Boomkat Product Review:
Pure summer 2021 heat from South Africa, corralled by Shannen SP and Joe Cotch for NTS, and packing all the puckered Amapiano hitters you need to know right now.
Scanning the fecund field of South Africa’s prevailing deep house mutation, leading London DJs, Shannen SP and Joe Cotch pluck out a bevy of unreleased Amapiano zingers that showcase the style’s depth and breadth, spread between devilishly stripped drum trax and plusher works arced with deliciously groggy atmospheres and dusted, soulful vox. Despite clubs being shut in UK for the past 16 months, it’s been hard not to notice the increasing influence of SA’s infectious Amapiano styles on UK dance productions, especially from the likes of Scratcha DVA, Housupa Records, and Renk Groove Records, which makes ‘Amapiano Now’ kinda crucial listening for anyone keeping a keen ear on UK club music in 2021.
Under expert curation, we’re introduced to 17 South African players ranging from rising talent to scene veterans, with young guns such as MaWhoo supplying a lip-bitingly strong highpoint in the bullet-time motion of ‘Mswapheni’ and DBN Gogo holding the finest tension in ‘Possible’ with the breezing vox of Musa Keys and Dinho, and a killer strain of dark trance in ’Shuck N Jive’. In subtle contrast, veterans such as Vigro Deep and production powerhouse Caltronic SA hail a finer blend of deep house - a serious touchstone for so much SA dance music - and more brooding gqom styles, at best in the hypnotic ’Super Star,’ and breeziest on King Jazz’s ‘Lockdown,’ with proper tendon twanging flex in ‘Power Station’ by Teno Afrika, with the sweetest, piano led kiss off by Vusinator looping deepest East Coast and Midwest US house styles back to source.