Zoocci Coke Dope. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

4 Great South African Albums & EPs That Came Out This Week

You need to check out these releases from Muzi, Batuk, Zoocci Coke Dope & Flame and Kommanda Obbs.

It's been a busy week for South African music.

Read ahead below as we share with you four great releases that caught our attention this week. The list is in no particular order.

Muzi Afrovision

Muzi's album Afrovision blends electro with varied indigenous South African sounds. A great example is the opening song, "Kini," which boasts an eardrum-wracking bassline and a catchy rhythm wrapped around a recurring guitar squelch that is prevalent in mbhaqanga. How about the percussion on "Daylight"? The album's first single "Chocolate Dreams" (featuring Una Rams and Nigeria's Seaba) flirts with Afrobeat and West African pop, and so does "Nu Day" which features OkMalumKoolKat. Afrovision lives up to its title. It references a lot of music from the continent, and is progressive. And most of the songs having vocals give the album a replay value that most South Africans, and the world at large, will appreciate.

Batuk Kasi Royalty

Another one for the dance floor, Kasi Royalty by the duo Batuk also references South African genres such as kwaito and SA house and blends them with electronica. If you love your dance music with melodic vocals, this is the album for you. Not to be overlooked on Kasi Royalty is the songwriting. A song like "Just To Touch" excels because of the simplicity of its lyrics, which are also relatable. Songs like "Deep Ocean Deep," "Can You Feel My Heartbeat," among others also follow the same formula. As we said, on our review of the duo's EP Move!, kwaito lives through their music's DNA, and there are plenty references on here that will have you feeling nostalgic while still managing to not sound outdated.

Zoocci Coke Dope x Flame Do Not Disturb

Two of the most promising hip-hop artists and producers Zoocci Coke Dope and Flame teamed up for a collaborative EP. Titled Do Not Disturb, the project showcases the pair's production, rapping and singing skills. Do Not Disturb is addictive. Ominous keys creep under droning bass lines and 808 kicks and snares, as the artists lace the beats with vocals that are easy on the ear without sounding cheesy. DND combines bravado, vulnerability in eight tracks that will leave you begging these two for an album. South African hip-hop's new wave ain't nothing to fuck with, and DND attests to that. As Zoocci raps on "Amazing Grace," "fuckboy, know your place/ you looking at one of the greats."

Kommanda Obbs Kommanda Obbs

South Africa-based Lesotho MC Kommanda Obbs has been perfecting a style that is boundless without being corny or him trying to be a lot of things at once. His self-titled album, released by the South African indie label Native Rhythms, showcases the artist's versatility while still being coherent. His raps are melodic, the music rich with saxophones, bass guitars, and kicks that bang hard. Only two of the 13 songs on the project have guests—the jazz artist Bhudaza appears on "Pina," while the rapper ProVerb and the singer Mapule appear on the inspirational "I'm Capable." If you understand Sesotho, you'll know Kommanda more by the time the last song is over. If you don't, the melodies, flows and beats will keep you engaged.


Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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