Boomkat Product Review:
Original badboy DJ Tom Boogizm turns out a silky smooth and hypnotic mix of South African Kwaito - the slicker precedent to Gqom - as the 4th mix on his unmissable Shotta Tapes series.
’Sgbengu inombolo yokuqala’ translates from Zulu as ’Number one thug’, a nickname bestowed upon Tom by crowds in the townships he toured over a pair of three-week stints during 2015-2016, where he established a mean local reputation for his DJing and smoking skills, and where all the tunes in this killer mix come from. His skills and selections surely passed muster with the demanding crowds in Soweto’s Rockerfella club, where he endured a baptism by fire, playing on 1210’s with the pitch locked off at +4, but managed to hold it down and earn the enviable nickname and pick up the slow style of dancefloor pressure caught on this tape.
For the Kwaito layman or anyone who wasn’t listening when it broke thru into UK circles around 10 years ago thanks to Night Slugs et al, Kwaito is the slow (usually around 110bpm) deep house-compatible bridge between SA’s ‘80s bubblegum flavours and current Gqom styles. It’s still massively popular in the shebeens, yard parties and after-hours spots of SA townships such as Mafeking where Tom also played, driving between townships on long car journeys soaking up the local radio and swerving the tourist experience to properly immerse in the local culture.
More recently Kwaito has been highlighted in reissues from the likes of the Afro-synth label and comps on Strut, but you can trust that Tom cuts layers deeper into tunes rarely heard beyond the borders of the Southern hemisphere’s most populous country. You’ll have to shake him down for a tracklist, but if you copped any of the previous Shotta Tapes you’ll well know this one is practically essential, too.
Sleep and weep, peops!