night, the trio of Hirshi, Kroba and Cosmo D have garnered subsequent praise for their output on Well Rounded and their own Archie Pelago Music imprint. For the uninitiated Archie Pelago focus on an organic and texturally intricate approach to electronic music which they themselves describe as "keep it human, give it soul" and the "Hall of Human Origins EP" maintains the standards of their previous output. Numerous tempos are covered across the five tracks with "Chronomancer" and "Wrong Apartment (Worms)" stand outs.

“Merging hip hop and African instrumentation into something mesmeric and true.” The Quietus

“Speaks to Zimbabwe’s history (“Chimurenga” translates to “struggle”), but this is classic message rap that spans regionally.” Pitchfork

Chimurenga Renaissance fuse together otherworldly sonics, Zimbabwean beats, Afro-conscious hip-hop, Congolese guitar ambiance and political heat. They mix electronic (ie. synths and samples) and organic instrumentation (IE; ngoma drums and mbira thumb pianos). Chimurenga Renaissance’s first release for Glitterbeat Records is ‘Girlz with Gunz’, a 27-minute, 11-song mini LP. A full-length album will follow in the autumn of 2016.

The duo was formed in 2012 and features Tendai Maraire, from the widely acclaimed Seattle group Shabazz Palaces, one of the leaders of hip-hop’s “audacious progressive fringe” (New York Times). Tendai hails from a renowned Zimbabwean musical lineage. His father, Abraham Dumisani Maraire, moved to the United States in the late 60’s and helped create a flourishing Zimbabwean music scene in the Pacific Northwest. Tendai’s partner in Chimurenga Renaissance, guitarist Hussein Kalonji (formerly known as the rapper H-Bomb), is a first generation Congolese American born in Washington DC. His father, Raymond “Braynck” Kalonji, is a Congolese guitar legend credited with pioneering the rumba / soukouss sound.


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With a penchant for the cinematic, the Georgia-born Durham, North Carolina-based producer cuts blasted, abstract beats on post-punk textures, resulting in a sound that somehow manages to echo RZA, Rammellzee, This Heat and PIL, whilst carving out a unique identity all of his own. At a time when most hip hop production sounds as if it’s stuck in preset mode, ‘Reducer’ feels like a vital injection of creativity, harking back to a time in the past when no sample and no sound was off limits.

Opening track ‘The History Of…’, a dizzying collage of broken drum machine beats, white noise shards and glitchy dub, is a good place to start in trying to epitomize the energy of the record. From there on Hanz continues to take the listener on a trip into a dark, complex headspace where haunted patois vocals, industrial drums, harps, elastic basslines and dystopian hip hop beats collide. It’s his capability of collapsing one sound world into another almost seamlessly, whilst retaining a distinctly raw punk energy throughout, that sets Hanz aside. It makes for an unpredictable and thrilling listen.

Lafawndah’s first release on Warp takes influences from wide-ranging genres such as zouk, kizoma, salsa, cumbia, dubstep and grime, creating an exciting sampler of what’s to come next from this defiant and inspired artist.

“Out of this world music… the perfect expression of our globalised culture” - The Guardian · Lafawndah is somewhat of a global citizen, having lived in Paris, Tehran, New York and Mexico City and coming from an Egyptian / Iranian / English heritage.

Listening to her music, a fusion of regional subgenres from different corners of the world, she has evidently a certain porosity when it comes to digesting sound, taking snippets of different influences as souvenirs to use in her own work. · The songs on ‘Tan’ are at the same time relaxed and playful, bold and confrontational. The combination between strong narrative, clarity of expression and seamless transmutation is reminiscent of early Björk, Missy Elliott and Grace Jones.

Co-produced by L-Vis 1990 and ADR. Executively produced by Lafawndah.

For fans of Kelela, Leila, Muslimgauze, Mira Calix.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Includes MP3 Download Code.

Info on Croydon’s shadowy firespitter and beat sculptor Rocks FOE is scarce. He poses a unique combination attack, with a rap style that combines the catch-all hooks of grime with the sheer lyrical dominance of classic US rappers like Pharaohe Monch & GZA. Dig into Rocks' lyrical tidal wave and you find arcane religious references and Anime characters punctuated with frequent direct knock out put-downs. He blends the obscure with the instant to future proof his verses. Every beat on 'Legion' was also produced by the man himself. Never one to stand still, he chops and grafts grime and hip hop with DNA from horror composers.



Shamos was born in Dublin and raised in Leyton, East London. Funkineven came across his music via his regular show on NTS radio and promptly ushered him into the hallowed ranks of Apron. "Training Day" kicks things off in sufficiently dark form, abrasive snare hits rattling through a menacing soundbed of icy synths and warbling sub tones. It's Apron through and through - evil, gritty music for clubs with low ceilings and over active smoke machines. "Westdown Road" heads further into the Apron prototype, it's 'dry' treated drum machines working well past their saturation point as squelchy bass farts as other obtrusive sonic artifacts converge on the track. Mad, frenzied hardware abuse for the freaks. "Ode To Lynch" opens the B-side with phazed pads pushed well into the red and mechanical drums chugging on unceremoniously. What began as phazed pads actually transpires to be chopped and mangled jazz hooks, which as the track evolves, allow their loop points to be dropped and more of the hook to filter through the fug and haze. Mind-altering stuff that should send dancefloors careering into uncontrollable hedonistic revelry. Finally, "Cranbourne Road" concludes with a nasty ass acid banger, rawkus drums clattering away as a straight up badass 303-line provides all the bass and melody one could hope for. Wonderful stuff from this now iconic label. Move quick! 

Steepletone

12" Record Storage Carry Case - Orange

    - Portable LP record storage carry case
    - Robust vinyl covering available in 5 colours
    - Protective chrome effect trim on corners and all edges of the box
    - Hinged lid with 2 closing clasps and carry handle in matching colours
    - Holds approx upto 50 LPs / 12"s in their sleeves
    - 3.8 KG


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