Christian Tiger School: “If You Want To” [Single Release]

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Christian Tiger School are one of South Africa’s foremost electronic acts. They’ve gifted us with an explosion of sonic euphoria with their latest single. Sonar premiered the mammoth track, as the duo will be playing at Sonar in Barcelona on 15 June this year.

Their last offering was the album Chrome Tapes released two years ago, which saw them shift from an experimental hip hop sound to a more electronic one. “If You Want To” sees the duo explore the latter, and spoils the listener with a mixture of impeccable drum work, rhythmic waves, volcanic bass and an unforgettable melody.

One of the stand out elements of the track is its drum work, which elevates it into a transcendental state. The melody has an unwavering calming effect. The bassline and melody are equally as profound as the drum sequence, and the combination makes it a sensory experience, not just a sonic one. “If You Want To” is organic and addictive. It’s one of those tracks that can be put on repeat, and each time your appreciation for it grows.

Listen to “If You Want To” below:

Dwson: Tales [EP release]

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Dwson is the latest house prodigy on everyone’s lips. He brings back a refined melodic sound packed with energy and soul, reminiscent of old school deep house. He uploaded his first track on SoundCloud just two years ago, and has come a long way in such a short space of time.

Tales was produced at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town, and features a collaboration with Dunn Kidda. The three track EP gives a glimpse into Dwson’s remarkable talent, and leaves you wanting more, so much more.

The opening track “Tales” features Dunn Kidda, and his touch can be heard very early on in the track. Dunn Kidda’s eclectic style and Dwson’s richness, create a unique track that showcases the depth of our local talent. “G” and “Daffodil” see Dwson revert back to his signature sound. “G” is an undisputed classic, and sees him slow things down, but turn up the groove. “Daffodil” ends the EP off, and boasts his ability to effortlessly combine melodies, synths, basslines, and rhythms to create a sonic masterpiece.

Listen to “Tales” below:

Tsukudu: “Say yes” [Single release]

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Everyday this week Tsukudu has released a track in the build up to the Newfolder: Black Woman event happening in Grahamstown this Friday. Tsukudu is a Joburg-based future beat, bass, hip hop producer and DJ. He sampled the 2003 classic “Say yes” from the legendary duo Floetry.

He infused the original with a hip hop and future beat twist. The tempo remains slowed, however the synths and chunky bass line give it a future beat kick, with a dash of hip hop. Tsukudu’s version is dripping with sex appeal, and has done the unthinkable, it has even more sex appeal than the original.

Listen to “Say yes” below:

 

 

 

 

Blu Mar Ten: “Titans” [TehSynes remix]

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As part of a remix competition hosted by drum and bass trio Blu Mar Ten, TehSynes remixed “Titans” off their seventh album Empire State, which was released in December 2016. There were over 300 entries, and TehSynes ended up in the top 16 with his remix.

The remix features vocals from TehSynes and a hair-raising performance from Ntombe Thongo.  It unites two worlds; drum and bass and traditional African music, creating a track of unparalleled proportions.

As the track begins there’s an air of mystery and bewilderment, with the dreamy vocals of TehSynes and the backing vocals of Ntombe. As it progresses, it jumps out of its shell and steals all your attention. The tempo rapidly changes and Ntombe’s voice crashes in synchronicity with the beat. With hints of jungle and a messy bassline the track is menacing and profound, with Ntombe sprinkling the perfect amount of soul onto it.

Listen to Blu Mar Ten– “Titans” [TehSynes remix] below:

GinaJeanz: [EP release]

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GinaJeanz linked up with Red Bull Studios Cape Town to create a magical EP. The three track EP is glorious, and gives a glimpse into her remarkable talent.

Gina has taken huge strides with her music and within the industry, and the creation of this EP proves that. Consistency has been one of her key strengths along with her ingenuity, and it’s highly apparent that every track she creates is done with the utmost care and love.

The EP begins with “Fader”, an up-tempo love note that combines the soul of r&b with the zest of a future beat. “Stellar Wave”, is the second track and has a more delicate and minimal approach. In classic GinaJeanz style, it’s rhythmic with a few twists and turns. “Need (you)” is bold and has a knee-jerking beat, and is as emotionally gripping as it is technically profound.

Gina is at the forefront of the future beat sound, and effortlessly combines the warmth and soul of melodies and vocals with futuristic sounds and textures that are often cold and generic.

Listen to the EP below:

Esa & NarchBeats ft. Pendo Zawose: “Blast”

 

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In almost a months time Esa will be releasing his debut EP Aweh on Amsterdam-based record label Dekmantel. Esa, who is South African but based in London, drew inspiration from different corners of Africa for this EP, namely South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

“Blast” has gained the most attention from the upcoming EP, and rightly so, as it’s unlike anything out there today. It was recorded in Uganda when Esa was working on an album there. He crossed paths with Tanzanian vocalist Pendo Zawose and wanted to use her powerful vocals on something different. The actual beat for “Blast” is an extended kwaito track produced by the legendary Cape Town-based NarchBeats, who’s known to create grungy, heavy-set beats.

