the past few weeks I spent some hectic time in South Africa, hence my absence from these pages. No time to write, just soo busy travelling, meeting exciting people and partying on Valentine’s Day in Jo’burg. That was followed by a fatal morning when the newspapers announced the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius. Talk of the day and on the front pages for the rest of my journey in South Africa. Thankfully there was more fun and excitement to fill my days and nights; looking for rare records and the sound of Johannesburg!
It was in the streets of hip Melville that I witnessed some of the most exciting new hybrid of house music, coming out of shops and boomboxes of passing cars. So as a fresh post here today, I report on the house scene of Johannesburg, a city also called Jozi by its loving citizens.
”People making house music in shacks in townships, it’s everywhere, on the radio, tv and media”
in association with KALAWA JAZMEE
is delighted to invite you to
Venue: The TreeHouse Club,Museum Hill Westlands
Date: Friday 15th February 2013
From: 9pm – 5 am
Entry: Ksh 1,000
(Advanced tickets information to follow shortly)
Join the movement and witness the marriage between Native and Contemporary Instruments.
The ELECTRAFRIQUE family, is a worldwide network of Artistes & Deejays fusing African and Electronic sounds.
AFRO HOUSE | DEEP HOUSE | SOULFUL HOUSE | TRIBAL HOUSE | TECH HOUSE|AFRICAN SOUL |FUNK|DISCO|NU DISCO|COUPE DE CALLE |KUDURO
Robert aka Dj Murder lives in a homemade overthrow of corrugated iron. He is sleeping between his greatest asset, a battery of computers and keyboard types.
With his buddy Thabo ‘Smol’ Mabogevane he forms the duo Black Motion, one of the new young house-sensations in Johannesburg. 2011 and 2012 was big time for the duo as they headlined concerts all over the world in places like Miami, Canada, United Kingdom etc. Through a mutual relationship the boys have been offered to create music in a professional studio but they choose for the impromptu studio in the shack – ‘home is where the heart is’. Black Motion is one of the acts which is showcased in Real Scenes: Johannesburg, a recent short documentary about the thriving house scene of South Africa’s capital.
In one of the scenes the boys can be found hunched over the illuminated displays, while a monotonous drumbeat fills the space, synths vibrate into a warm flow and their bodies rhythmically pan on the hypnotic groove. Their sound is based on that of pioneer-dj Oskido who discovered Black Motion in 2010. Ricardo Da Costa of Soul Candi Records defines the genre as a slowed down version of the original American house music but with even deeper basses and more complex rhythms, interwoven with a spirituality which is inspired by traditional drumpatterns of the African ancestors.
The classical trained musician Black Coffee is perhaps the most famous South African dj of the moment. He is seen as someone who passes the positive message of house as a true ‘griot’. In Africa, griots are known to pass the history and culture of a certain tribe through music and song. His albums are good for gold. The man conquers the country with a full symphonic orchestra during megaconcerts where those by Madonna fade. Black Coffee is at present travelling the world giving European and American tours.
Through the success of Black Motion and other young and established acts, black boys in cities such as Johannesburg today dream of becoming the next famous dj and producer of hits. Black Coffee, Black Motion, Culoe De Song, Mash-O (the Drum herbalist) and white wunderboy Ralf Gum are just a few names of a new generation in Johannesburg that dreams aloud about house music as a way out of the townships. The prevailing sentiment is that house music can create a better future for everyone in South Africa. Hope rises on the horizon. DJ Black Coffee’s latest album is applicable called ‘Africa Rising’.
Top 5 -Jozi House
1. Black Motion – Aquarian Drums -(album CD -Kalawa Jazmee Dance 2012)
2.Ralf Gum – Linda featuring Oluhle (album track from CD ‘Never Leaves You’ -Gogo Music/House Afrika 2012)
3. Black Coffee -Africa Rising (Deluxe Album CD -Soulistic/Risa 2012)
4. Mash-O (Drum Herbalist) -Ishikhalo Shenhliziyo featuring Oluhle (album track from CD ‘Mash-O (Drum Herbalist)’ -Herbal Records 2012)
5. Culoe De Song -A Giant Leap (Album CD-Soulistic/Risa 2012)