Jumping Back Slash has a new single on Swak Catalog, taken from the album 'A Map of the Hills I Chose to Die On': eight tracks of experimental tones themed around "loss and quixotic battles against giant enemies".
The track, 'Wotuno', which the British-born South Africa-based producer self-describes as "weirdo amapiano/bacardi something or other hybrid", has been unveiled online with its own animated video. The full record is also out now, and available digitally via Bandcamp.
Photo credit: Jono Kyriakou
Cape Town-based independent radio station, The Other Radio, has launched a new studio and website.
On 16th September, the community station opened the doors to its new studio hub in South Africa's legislative capital. Previously remotely-run, the opening of the station's new HQ coincided with the launch of a new website.
Amapiano artists Mpura and Killer Kau have died after being involved in a car accident while travelling en route to a concert in Rustenburg, South Africa on 7th August.
Early reports from the incident claimed another of the scene's brightest stars, Kabza De Small, had also been killed, but the artist took to Twitter to confirm this was inaccurate.
A new series about the South African electronic music scene is out now.
Titled JIVA!, the five-part series, produced by Cape Town's Blue Ice Africa, follows the story of street dancer Ntombi, who while "juggling a dead-end job, family duties, and a rocky love life" enters a dance competition with dreams of leaving Durban.
A platform for African dance and electronic music has been launched by Apple Music.
The new platform, which has been named Isgubhu — the Zulu word for ‘beat’ — features South African DJ/producer Black Coffee as its first cover star, and will shine a light on subgenres like amapiano, gqom, kwaito and Shangaan electro.
DJ Lag has co-produced a track on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift album.
The South African gqom artist is credited on ‘My Power,’ which features Tierra Whack, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Yemi Alade and Moonchild Sanelly. DJ Lag tweeted the news yesterday.
In an interview with ABC, Beyoncé explained that: “This soundtrack is a love-letter to Africa, and I wanted to make sure that we found the best talent from Africa.”
“When gqom came it was made for clubs. Made for nightlife. Dance is the best thing in Durban, so when gqom came, everybody went crazy as it was the perfect combination. That’s why it took over”
“2012 was the year it got super popular in Durban,” Gwala explains. “But it was underrated. At the time the sound was raw. We didn’t know how to master our music. It wasn’t being played on radio or TV. We didn’t get interviews. Nothing. The big artists were trying to stop the sound being big. But, eventually, people started to love what we were doing and they couldn’t stop it. Now it’s the biggest genre in South Africa.”
Gwala describes London as the second home of gqom due to the prominence of artists like Moleskin, the producer and founder of the Goon Club Allstars label, which has been pushing Durban sounds since it released Rudeboyz’s self-titled EP in 2015. He adds that its popularity outside of South Africa — also spurred by the Italian label Gqom Oh! — has played a large part in giving it more credibility in his home country. “I didn’t know how the sound makes the world go crazy until I started touring,” he says of gqom’s global impact.
“I’m happy to see people from around the world trying to be a part of gqom as it’s going to create a big growth for the sound”
Gqom can now be heard across South Africa’s TV and radio, with superstars like Okmalumkoolkat, Cassper Nyovest, Big Nuz and Babes Wodumo — the latter’s ‘Wololo’ racked up almost 10 millions hits on YouTube — adopting the sound into their music. Gwali has recently been in the studio with M.I.A., with the pair currently working on music together, as well as starring on Kelela’s Warp released remix album, ‘Take Me Apart’. That’s all ahead of his debut at Sónar this summer and an upcoming collaboration with Hyperdub.
South African producer Bruce Loko will release his ‘The Black Pearl’ EP via Freerange Recordings on 22nd February.
The Breyton, Mpumalanga-born artist follows up releases on labels like Get Physical Music, Atjazz and Stay True Sounds with his Freerange debut, showcasing once again his striking ability to make house music that is at once spare and rich, minimal and intricate, atmospheric and club ready.