January Recap: Top Southern African House Music Releases That Set Dance Floors Alight

While January is known to be a go-slow month for many, there is no rest for those in pursuit of their dreams. Local artists, producers and labels pick up where they left off and the new year has started on a high with a handful of quality house music releases. Here’s a rundown of my favourite releases for the month of January.

Thorne Miller & Chris Sen feat. MsKelle – Wet Cinnamon
Label: Just Move Records

image of wet cinnamon by thorne miller & chris sen feat mskelle
Image credit: Bandcamp


Produced by Tshwane-based Thorne Miller and Chris Sen with silky smooth vocals by MsKelle, Wet Cinnamon is a seductive deep house joint perfect for those rainy weekends indoors or those early morning rooftop sets. Case in point, Shervaan Bergsteedt dropped this beauty at Deep Town Jozi leaving the crowd mesmerised. Wet Cinnamon is featured on Traxsource’s Lounge Essentials for the week of the 28th January. Upon compiling this editorial Wet Cinnamon was charted at No. 2 on Traxsource’s Lounge Top 100. A great start to the year by Just Move Records who have hinted at two Various Artist compilations celebrating 7 years of Just Move Records due to drop in the first half of 2019.

Sculptured Music – Sad To Think
Label: Sculptured Music

image of sad to think by sculptured music artwork
Image credit: Facebook

Easily of the biggest local deep house joints of 2019 thus far, this banger has been on heavy rotation by every notable underground house music DJ setting dance floors alight at every house music event since the year began. Quite reminiscent of how Pierre Johnson’s Movin On owned every deep house dance floor at the beginning of 2018. Sad To Think is a thumping banger driven by its hard hitting groovy bass and hypnotic vocal sample of Gladys Knight’s Neither One Of Us. Considering the success of the East Blues EP he released last year November, which featured another hot jam titled Sing My Blues, It is needless to say that Sculptured Music is one of Mzansi’s gems that will possibly shine bright through 2019.

Parcel feat. Temantungwa – Ngiyatifela Ngawe
Label: Antidote Music

image of the parcel ep by the parce
Image credit: Facebook


Taken off Parcel’s debut release titled The Parcel EP, Ngiyatifela Ngawe is a proclamation of love embodied in heartfelt siSwati lyrics layered over an infectious soul-infused afro house beat. Featuring singer Temantungwa, Ngiyatifela Ngawe  was featured on the Traxsource Afro House Essentials during its first week of release and went on to enter the Traxsource Afro House Top 100 charts, climaxing at number 25. The Parcel EP consists of four amazing tracks meticulously produced and mixed to showcase the growth and quality of house music in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

Title: Ed-Ward – Illusionist
Label: Stay True Sounds

image of ed-ward evolution ep artwork
Image credit: Facebook


There’s just something about Ed-ward’s sound that gets my waist swaying, feet tapping and head bobbing. Illusionist is the pick above the rest from this EP – Evolution isn’t far off as well. Ed-Ward has a unique approach to music in which he blends afro house with deep house nuances. I’m expecting major moves and quality releases from Stay true Sounds this year and this release was the ideal signal of intent. Looking forward to hearing more of Ed-Ward as well this year!

Title: SURAJ – Wawere (Da Capo’s Touch)
Label: Gondwana

image of suraj - wawere (da capo's touch) art work
Image source: Traxsource


SURAJ and Olith Ratego’s Wawere get another touch of remixes. There couldn’t have been a more fitting candidate than the master-class that is Da Capo. Though Da Capo’s Journey Mix seems to be the fan favourite, Da Capo’s Touch is golden. Upon compiling this editorial, it was comfortably positioned well within the Traxsource Afro House Top 100, charted at number 14. It’s an energetic get-up and move kind of track with spellbinding vocals that linger in between the banging beat.

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About Author

Mmeli Hlanze An appreciator of all art forms especially that of music, Mmeli is a founding remember of a house music collective, The Antidotes, and co-owner of Antidote Music - an electronic music record label with a special focus on house music. Hailing from the kingdom of Swaziland, he is a convergent thinker who is passionate about Pan-Africanism. Through his interactions and experience gained within music and entertainment, Mmeli has become an avid talent spotter. Talent development and management has become a new addition in his ever-growing basket of expertise.

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