If you’re reading this then congratulations are in order. You’ve made it through to the second half of 2019 and just as Jim George said, “It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish.” Judging from this month’s releases the house music scene in Southern Africa is looking to use the second half of the year to blow 2019 completely out of the water. I thoroughly had a tough time picking this month’s music. There was so much and I left out so many so please do forgive me. Nonetheless, here are my top house picks for the month of June.
ZuluMafia, Nhlangano, June Jazzin – Soulfellas 2
Label: Moyo Muziki Records
Soulfellas 2 is a resounding reminder that soulful house music will never die. A laidback and groovy release that sounds nostalgic yet ever so fresh. Soulfellas 2 features three tracks from Soweto’s soulful house maestro ZuluMafia, Junkonme’s Nhlangano and June Jazzin who’s one of my favourite house selectors. I honestly love the whole release but my stand out favourite has to be June Jazzin’s Lakhusta Strawberry, that groovy hypnotic bass is a winner for me!
Sculptured Music – Sad To Think (Remixes)
Label: Stay True Sounds
The other day Kid Fonque tweeted, “Some tunes don’t need remixes.” This may be true but he clearly wasn’t referring to Sculptured Music’s Sad To Think. The hit single received some remix tlc from FKA Mash, KVRVBO and Jazzuelle. FKA Mash comes through with his signature Glitch Dub sound, a favourite with many having been charted 18 times on Traxsource including Traxsource’s Weekend Weapons, Afro House Essentials and Hype Chart. My personal favourite though is KVRVBO’s Remode Mix, a vibrant deep house banger that every deep house DJ needs to have in their arsenal.
V.underground & George Lesley feat. Earl W. Green – Mayibuye
Label: Phoenix Music
Throughout history, music has always availed itself as a vehicle for social change and a platform for the marginalised to have a voice. Mayibuye is a call for the restoration of Africa. Earl W. Green advocates for the redistribution of land back to its original owners. He does this over a percussive instrumental infused with afro sounds and a jazzy saxophone that compliments Earl W. Greens smooth vocals. Beautiful song by V.underground, George Lesley and Earl W. Green, Malibuye ilizwe lethu!
Jazzuelle – North Star EP
Label: Atjazz Record Company
“The North Star EP represents my growth over the years, it’s the evolution and progression of my sound over time,” shared an excited Jazzuelle through a social media post. As I listened to the EP I shared the same sentiments. Jazzuelle has never shied away from experimenting and taking his sound to different avenues but on the North Star EP I believe he found a common ground for the signature Jazzuelle sound I fell in love with before, as well as his love for different facets of house, that is, techno, afro house and so forth. The Drake Equation is very much reminiscent of Jazzuelle celestial dreamy deep house sound but my pick of the bunch has to be Eclipse, both the Original and Darkside Dub.
Kususa, Argento Dust – Incwadi Encane
Label: Sudam Recordings
The KwaZulu Natal based electronic music duo Kususa and emerging star Argento Dust are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Incwadi Encane is proving that collaboration is at times the key to reaching new frontiers. The two-track EP showcases new age afro house sound driven by techno and electronic sounds. The title track Incwadi Encane is suited for festival stages with its spellbinding rhythm and melody. The Idea is a pulsating afro house banger that can set any dance floor alight.
Candy Man – Technokrat EP
Label: Afrocentric Records
If ever there was any doubt, South Africa is the headquarters of Afro House music. There seems to be a gem discovered everyday and many others waiting in line to be discovered. By no means is he a newcomer to the game but I recently discovered Candy Man’s music through his Technokrat EP. This four-track release is packed with upbeat dance floor hits only! The title track Technokrat is the type of song I could easily envision Black Coffee playing on one of his sets on his international escapades. Obstraction & Wijo would be perfect for my girlfriend’s step/dance classes and quite frankly one cannot listen to this EP without breaking a sweat.
KG Smallz feat. Ree Morris – Give Me Some Love
Label: House Afrika Records
Ree Morris cries out for love on a warm and mellow soulful house instrumental by KG Smallz. Though we act tough on the outside, everybody needs love and Give Me Some Love is every man’s plea for a chance at love. Though I’m not sure, I suspect Ree Morris is on additional production as well seeing that the man knows his way around the keys. The single is clearly a favourite with the Traxsource team as it featured on the Soulful Essentials, Weekend Weapons and Hype Charts.
Avi Subban – The Guilty Pleasures EP
Label: Stay True Sounds
Yet another stellar deep house release from Stay True Sounds. This time it’s Jozi’s underground superstar Avi Subban serving the heat. Summer Nights is the perfect intro into this EP, an energetic deep house jam with a groovy bass. Guilty Pleasures, the title track, is the crème de la crème of this three-track EP. Driven by hypnotic synthesised progressions and mesmerizing beat drops, this one is bound to get you moving. It also got a heads up from Jimpster as he featured it on his Traxsource Top 10 chart for July.
As I said initially, there were many releases that deserve worthy mentions; Lemon & Herbs Edge EP, Lazarusman’s Letter To Your X, George Lesley’s The Atmosphere featuring Tlale Makhane and many others that I might have missed.
Featured image credit: justjadephoto