Future Sound of Mzansi

Kwaito, Gqom, Barcadi house, Kurudo, … the electronic music coming from the African continent is exciting to say the least. Whereas the USA and Europe seem to have have been in the spotlight as when it comes to Electronic Dance Music and the Caribbean and South America are also well known by music lovers, the mother continent is still mainly below the radar. Via Portugal the sound of Kuduro got some recognition, Buraka Som Sistema getting airtime and attention. But South Africa has moved on (or evolved) the Kwaito sound of the 90’s, sometimes credited with a role in taking down Apartheid, with gqom and Barcadi house. DJ Mujava’s Township Funk was they only exponent of that which reached my European ears until I started to delve into it recently. Spoek Mathambo’s documentary Future Sound of Mzansi is something to look forward to, giving an overview of what is happening in the south (Mzansi means south in Xhosa, one of SA’s 11 official languages and is one of the terms South Africans refer to themselves by).



Back It Up by Fracture x Sam Binga x Rider Shafique

This tune has got me going loco the last weeks:

Check out Fracture’s excelent mix for XLR8R, featuring this tune and more goodness: http://www.xlr8r.com/podcast/2014/07/fracture

The whole EP is also on SoundsCloud:

Good to hear that there is still hope for Drum&Bass. I’d just about given up on the genre even though it was my first love, musicaly speaking.

The sound of Cape Town?

I’ve been in Cape Town for almost 2 months now, but haven’t really gotten far discovering what the local music scene has to offer. I had heard about The Future Primitives before coming here, as they played in Brussels, but I unfortunately missed their show there. I saw them at some tequila street party, where they had the dubious honour of being the opening act and they absolutely rocked it. Looking forward to seeing them tomorrow in The Pit on 133 Bree Street and many other occasion.

Having my SoundCloud open at a recent house-warming braai, one of the guests tuned in to Mr Sakitumi, which in turn led me to discover some other nice Capetonian electronic dance music like Narch, DANksibot and maramza. I’m definitely liking what I’m hearing, but I guess I should go out and see them rock the crowd live. Where are the happening venues in Cape Town at the moment? If you’ve got any tips on local Cape Town music, electronic or other please use the comments option bellow or hit me on Twitter or any other way you can.

Robosonic – The Edge and more

Loving this track from Berlin DJ/producers duo Robosonic: The Edge, blowing up dancefloors all over.

You probably know the hook from Dr. Dre’s classic The Next Episode

Which brings me to another all time Dre classic: Still D.R.E. Also one I’ll never get tired of. Still not ♥’ing police!

Dr. Dre and Robosonic actually took the sample from The Edge by David McCallum out of 1967.

I discovered Robosonic way back in 2006 trough this track, another dancefloor bomb, although I never heard it played out by any other DJ: Technologic Creeps. A mash-up/edit of Daft Punk’s Technologic and Magic Carpet Ride by the Mighty Dub Katz (aka Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim together with his former flatmate Gareth Hansome aka G Money). Love that oldskool Sega sample from Sonic The Hedgehog in the intro so much, reminds me of playing it on my Neo Geo Pocket handheld console.

Going back even further, to 1997 with Ghetto Girl also by Da Mighty Dub Katz or depending on which release you have Pizzaman (another of Norman Cook’s many disguises, together with John C. Reid and Jon Martin). My vinyl version is a Southern Fried Records promo. Which reminds me I have to get round to digitizing al that wax stocked in my bedroom at my parent’s house. One day!

Go still deeper in this version excursion with these whosampled links:

Out In The Street They Call It Murder

A version excursion, starting with the original from 1984 by Ini Kamoze: World A Music

The best known version, by Damian Marley: Welcome To Jamrock

Released on Warp, which should give you an idea, it’s not reggae: Africa Hitech – Out In The Streets

Very popular in de dancehall: Lil’ Kim – Lighters Up

Interesting version mashing up father and son: Stand Up Jamrock combining Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up with Damian Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock

Beljam dub foundation

Sound system culture is very much alive in Belgium or Beljam as it’s called in reggae/dub circles. On Saturday at Mekitburn festival no less then four full sound systems were present, and three of them Belgian: Satta Sound, Gamma Sound and Skyfire.

