Saturday, 13 February 2010

Various - Ayobaness! EP

Subtitled The Sound of South African House, this is a four-track, four-artist EP featuring, er, house music from South Africa… what bit didn't you understand? It's actually the sampler EP for an album of the same name, but that won't be out till May.

The EP opens with Ayobaness by Pastor Mbhobho, which is the kind of Afro-infused thing that Louie Vega loves to play so much. It's okay, not hugely my bag but the tribal rhythms aren't overdone and, unlike a lot of this stuff, there's a decent bassline. It also appears to have Bartender Moe on vocals. DJ Mujava's Mugwanti is more Afrobeat-type tackle, yada yada yada…

But then things get more interesting, cos of COURSE Sath Efricans make Afro-flavoured house, but Aero Manyelo's Just In Time shows they can also make groovin' techno-house crossover bizniss. That's the standout track for me, but DJ Steavy's Ungazocala also shows that you can still use Afro riddims without having to sound sub-Fela, as he blends the tribal drumming with electronics that are more than slightly reminiscent of early Belgian techno, before it all went stupid.

It'd be easy to see the more Afro tracks finding favour with UK funky crowds, but for me it's the other two that are more interesting, as they provide further proof that, having long been more of a party destination than a hotbed of production talent, South Africa is really starting to step up onto the world house stage. I'll await the album with interest.

Out: Now, and I think you might have to go to iTunes to find it.

About: This is on Out Here Records, a German label now six years old and specialising in all things African. Here's their website and look! They've even got a Wiki entry. There's posh.

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