From the titanic vocals of Pendo to the hard-hitting beat that holds nothing back, “Blast” feels like an adrenaline rush. It’s menacing, and almost hard to process at first. But once you let go and the realisation kicks in of how beautiful and raw it is, a deep appreciation arises for it and everyone who was involved in its creation.

The beat and Pendo’s vocals go head to head and challenge one another. Through this, an astonishing symbiotic relationship is formed, resulting in a track that won’t be easily forgotten, and will have many people asking about Esa, Pendo and NarchBeats.

Once you listen to it, you’ll be surprised to know that it only took one take to record the track. Other tracks on the EP are “Rift Valley” which is influenced by house and “Rent-A- Disc” an upbeat, funky offering.

  • Aweh will be released on Dekmantel on 22 May 2017.

Listen to “Blast” below:

Escapism Refuge: “Almost Eight” [New release]

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The mighty Escapism Refuge has released another belter with “Almost Eight”. It was released on Deep Heads, the UK-based record label with which he’s released a number of tracks including his two EP’s Red Lights and Traps.

Meditative and sensual, “Almost Eight” features Escapism Refuge’s signature deep bass sound intertwined with an enthralling melody. It also explores more intimately a dub infused sound from the artist.

Two tracks from Escapism Refuge are being released on vinyl this Friday, 21 April on Deep Heads. The tracks featured on the vinyl are “Joker” ,“No Signal” and “Red Lights”.

Listen to “Almost Eight” below:

 

 

Deep Aztec & Da Brownie: [EP release]

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Red Bull Studios in Cape Town hosted another momentous collaboration, this time between two up-and-coming house producers. Da Brownie and Deep Aztec united to create an outstanding body of work, and one of the best local EP’s of 2017 so far.

Deep Aztec and Da Brownie have really shown off their ability with this EP, which is a culmination of tech house, deep house, jacking house and South African house. It not only showcases the versatility of the artists, but also how each artist has grown.

The opening track, “Truthseeker” has all the elements of a classic deep house track, with its bulky bass line and contagious melody, and is bound to get pulses racing on the dancefloor. The sound of the EP swiftly changes with “The Playground”, a high-spirited jacking house track. “By My Side Part 2” reveals a more subdued side of the artists, with a slower tempo and sensual melody.

The EP is rich, emotive and incredibly groovy. Although they’re labelled up-and-comers, this EP proves that labels mean nothing, and has cemented their place within the industry and given them needed recognition.

Listen to the EP below:

Just Her and Ryan Murgatroyd: Busy Minds [EP release]

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South African house DJ and producer Ryan Murgatroyd continues to go from strength to strength with his career. His passion and consistency has led him to collaborate with Just Her, who is one half of international deep house duo Him_self_Her, and the boss of record label Constant Circles.

Ryan’s also one half of the massively successful duo Crazy White Boy, who are consistently pushing the boundaries of electronic music in South Africa. Although Crazy White Boy is known to use elements from different kinds of electronic music, when it comes to Ryan’s own productions deep house is his genre of choice.

The Busy Minds EP showcases a collaboration between two artists who are in leagues of their own, and have moulded careers out of passion. It takes the listener on a journey of pungent emotion, however it still has dancefloor appeal and you can shake a leg [or two] to it very easily.

The EP also contains three remixes from house and techno maestro’s from different corners of the globe, showcasing its global appeal. Bruce Loko, a producer and DJ based in Johannesburg, South Africa added his African techno flavour to “Busy Minds”, track one on the EP. There’s a great balance between the original and Bruce’s version. The remix is invigorating, and has a heavyset bassline that will give bass bins at any venue a work out. UK DJ and producer, Chris Cue’s remix of “Busy Minds” has an accelerated bassline giving a more upbeat take on the original. It’s also less abstract and the right blend between house and techno. Kapibara, the trio originally from South America, but now based in the Netherlands remixed “Empty Minds”. They made it their own, and created a true techno anthem.

  •  Busy Minds is out on Constant Circles today.

Listen to the Busy Minds EP below:

Hi-Lux ft. Gina Jeanz: Expectations [New release]

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Hi-Lux joined forces with GinaJeanz to create a mesmerising track. Hi-Lux is the side project of Joburg-based producer Buli.

“Expectations” is a divine collaboration between two extraordinary producers. With both artists having such a similar yet distinctly different sound, “Expectations” is a culmination of their best attributes. The quiet confidence of the track is noteworthy, it doesn’t scream for attention because it has no need to. It fuses elements of trap, future beats and ambient sounds.

Listen to “Expectations” below: