June Selects is the first of a new feature on The BASSics, that highlights local and international tracks released each month. Every month hundreds of tracks are released, and doing a write-up on every single one is just not feasible. So we’ve decided to compile a playlist that will be released at the end of each month, showcasing the tracks we can’t get enough of.
For the first installment the playlist is mostly local, and includes tracks from Chee, Rose Bonica, Fosta and a track from Sean Munnick that was released in May, but it’s so great it had to be included. On the international side, there’s a gorgeous ballad from Jordan Rakei, a rework of a classic from J. Robb and brand new Halogenix.
Listen to June Selects below:
Mozambican house producers MalcoHol and Michel Mess collaborated on “Dance or Die”. Both producers are currently based in Cape Town and are pushing their respective sounds. MalcoHol began producing in 2011 and Michel in 2015, and have since both had releases on local and international labels. MalcoHol’s had releases on local record labels Chutney Records, Immoral Music and international releases on East Project in the UK and Augmented Deep in Belgium. Michel’s had local releases on Immoral Music and MudPie Records. Internationally he’s released on Bloc Beatz Records in the UK and Inusual Series in Spain.
“Dance or Die” is a culmination of deep house, tech house, and jacking house. It’s a funky, whimsical track that has great anthemic potential. It’s one of those tracks where you’ll get the overwhelming urge to get up and shake a leg or two, and bask in how infectious the rhythm is. It also has a few twists and turns, and exudes a level of maturity and innovation from its creators. “Dance or Die” has only scraped the surface for both up-and-comers, and if it’s anything to go by, their futures are going to be furiously bright.
Listen to “Dance or Die” below:
CAPECLUB is a new platform by Omar Morto and The Surreal Sessions. It intends on highlighting South African producers that are on the fringes. It was established in December last year, and at the moment there are six artists part of CAPECLUB, these include The Surreal Sessions, Ethan Crowie, Slim Groove, Jaydon Lewis, Sage Hitomi and Mew Zu.
The BLUE Series is CAPECLUB’s second musical showcase, with the first being The Yellow Series which was released a month ago. The BLUE Series showcases the extraordinarily talented Mew Zu and his latest track “Cryptkeeper”. It’s an ominous, dark and intriguing offering from Mew Zu where he holds nothing back. The luscious bass line, coupled with unusual and daring sound effects and a gripping melody create an unbreakable force.
Listen to The BLUE Series below:
DJ SKinniez pays tribute to his late father with his latest release Happy Birthday Hotep Galeta. It’s his second annual tribute to his father and South African jazz legend Hotep Idris Galeta. The playlist was released on 7 June which would have been Hotep’s 76th birthday.
Elements from hip hop, r&b, soul, jazz and future beats are heard throughout the playlist. When it comes to production, SKinniez can be quite unpredictable and you can never be sure what you’re in for. However, soul and ingenuity are always guaranteed.
The seven track playlist shows off different aspects of his artistry, from sampling tracks and breathing new life into them, creating bulky hip hop and trap inspired beats to creating something more subdued and moving. He makes use of flips and chops, and his sound can be experimental at times, with his almost erratic use of sound effects and synths.
“Persistence__Hope” starts off the playlist, and begins with a recording of him speaking. It then morphs into three different wavy hip hop beats, each one effortlessly transitioning into the next. Track three, “FxF Flip” shows a more hard-hitting side of the producer, with its weighty bass and cheeky sound effects. “IntheDARK-[LIGHTning]” is enchanting as it begins with a nonchalant future beat and then turns into more of a house-styled beat. Again, it exhibits his ability to seamlessly change the direction of a track and give it an entirely new persona.
SKinniez has crafted his own sound, and although erratic at times, it’s never void of direction or energy. It’s clear that he draws inspiration from many things especially his father, which contributes significantly to his boundless potential.
Listen to “Happy Birthday Hotep Galeta” below:
Davve Beats ventured into new territory with his debut EP, by combining the Brazilian genre of baile funk with South African soundscapes. The EP is his first solo release in two years – as he also forms part of the duo Beat Sampras – and it’s his first release under the moniker Davve Beats.
Baile originated in Brazilian townships, known as favela’s. It became popular in the 1980’s and tackled social issues such as poverty, violence and social injustice with its hard-hitting lyrics. In 2004 Diplo made the genre known internationally, when he created a mixtape called Favela on Blast, from his time searching the favela’s for new baile music and artists. In recent years, Sango from Soulection has been a huge advocate for the raw baile sound, and has helped pioneer the sound as we know it today. It’s intense, emotive and fast paced.
With Baile Ikapa Davve does an incredible job at finding and aligning African tracks with baile samples. Everything flows and nothing feels forced or out of place, even though the tracks are worlds apart. The first two tracks “Introducao” and “Baile” fuse traditional baile samples with heavy-set hip hop and trap beats.
