Been getting into South African house music all week on Sound Travels. In the process, sharing cuts from some of the country's hottest producers and performers. Songs that are in some ways no different from house music anywhere, but different in unique ways that make the sound completely South African. Traditional drums become beats, vintage hits the muse for more modern bangers and in one or moe of the 14 languages spoken there. Personally, I love it.
Todays set featured a pioneer of the genre that changed South Africa's pop, kwaito pioneer Oskido. As the story goes, as a kid he worked in front of a place called Razzmatazz nightclub in Johannesburg, used to sneak into the club to spin the closing sessions and started slowing down American house tracks to a tempo that "Africans could dance to". One night, the resident DJ didn't pitch up... and kwaito was born.
Oskido "Vuma Dlozi"
Since then, the line between kwaito and house has become blurred to the point that the sound is simply a musical sensibility, and one that runs the charts. Artists like Big Nuz, Teddy Bears and especially DJ Cleo all featured in that order on today's set are making moves. DJ Cleo being one of the bigger stars of the South African house scene and a great artist to dig deeper into if this is a sound you like