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Gravy, Cape Town's Seasoned Electronic Collective

Get to know Gravy, a South African music collective based in Cape Town making some of the best electronic beats around.


“I think, in a way, Cape Town is to left-of-field electronic music now, what Seattle was to Grunge in the 90s. Its just this incredible, fertile scene with so many people making world-class music, and some really ground-breaking artists have emerged,” states producer Richard the Third. The Gravy  collective features some of Cape Town's most seasoned DJs and producers bringing some of their best work to the table. An impressive, zesty and never bass-shy look at the scope of local beat connoisseurs, these fine young men got together and packaged their love of “low-slung hip-hop electronica” in their first release Gravy 001 — which boasts a great recipe for dynamism including tracks by Card On Spokes, Christian Tiger School, O'ltak, Richard the Third, RVWR, Mr Sakitumi, Sibot, and SlabofMisuse. Dank's simmering and playful opening track "Basil Pesto" kicks things off, while  Gravy 001 reaches a boiling point with Narch’s earth-shaking "Jellybean," which ushers in Liver’s "The Word Is" and fills ears right up with it’s deeply satisfying charm. Stream Gravy 001 below and download it for the price of a Facebook "Like."

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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