“e-MOTION-al” samples Black Motion’s hit “Rainbow”, and makes use of the iconic horns from the original to assist with its transition to a classic baile track. “Yizo Reprisenta” sees the DJ Zinhle anthem undergo a fierce baile revamp, and adds an exhilirating drop. South African hip hop star Nasty C’s “Hell naw” is sampled in “Chill bro”, and is given a less rigid baile feel. Baile Ikapa is a brilliant ode to what influences Davve and his sound. The EP is bold, and if anything, makes you acutely aware of Davve’s astonishing talent and vision.
Listen/download “Baile Ikapa” below:
Christian Tiger School are one of South Africa’s foremost electronic acts. They’ve gifted us with an explosion of sonic euphoria with their latest single. Sonar premiered the mammoth track, as the duo will be playing at Sonar in Barcelona on 15 June this year.
Their last offering was the album Chrome Tapes released two years ago, which saw them shift from an experimental hip hop sound to a more electronic one. “If You Want To” sees the duo explore the latter, and spoils the listener with a mixture of impeccable drum work, rhythmic waves, volcanic bass and an unforgettable melody.
One of the stand out elements of the track is its drum work, which elevates it into a transcendental state. The melody has an unwavering calming effect. The bassline and melody are equally as profound as the drum sequence, and the combination makes it a sensory experience, not just a sonic one. “If You Want To” is organic and addictive. It’s one of those tracks that can be put on repeat, and each time your appreciation for it grows.
Listen to “If You Want To” below:
Dwson is the latest house prodigy on everyone’s lips. He brings back a refined melodic sound packed with energy and soul, reminiscent of old school deep house. He uploaded his first track on SoundCloud just two years ago, and has come a long way in such a short space of time.
Tales was produced at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town, and features a collaboration with Dunn Kidda. The three track EP gives a glimpse into Dwson’s remarkable talent, and leaves you wanting more, so much more.
The opening track “Tales” features Dunn Kidda, and his touch can be heard very early on in the track. Dunn Kidda’s eclectic style and Dwson’s richness, create a unique track that showcases the depth of our local talent. “G” and “Daffodil” see Dwson revert back to his signature sound. “G” is an undisputed classic, and sees him slow things down, but turn up the groove. “Daffodil” ends the EP off, and boasts his ability to effortlessly combine melodies, synths, basslines, and rhythms to create a sonic masterpiece.
Listen to “Tales” below:
Everyday this week Tsukudu has released a track in the build up to the Newfolder: Black Woman event happening in Grahamstown this Friday. Tsukudu is a Joburg-based future beat, bass, hip hop producer and DJ. He sampled the 2003 classic “Say yes” from the legendary duo Floetry.
He infused the original with a hip hop and future beat twist. The tempo remains slowed, however the synths and chunky bass line give it a future beat kick, with a dash of hip hop. Tsukudu’s version is dripping with sex appeal, and has done the unthinkable, it has even more sex appeal than the original.
Listen to “Say yes” below:
As part of a remix competition hosted by drum and bass trio Blu Mar Ten, TehSynes remixed “Titans” off their seventh album Empire State, which was released in December 2016. There were over 300 entries, and TehSynes ended up in the top 16 with his remix.
The remix features vocals from TehSynes and a hair-raising performance from Ntombe Thongo. It unites two worlds; drum and bass and traditional African music, creating a track of unparalleled proportions.
As the track begins there’s an air of mystery and bewilderment, with the dreamy vocals of TehSynes and the backing vocals of Ntombe. As it progresses, it jumps out of its shell and steals all your attention. The tempo rapidly changes and Ntombe’s voice crashes in synchronicity with the beat. With hints of jungle and a messy bassline the track is menacing and profound, with Ntombe sprinkling the perfect amount of soul onto it.
Listen to Blu Mar Ten– “Titans” [TehSynes remix] below:
GinaJeanz linked up with Red Bull Studios Cape Town to create a magical EP. The three track EP is glorious, and gives a glimpse into her remarkable talent.
Gina has taken huge strides with her music and within the industry, and the creation of this EP proves that. Consistency has been one of her key strengths along with her ingenuity, and it’s highly apparent that every track she creates is done with the utmost care and love.
The EP begins with “Fader”, an up-tempo love note that combines the soul of r&b with the zest of a future beat. “Stellar Wave”, is the second track and has a more delicate and minimal approach. In classic GinaJeanz style, it’s rhythmic with a few twists and turns. “Need (you)” is bold and has a knee-jerking beat, and is as emotionally gripping as it is technically profound.
Gina is at the forefront of the future beat sound, and effortlessly combines the warmth and soul of melodies and vocals with futuristic sounds and textures that are often cold and generic.
Listen to the EP below: