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Various Artists

Ayobaness! The Sound of South African House

(Out Here; US: 25 May 2010; UK: 10 May 2010)

Great dance music should do one of two things. First, and most obviously, it should make you dance. Second, it should put you in a good mood, get your head nodding even if you’re stuck inside, doing your roommate’s dishes. Ayobaness! The Sound of South African House is full of tracks that could make even the most iron-hearted minimalist or the most strident thrash monger crack a rhythmically-induced smile. The compilation comes from Out Here records, a Dutch label devoted to spreading the good word about African music. There’s plenty to say, or so it seems, about South African house.

DJ Mujava, famous for “Township Funk”, DJ Cleo and Mgo contribute the standouts “Nisho Njalo”, “Mugwanti/Sgwejegweje”, and “Yes”. There are a few clunkers, like the redundant and grating “Wena”. Even the slower songs, however, often feature rich production that gives the deceptively simple arrangements multiple layers of interest. The liner notes boast that South Africa is “house heaven”. Hyperbole or no, if Ayobaness! The Sound of South African House is any indication, the country’s urban centers have a soundtrack fit for party paradise.


DJ Mujava - "Mugwanti/Sgwejegweje"
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