This edition in the Ngoma Mix Series focuses on new 125 bpm African Electronic Dance Music.  As i have argued in the “Real Roots of Kwaito” piece for This Is Africa, American and European Disco, House, and Hiphop were crucially influential in the beginning stages of development of post-Apartheid South African urban music, but since then SA House and Kwaito have matured and grown into its own skin, much more an extension of indigenous rhythm cultures than related to “Western” dance music.  For example the beat patterns in these tracks are distinctly different: the constant off-beat high hats found in the US and Europe are almsot entirely absent; and with much more rich and developed rhythm elements and very different emphasis, this music should probably be thought of as simply new African dance music, with not much to do with what is traditionally known as “House” or “Techno” at all.  


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Sonic Liberation Front

Made this for ultra cool international / art / architecture / concept / urbanism / fashion / music / design organization Platoon: United rhythms towards a borderless future: African House and European Acid, Hungarian Folk and Korean Pop, Cumbia Electro and Arabic Techno, Avant Jazz and Street Bass – international beats for dance floors and head space – against prejudice and xenophobia.  DOWNLOAD:  mediafire

The Real Roots of Kwaito

The few times western publications have written about Kwaito and South African House, styles which have thrived for many decades, the story is almost always told in terms of a unidirectional migration of House Music from the United States to Africa.  This is problematic because 1 central factor is not only understated, but entirely missing, including from the South African voices sometimes interviewed.

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Report from South Africa

Additional shows:

Fri. 28/09 —- Disofeng Dobsonville
Sat. 29/09—– Club Ozone (N. West)

Sat. 29/09 — Panyaza (with Zinhle)
Sun. 05/10 -– Panyaza
Sat. 06/10 — Vintage life style (pimville)
Sun. 7/10 -— Mofolo Park Stadium (w/ Nick Holder)
Sun. 7/10 -— Pandora Chesa Nyama (Ekhuruleni)
Sun. 7/10 -— Liquid Chef (Rosebank)



(also published on This Is Africa.)

downtown Johannesburg

At once after touch-down i noticed the modern, international air of Johannesburg, which looked wealthy and stable; and of the friendly, smartly dressed and hip Africans around me, who seemed as informed as anyone in the East Village or London.  But soon a more complex picture emerges.

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NGOMA MIX 13 – Juju-Juke

Ever since drums were banned on most slave plantations in N. America during the 1600s, after the masters discovering that the slaves organized revolts with their talking drums, the expression of poly-rhythms in N. American popular music has primarily been through use of the voice.  This is the reason music in the US is typified by the simple 1-2 “dupple” rhythm, in contrast to more complex beat patterns in South-America or the Caribbean (which kept their drums).  Thus the evolution of all subsequent Afro-North-American music was profoundly shaped, from Blues to Funk to Disco:  kick on the 1, and snare on the 2; all the way down to the late 20th Century – complex poly-rhythms in hiphop is produced with rap, and the drums remain a skeletal, minimalistic boom-bap, as if just to mark time.

Now in the 21st Century a renewed sense of rhythmic complexity returns to  Afro-North-American dance music in the form of Juke/Footwork in Chicago: interlocking 2s and 3s form intricate beat structures, unmistakeably related to many forms of percussion styles in the motherland (but still often keeping that N. American hard snare on the 2).


This NGOMA volume demonstrates this reconnection, after centuries of separation, between African tradition and Afro-Diaspora:  between Nigerian Juju/Fuji music and Chicago Juke/Footwork, between Ethiopian dance styles and Detroit Ghetto-Tech, between Iberian trad-modern street sounds and American R’n’B/Pop, between Afro-Punk and Club Music, between Congolese Mbira workouts and Hiphop, between Ghanaian and Senegalese drumming and Urban Bass Pressure.   Let us pump up the volume and remember the power and spirit of rhythm which survives every hardship, cruelty, and oppression, and rejoice in the timeless Music Of the Drums.

big thanks to Keith Jones for knowledge passing, Itzi Nallah, Sonic Diaspora and states side massive for making the Juju-Juke tour possible, my B-girls Jessi and Maya for support.Juju-Juke Tour kick off in Belgrade

I have played this set a few times now during the Serbia, Germany, and US East Coast tour  a few weeks ago, and crowds have gone completely BONKERS as the energy went straight through the roof: 500 screaming people and massive MOSH PIT at 3AM during Mikser Festival Belgrade; club crowd which refused to leave, clapping and hollering for 20 minutes after lights went up and sound was turned off at The Shrine Chicago.  I guess the world is more than ready for 160 BPM Afro-Footwork pressure!!!

and here is that adrenaline fueled misanthropic juke edit of South African punk rockers Koos by itself (download and drop into your set if you are wo/man enough :D):

Fresh Shangaan Jams from Jambatani

dj LeBlanc has made a 1 hour mix of new material coming out of the Tsonga scene in SA.  in his words:

“In december 2011 I met the Shangaan music producer and singer Hanyani Maluleke, aka Mr. Jambatani, in Johannesburg, South Africa. I got in touch with him by my dj buddy Sebcat (Rebel Up! & Brussels Up!) who asked me to find cd’s of him as he had heard a couple of songs on the blog of Ernie Hoggins, whom is hereby credited for introducing the man and his music for the first time.
Back home in Brussels, I realised that one of the 5 home burned cd’s that I had gotten from Jambatani was unreadable, as were all of the title tracks of the 4 cd’s left.
But the music is great, so just following my ears, I made a selection of 12 tracks from about the 45 songs that were on the cd’s. At first, the variation in tempo’s (slow, fast) grasped the attention, which roots it firmly in the xitsonga music tradition (tsonga disco, shangaan electro) as well as the rich instrumentation, choirs, funny samples and vocal crazyness of Mr Jambatani himself. ”

and after that when you saying to yoself “hot damn i need more!” here is another dope mix of Shangaan business you won’t hear anywhere else by our man in Brussels:

NGOMA MIX 10 – Umlilo

Umlilo means fire in Zulu, and this mix takes us back to the Dirty South for a scorching ride through raw township sound. Exchanging smooth for ruff, Umlilo focuses on the connection between ghetto Rap and current Electro, between modern SA House and its Kwaito roots.


Futurism in Africa never disconnected at all from the body: sound design does not become a solipsistic end in itself (even though every timber and texture is perfection itslef); song form stays 100% intact in the electronic club music format; and the beats never bang on aimless and without purpose — robust machine groove reinterprets but absolutely incarnates the magic and essence of timeless rhythmic tradition.

regarding the first song:  what kind of church drops sick bass like this?? (sign me up!)

01 Dj Killer – Church Song feat. Chaka Chukwu
02 Big Nuz – Superman
03 Xavatha (Woza Chynaman)DJ Clock ft. Big Nuz, Tzozo & Sox
04 Big Nuz – Ungesabi (remix)
05 Zola – Khokhovula
06 Big Nuz – Izinja feat Tira and Tzozo
07 TKZee – Fella Kae
08 CNDO – Seducer feat. Tira & Big Nuz
09 Mgo – Yes
10 DJ What What – Unknown
11 Unknown – Woza Durban
12 Dj Sbu – Vuvuzela Bafana
13 Dj Vetkuk Vs Mahoota – Cina Feat. Dj Killer
14 Dj Skzi VS Big Dawg – Mbeleke
15 Dj Cleo – Egyptian Drum
16 B.O.P – Bop Killer [Featuring Zulu & Costa]
17 Dj Cleo – Akulalwa
18 Penny Penny & Joe – Nkosi
19 Mafikizolo – Sibongile
20 B.O.P. – Life’ Iskorokoro
21 Dj Cleo – Ndizayitya Lemali