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The ever-seminal examination of the SA house scene, ‘Mzansi House’, is back

Written by on August 3, 2018

The ever-seminal examination of the SA house scene, ‘Mzansi House’, is back with an essential eighth edition.

As usual, it’s a bumper 4-disc collection that shines a spotlight on Mzansi’s most promising young producers – this time around, Pierre Johnson, Fka Mash, Sean Munnick, and Brewed Souls.

Pierre Johnson is a deep house producer/DJ based in Cape Town who’s been plying his trade since he hit his teens. His mix, subtitled ‘Outsiders’, has features from Jazzuelle, Chris Jay, and Lazarusman, and showcases his trademark easygoing electronic style, with dreamy keyboard washes, jazzy flourishes and occasional vocals riding considered beats and deep basslines. It also contains the track “CURE”, already a major hit on radio and in the clubs.

Up next is Fka Mash with ‘The Sound of Triumph’, a description that doesn’t disappoint. Another child prodigy – he started producing on Fruity Loops at the age of eleven – he’s recently gained a lot of recognition for his work on the Stay True Sounds label – tracks like “No Talking”, which is included here, along with originals and collaborations with Samthing Soweto, Tahir Jones, Myazisto, and Naak Musiq. The sound is slow, low, and lively, with heady synth swirls, rhythms that border on kwaito, and plucky basslines.

Sean Munnick, who has also released on Stay True Sounds, as well as the Dirtybird label, steps up next. His contribution features a number of cuts from Four7, his late brother Neelan’s collaborative project with Luke Mains, and further hook-ups with Wesley Keet, Des’Rae, and Daev Martian. Stylistically it’s bright, animated, and underground, with tricky percussive tics and bold chords and basslines that groove understatedly and effortlessly.

Rounding out the quartet is Brewed Souls with their ‘Past, Present & Future’ selection. The Pietermaritzburg-based duo of Griffith Malo and Njebster have graced House Afrika compilations many times before, and also appeared on Andy Compton’s Peng label. Here they raid their discography for their most spaced-out, jazzed-up, and deliciously percussive tracks.

It’s a fittingly dramatic end to a robust collection of future-facing African dance music, and a must-cop.

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