April Recap: Top House Music Tracks Released In Southern Africa
April is the birth month of many greats; Maya Angelou, Pharrell Williams, William Shakespeare, myself, Marvin Gaye and the list goes on and on. You’re probably thinking to yourself that this is me being biased because April is my birth month, and you’re probably right [hahaha], but you can’t deny that April was pregnant with some massive releases. In the siSwati calendar April is called Mabasa which means the month in which we start to light up the fireplace and the underground certainly got the memo. Hot tunes left, right and centre.
If you’re new to this, I do these every month so you might want to catch up on My March picks here, otherwise let’s get right into it!
Chujo – Love Illusion
Label: Indeed Records
It’s not every day that you hear locally produced garage house but over the years Chujo has made it his trademark sound, fusing soulful and deep house with garage. The Soweto born and bred producer delivers yet again. Love Illusion is an upbeat soulful house beauty with clear overtones of garage house. It has a nostalgic feel to it reminiscent of the prominent years of the UK garage scene, not to say that it’s dead now. The vocals have that classic house feel to them too with a catchy hook about everybody’s favourite topic, love. The joint was notably featured on Traxsource’s Garage Essentials and Soulful Essentials on its first week of release and it certainly deserves a place on every house music lover’s playlist too.
Matt Prehn feat. Griffin – With You
Label: Oh So Coy Recordings
Capetonian and Oh So Coy label head Matt Prehn releases his first single of the year featuring soulful songstress Griffin. The pair have managed to formulate an impressive combo that has give us many great collaborations and With You is yet another. The song is laidback yet groovy with hypnotic chords complimented by Griffin’s sultry and soulful vocals layered over it. To top it off, the release has some splendid remixes of which Keegs Bantom and The Stereotype are my favourite because of the different feel they bring. The original is a favourite among the Traxsource team as well as it made onto Traxsource’s Weekend Weapons, Deep Essentials and Hype Chart.
Deep Cuba – 20 Cuba EP
Label: Stay True Sounds
I won’t lie, before Kid Fonque featured these guys on his Selective Styles radio show a couple of months ago I hadn’t heard of them nor any of their music. Shout out Kid Fonque for being the plug and going on to feature them on Stay True Sounds. The 20 Cuba EP is full of dance floor bangers! A fine blend of deep house with a whole lot of electronic techy sounds coupled with infectious riffs and melodies. Bombshell and Keep Going are my favourites and I’ve found that, from conversations with friends, there’s some diversity in people’s selection of their favourite joints. This speaks to the level of quality production on this EP and on a larger scale, the level of quality in Mzansi’s underground house scene.
DarQknight feat. Lungi Mandebele – Go
Label: Arawakan Records
After making it onto My February House Picks DarQknight and Lungi Mandebele are back again, this time with a fresh afro house single titled Go. Lungi Mandebele’s catchy chorus and the enchanting rhythm on this Fabrizio-Ortella-esque jam are a perfect match. The song is mellow yet it’s pulsating rhythm is enough to warm up dance floors. I’m loving DarQknight’s work since the year begun and he’s steadily winning me over as a certified fan.
Fka Mash & Lazarusman – Deja Vu
Label: Stay True Sounds
“It’s like the smell of your mom’s cooking, that warmth of arriving home. It’s like you’ve heard this before.” It’s like Lazarusman has said these exact same words before yet we know his creative genius wouldn’t allow him to plagiarise his own words. The only way to describe Deja Vu is perfection. Fka Mash’s distinct electronic sound fused with words from one of the best spoken-word poets in house music, is a perfect marriage. The song is spellbinding! To top it all off, Fka Mash’s Glitch Dub is featured on three Tomorrowland Spotify playlists: Official Selection, Official House, Official Daybreak Sessions. I’m predicting this one to go on and contend for Best Underground Record at this year’s Dance Music Awards South Africa.
Myazisto – Dirty Minds EP
This two-track deep house EP is made for the dance floors. Pounding kicks and rolling snares, Myazisto didn’t hold back any punches on this one. Crisis is easily my favourite of the two with its hypnotic lead looped all the way through the song, short of only a siren to signal a real crisis on the dance floor. The title track Dirty Minds has a somewhat techno-inspired bass that gives the song its identity, well-complimented a fitting vocal sample and Myazisto’s signature sounds.
Floyd Lavine feat. Awen – Kusimama
Label: Rise Music
Taken off Floyd Lavine’s Harare EP, Kusimama is a groovy afro house track with a pleasant touch of soul thanks to the piano organ that synergistically plays back in between Awen’s vocal rendition. For Floyd Lavine, Kusimama represents a union of the classic afro house era from years gone and his own unique new-age production style. Not only was Kusimama charted No. 18 on Traxsource’s Afro House Top 100, at the time of writing this, but it appears on 26 charts and these include Traxsource’s Hype Chart, Weekend Weapons, Essential Afro House and the Best of Miami 2019.