This month in music: The best tracks to come out of July 2016

The first of a new series on 10and5, the monthly music round-up is a concise list of the best local singles, music videos, EPs and albums to come out of South Africa in the past month. July saw the debut LP by ambient electronic producer Buli, a collaborative hip-hop single by yoyo and Dada Shiva, a new single by Digital Maskandi pioneer Mashayabhuqe KaMamba, a host of music videos, and a whole lot more.

Emo Kid – Iam Unique Remix (Salute Andy Endy)

Ntobeko Ntshingila AKA Emo Kid is a 22 year old house producer from Durban and a self-proclaimed computer nerd. He’s been putting out music publicly for over a year now with a sound characterised by relentless choppy percussion, undercut with a dark, heady bassline. A trip down the artist’s Soundcloud will also uncover elements of gqom, deep house and a touch of old-school electro. Listen to his latest single below.

Gunch the Youth – Memoirs of a Great Her EP

A 19 year old BCom Law student from Johannesburg, Gunch the Youth recently brought out his debut EP, Memoirs of a Great Her. The EP is lyrically heavy and imbued with a personal narrative while still being broadly accessible to a variety of listeners. ‘Things Fall Apart’ is a stand out track characterised by melodic trills and featuring vocals by American artist Chester Watson. Listen through the full EP below.   

Darryn the Wizard – Excuse the Mess EP

Lo-fi, folky, and with a touch of psych rock, Darryn the Wizard has a melancholic sound that’s rhythmic enough to sway to. The Cape Town-based musician, who often partners up with ‘The Saucy Boys’ has recently brought out a new EP Excuse the Mess, a three track project that serves as a good summation of his sound for those who’ve yet to hear it.    

Bougain Village – City Sleeps  

Light, ethereal vocals characterise much of the Durban dream-pop outfit’s sound. Comprising Loren de Vos and Sean Ross, Bougan Village put out a distinctly dreamy brand of music, often anchored with simple percussive sections and enhanced with a sprightly use of synth. Check out ‘City Sleeps’ below.

Tsukudu – 3am EP

Tsukudu’s music has a lush and animate sound to it, making it equally at home on the dancefloor or through a pair of earphones on a lazy day. Overt, hip-hop style drum patterns combine with strong, trap-like basslines to platform a shrewd use of vocal samples. He just dropped his 3am EP recently, a five track collection of instrumental hip hop sounds that are sometimes dark, sometimes funk-infused, and consistently hard on the low end.

The Plastics – Sunscream

While the song’s been out for a while, this month saw The Plastics release the accompanying video for ‘Sunscream’. Directed and animated by Simeon van den Berg, the video sees a sprightly piece of music come to life in vibrant, colourful animation. Watch below and read more about it here.

Mashayabhuqe KaMamba – Sun City Flow

The digital Maskandi pioneer quietly and rather swiftly dropped ‘Sun City Flow’ earlier this month. The track is classic KaMamba, showcasing his deftly confident lyrical delivery complimented as always, by thick, resonating basslines and a militant set of drums. The track dropped as two different mixes, both of which can be heard below.

Jakinda – I Can’t Sleep EP

Jakinda’s new to the scene, but seems set to change the local soundscape in a major way. A Cape Town based conceptual artist, Jakinda puts out a brand of self-described Afro-future electronic music, wild and heavy on the low end, and interspersed with high, piercing vocals, trance-like and simultaneously jarring. Recently, Jakinda’s brought out an EP ‘I Can’t Sleep’, but the ‘Africa is the Future’ mixtape is well worth a listen too.

FAKA – iSifundo Sokuqala  

Ahead of their upcoming EP Bottoms Revenge, performance art outfit and musical duo FAKA released the music video for ‘Isifundo Sokuqala’. Lo-fi and narrative laden, the video perfectly complements the raw, pulsating sound of the track itself. Watch below and read more on the video here.

yoyo and Dada Shiva – Dozier

A hip hop producer and a rapper teamed up in Cape Town and brought out a funk-infused track that’s been on our most-played list for a while now. Opening up on a playful note, ‘Dozier’ takes a dramatic turn around the one-minute mark, opening up a lush, jazz-laden section that’s as crisp as it is compelling. Listen to the track below and read more about yoyo and Dada’s collab here.  

Refi Sings – 7even Days

A definite artist on the rise, Refi Sings dropped a brand new single this month. Besides its simple yet catchy backing track, 7even Days is a brilliant showcase of Refi’s wide and resolute vocal range, with skilful harmonies scattered throughout the track. Give it a listen below. 

Lindiwe the Ghost – Ghost in a Blood Machine

Seemingly out of nowhere, alt-pop duo Lindiwe the Ghost dropped the Georgina Warner directed music video for ‘Ghost in a Blood Machine’ off their upcoming EP Mother a few days ago. The conceptual, performance-based video carries with it the narrative of love, pain, patriarchy and internalised homophobia, while the track itself is a wonderfully dense piece of music. Watch below and read more on the video here.  

Thami 2 Shoez – Commentary EP

Thami is a versatile musician, able to dance deftly between a number of vocal styles and ranges. This is most apparent on his debut, solo EP Commentary, a four track collection of sometimes personal and sometimes humorous thoughts and observations by the Jozi-based singer-songwriter. Read a review of the EP here.

Moonchild Sanelly feat. JayCubed – Bhuti Madlisa

A serious topic delivered through a playful sound, Moonchild’s latest single sees her team up with vocalist JayCubed. Moonchild’s vocals traverse the forlorn as well as the rhythmic while JayCubed offers up a wonderful hook midway through the track. Listen to Bhuti Madlisa below and read more on Moonchild here.  

TSA – The Zxne

The Mcelu brothers have done it again. Taking the form of a documentary short and five chronologically arranged tracks released on Nobody Else, The Zxne is the latest product from Zolile Mcelu, better known as TSA. Across the five tracks you’ll hear TSA talk of friends, family, the local music industry, love, dark spaces and brighter futures. Conceptually dense, The Zxne is a powerful audio visual project that serves well as an introduction to the artist. Listen to the tracks and read a break-down of the project here.   

Buli – Feels LP

The prolific, Pretoria-based producer of few words finally dropped his debut LP earlier this month. An impressive 18 track collection with a number of collaborations, Buli put his heart on the line with this release and the product is nothing short of brilliant. Read a review of Feels here.

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