There’s a whole lotta sound systems in Belgium. Not all of them have build their own full sounds, but a lot have and there are some really impressive sounds there: http://www.reggae.be/en/community/soundsystems

Review in Dutch of reggae and dub at Mekitburn: http://www.reggae.be/nl/magazine/event_reports/Heartical_fire__Mekitburn_Festival

Guilty pleasures

I’ve recently put Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection on my car stereo and damn, I almost had forgotten how good it is. My absolute favourite is Like a Prayer. When I still DJ’ed regularly  back in the previous century, I would mix this in my house sets and always got a superb response. Shep Pettibone’s production is just spot on!

Another one I used to love to mix in was Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. I guess it’s not really a guilty pleasure, I’ve heard a big name techno DJ mix this in his sets, forgot who it was and DJ Funk made an excellent track out of this. And Quincy Jones was an excellent producer.

A truly guilty pleasure, Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler. The producer Jim Steinman has a lot to answer for, like stuff he did for Meat Loaf,  Celine Dion and Boyzone. But for this one I would congratulate him.

I’ve already praised Drop The Lime’s remix of this one in another post, but I must admit I like the original even better: (I Just) Died in Your Arms by Cutting Crew.

I mainly love Heaven Is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle because I cannot hear it any more without thinking of Droon’s Cripplefight that also samples South Park, but it has to be on this list of guilty pleasures.

Cindy Lauper has to be on this list too.

And Flashdance!

I could go on forever, damn I love the eighties!

Fools Gold Remixes

Fools Gold by The Stone Roses from 1989 is an absolute indie dance classic by al rights, but for me there are two remixes that are even better.

The one by Tall Paul I got to know because dj St-Dic (RIP) used to play it in his deep house sets at the upstairs room at Fuse. It’s a remix from 1995 and has a bit more of a beat, a house remix basically.
The Stone Roses – Fools Gold ’95 (The Tall Paul Remix)

There is also a remix from Rabbit In The Moon that is mind blowing.  Apparently it’s only on the 1999 re-release of Fools Gold, but it sounds like 1989 to me, Acid House all the way*.
The Stone Roses – Fools Gold (Rabbit in the Moon’s Message to the Majors)

* Acid House here refers to the British party scene of the late 1980’s that later became known as Rave. The music wasn’t strictly US Acid House, but all kinds of music also from Europe, that didn’t have the typical TB-303 acid sound.

Eighties remixes

Hot for the moment is the new version of Luc Van Acker and Anna Domino‘s belpop/cult hit Zanna by Selah Sue, Tom Barman & The Subs for Studio Brussels’ Music For Life 2011.
The original:

The new version:

The new version isn’t bad if you aren’t already tired of Selah Sue’s voice. I’m just glad the didn’t ask Milow as an artist from Leuven, one of the three places the Music For Life glass house will be in, Barman is for Antwerp and the Subs for Ghent, the other two places it will be.

Another great example of a modern take on an eighties song is Drop The Lime‘s remix of (I Just) Died in Your Arms by eighties one hist wonder Cutting Crew.
The remix:

The original was already in my first eighties post:
I still love the original, maybe more of a guilty pleasure. The glitch remix by Drop The Lime is a good track to mix, not that good to just listen to at home IMO.

That’s all I can think of right now. More eighties remixes later! Promised! 😉

More eighties!

OK, now for some realy good eighties dance music, since I forgot a lot of very good stuff in my previous post. All of these are tracks I would still play in a DJ set, not just when playing retro.

Right now Shindu has a hit with a cover version, but the original of Happy House by Siouxsie and the Banshees to me is timeless and fits in any DJ set: 

Another dance track with a timeless hook, this time more funk then electro house: Pigbag with Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag: 

Tribal house like it should be: Culture Vibe – Ma Foom Bey: 

The vocal Din Daa Daa from George Kranz is a sample that keeps popping up in house music, I didn’t even know the original untill recently. 

Actually ment to be a hip-hop track, but one of the greatest dance tracks of all times if you ask me: Salt-N-Pepa – Push It: 

I am off course forgetting a lot of good stuff, but these are tracks that actually made it into the mainstream (to some extent) and have aged well. Feel free to add tracks in the comment you think should be in this list.