Mobi Dixon’s 10 Steps Forward Album Has Arrived – Album Review
Mobi Dixon’s freshest offering is rich with potential to achieve both purposes of filling dancefloors this coming summer, and living beyond the constraint of seasons with instant timeless classics
Mobi Dixon has seldom misfired when it comes to putting out a solid product, a fact which rings true to South African House music.
If you’ve tapped into this sound and the niche subculture, you’ll know that its considered “expensive music” by avid followers, who are constantly on the hunt for the freshest supreme but delightful productions.
And since South Africa is known to be the world’s capital of House Music, the DJs normally take years to put out new work, which must leave a lasting impression.
The House music Dj and producer returns with a 10 track project which sees him enlisting sultry vocals from a select list of SA’s finest; including Shekhinah, Donald, Samthing Soweto, the inimitable Nokwazi and amongst others JSomething). The album also showcases Mobi Dixon’s apparent high roller status, as he has been able to get quite the line up of the hottest acts in the country, such as DJ Tira, Dladla Mshunqisi and Tamara Dey.
Strategically, the best thing any artist can do is position some of the strongest works at the beginning of the album. It sets the mood and tone, which in turn influences how the listener potentially perceives the rest of the project.
Though for me, this is also a trap. It took me a while to move past the album’s title track. Shekhinah’s soulful vocals anchor Mobi Dixon’s green and mint productions in the most magical way. Admittedly, I’ve enjoyed both Mobi Dixon and Shekhinah’s works through years, and this timely collaboration struck such a cord that I had to take it to the treadmill!
“Every lesson I learned, braced me for the worst”, sings Shekhinah ss beautifully as only she can. This track establishes this album as a bevy of richly vocalised house classics that will both animate partying sessions in the looming festive and sustain relevance that will live beyond seasons, as we’ve come to see House music do over the decades. When it comes to house music, the trick to longevity lies in songs that have more than nine lives.
Please You with J’Something comes in next, and immediately upticks the level of soul this record brings. It’s a pleasure listening to good ol’ authentic South African music, especially when the richness of the work is not open to debate. J’Something’s vocal harmonies are as blissful as ever here, and they allow you to bask in the supremacy of the marriage between the Dj and the soulful vocals on this track.
Samthing Soweto’s unmatched vocal acrobatics kick in on Abantu, the next bop in what is undoubtedly a timely session for this summer. “Abantu bajaiva nabantu ababathandayo”, he sings beautifully through electric synths and Dixon’s trademark organic sounds.
Nokwazi is one of the country’s most formidable vocalist, who honed her skills doing back up vocals for some of the biggest names in the South African music industry’s biggest names. She decided to move to spotlight recently; and embracing House music, she finds herself laying down her uniquely African sounding vocals on this jam. It’s yet another dancefloor filler.
Maybe Impilo will be the album’s biggest hit on the charts; it has all the right elements. There’s Dladla Mshunqisi – the hottest voice in the Durban music scene right now, as well as details of the popular Pretoria broken-beat sound. It could also be Visa, featuring heavyweights Kwesta, DJ Tira and Nichume. It could also be both!
There’s no doubt that Mobi Dixon’s mission is to distrupt and dominate. You’ve got look out for this album!
K.O and Nandi Madida Drop New Love Duet
The rapper and songstress reveal a softer side in new single.
We know a love summer jam when we hear one.
So when Say U Will, K.O and Nandi Madida’s collaborative slow jam premiered on Friday, we knew the two had missioned to smoothly ease us into the looming spring and it’s all welcome, the country’s endured one too many collective blues.
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The new single marks a new era in K.O’s next musical odyssey, which is expected to arrive with a new album and an a fresh vibe.
In our exclusive interview with K.O in June, he did start teasing a different creative direction in the new era, which might also see him evolve beyond the Skhanda wave he championed at the start of his solo career.
READ INTERVIEW: K.O TALKS NEW ALBUM, SKHANDA MUSIC & MORE
Say U Will also finds K.O slowing down the tempo to bring back the quintessential Hip Hop and RnB summer love duets that came to capture the wave in the mid 200s.
