The South African music industry has one of the most unpredictable landscapes in the culture, and that’s what keeps it ever so refreshing and vibrant.
No one can be comfortable at the top.
Every couple of years, a whole new wave, sound and dance fad comes along to replace everything we’d love for a for few summers before it.
This past year certainly belonged to amapiano, a trend that is likely to continue for a few more years. It came with whole set of jive vibes, including the viral ‘pouncing cat’ dance craze that rocked the streets everywhere.
Before then, Gqom had caused more than a frenzy on the dance floors. And much like amapiano produced a slew of new artists, like Kabza De Small, Sha Sha, Njelic et al, Gqom gave us the likes of Babes Wodumo, Tipcee, Mshunqisi and Distruction Boyz.
As 2020 sets in, there are some signs indicating what kinds of trends we should anticipate in music this year.
The rise of soulful vocalists, such as Mthunzi, Ami Faku and Indiana is painting an interesting picture of where things could potertially go.
But while we observe the trends unfold, house music (and its sub-genres) is already unleashing bangers we know will come to shake things up in the lead up to the looming winter.
Here’s a list of newly released house music jams you should check out!
BANTU ELEMENTS FEATURING MKEYZ – ‘PUSHAA’
My personal leanings are definitely towards the deeper house sounds. The blending of a jazzy feel with ethereal vocals over a steady, mid-tempo beat that has been engineered with such care and skill is why they call it expensive music!
Bantu Elements impresses with the release of Pushaa, which makes for a great edition to your workout playlist as well. It feels fresh, new but still tugs at the heartstrings of nostalgia.
The track, while primarily about the hustle (if you overlook some of the sexual overtones, of course!) and the groove.
It’s lush and smooth, a welcome chill from the frenzy of the previous festive season.
KABZA DE SMALL & DJ MAPHORISA – ‘HELLO’
DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small continue their reign on the charts. There are no signs that the collaborative duo is looking at any options to slow down their pace.
They have a ‘don’t mess with the tempo, don’t miss with the consistency’ vibe that’s going on, and we suspect it’s how they’ve been able to release no less than four albums between them in less than two years.
Following the success of their second joint album, Return of Scorpion Kings, which came out in December 2019, the amapiano hit makers have collated a cohesive set of no less than 14 new tracks.
On their third album, Scorpion Kings Live, the dance music outfit unleashes one hour and 33 minutes of straight fire.
The second single of the album, Hello, is catching momentum on dance-floors and on the airwaves.
Lawd Porry proves here that he knows what works vocally, and delivers a spirited chant as he promises the subject of his affections that he intends on treating her to the fine things of life.
MOBI DIXON & NAAKMUSIQ FT. NICHUME AND BLOWZIT AVENUE ‘CAMAGU’
Mobi Dixon, on the other hands, revs up the tempo.
On the first single since the release of his critically applauded album 10 Steps Forward, the award-winning producer unveils the beautiful posthumous vocals by the late Nichume.
The harmony between Naakmusic’s raspy peaks and her hovering soulful delivery will give you goosebumps.
“Idlozi linamandla”, they sing (The ancestor has power). The themes covered in the song bring about a spiritual appreciation of what they’ve done together, particularly as Nichume is no longer with us.
PRINCE KAYBEE, BLACK MOTION, SHIMZA & AMI FAKU – ‘UWRONGO’
This collaboration is the closest thing we can liken to our musical version of a Marvel blockbuster film!
Here you have the finest producers in the country, each with their own sound and their own distinctions, assemble on the production of a highly appreciated offering.
What’s remarkable about their song uWrongo, which premiered in January 2020, is how the completed work manages to bring something entirely fresh and exciting, while also playing on their most loved MO’s.
We cannot get enough of Ami Faku’s sun-drenched, husky voices hovering over this fresh instrumental. She’s such a force to be reckoned it.
DJ BONGZ – ‘SONG OF JOY’
The wave may have roared towards Pretoria in the past summer, thanks to the emergence of amapiano, but Durban looks to remind us all why they owned the streets between 2009 and 2018.
DJ Bongz though, had been putting out street anthems way before then.
As unassuming as he is, always keeping a rather low profile until it’s time to bring out something new, he’s a leader in the music business. For those who aren’t aware, he’s the one behind the ‘gwara gwara’ dance that rose to become a worldwide phenomenon.
We are delighted then the DJ Bongz had returned with a new album, Son of God.
The 14-track project, which we will have up in our ALBUM REVIEWS section soon enough, has kickstarted with the debut of the first single, Song of Joy.
It’s a love song, sang beautifully with the Zulu poetic justice he’s shown us in some of his previous works.
Discover New Music Music, Exclusive Interviews and Album Reviews on QuenchSA.com
Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed
We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.
When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.
A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.
The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.
This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.
Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.
Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.
After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.
Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.
In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.
After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.
Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.
Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.
Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.
In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?
Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.
We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.
What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.
We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.
Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.
First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’
Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.
First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe, the world ready to let old baggage go.
The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.
Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it
‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.
The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.
While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.
When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.
With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.
It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.
We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.