K.O himself has churned out a few of these, having collaborated with several female vocalists to luxuriate Hip Hop instrumentals through the years.
The single comes hot on the heels of Supa Dupa, the rapper’s latest single, which marked a triumphant return to the airwaves.
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Zakes Bantwini and Leroy Styles Premiere New Single
Zakes Bantwini and Leroy Styles team up in new tune, Inyoni Yezulu
Over the last couple of months, Zakes Bantwini has been focused on developing his sound and progressing from his hits such as ‘Juju’ into a mainstream Dance space.
You can see this through his recent collaborations with Angolan Superstar DJeff, on tracks ‘Ouagadougou’ and ‘Zugu Zugu’, as well as in his latest release ‘Freedom’ whereby he collaborates with local vocalist and first time filling the role of producer/composer on a track.
This new track ‘Nyoni Yezulu’ sees Bantwini collaborating with Leroy Styles, Dutch powerhouse Producer, who has spent a decade building up his reputation as one of the slickest producers in the game.
Leroy Styles, who is enjoying more than 20 million streams over his top 5 songs on Spotify, is very excited to be working with South African heavyweight Zakes Bantwini in this collaboration whereby again his lays his topline vocal but certainly is not steering away from his focus, which is developing himself as a DJ, Producer in South Africa and the rest of the world.
Zakes Bantwini recently launched his live electronic one man show whereby he mixes live and performs key instruments over his tracks and builds live vocals to provide a truly unique offering which bridges the gap between live performance and DJ/Producer shows. Excited to see what Zakes has up his sleeve next.
TELLAMAN’s Debut Album, God Decides, Has Arrived
Tellaman has premiered his debut album – God Decides
Last week, we had the privilege of attending Tellaman’s album listening session for God Decides, which took place at his musical home merely hours before the album premiered.
The preview of the looming body of work was a showcase of what sounded like a mellow record from one who’s created the kind of anticipation only a handful of artists can, particularly in the age of streaming. The rules have changed – Kanye set precedence for a 7 track album not long ago. Singles are the new destination and, it seems, their lifespan is now down to just about a month.
Give or take.
The excitement around the soulful vocalist’s first studio album is, therefore, quite telling of the unique space he takes up in the South African soundscape, where we see names replace each other’s relevance with quick succession.
His has been a steady journey; he was certainly in a different space when we had a conversation with him two years ago.
The place he is now, though, informs the not just the work itself, but the many talents behind it.
“For the first time, I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I wasn’t trying to prove that I’m the best producer or writer. I just wanted to bring this idea to life and make sure that it’s exactly how I’d imagined it; if it sounds simple and cheesy or complicated and complex, that’s because I wanted it to sound that way.”
The inspiration behind the album is being in a relationship and trying to make it as a musician, two important aspects of life to balance, and something Tellamanhas yet to figure out. God Decides is about Tellaman meeting a girl he believes he loves and trying to make it as a musician whilst trying to make both work and his relationship work, but she fails to understand, and the industry gets the best of Tellaman.
BUY/STREAM: TELLAMAN – GOD DECIDES
Based on his religious background, Tellaman titled the album God Decides.
“I was taught that I can only do the best I can and let God take care of the rest. I chose ‘God Decides’ as the title of my first album because I have always felt like somehow, I am not fully in control of everything that is happening in my life. I chose the name because I believe I would not be where I am in my life if God didn’t allow it and I wouldn’t have gone through things I write about if God didn’t allow it.”
Featuring Tellaman’s signature melodies, smooth vocals with instrumental highlights, the story of the album is the bigger picture, with each song being a compiled episode that forms the bigger picture. But most importantly Tellaman brings a simplicity in his music in which a young or old person can find something to relate to. Fans can look forward to a new insight into Tellaman’s life; a lot of flaws, love and hope in the form of the music from his debut offering.
“If you want to put a specific style to the album, you can call it ‘Hip Hop/RnB’, but I like to call it good music and just leave it there. This is my life from 2014 until the day I stopped recording it. My mistakes, my good and bad moments in love. I hope what I have gone through will help someone do or choose better than me.”
Look out for our full album review soon.