'Ayobaness - The Sound of South African House EP' is a 4-track introduction to the vibrant urban club culture that rules the dance floors of South Africa. It will be followed by a full length compilation, to give you the full experience of South Africa's house craze.
Ayoba is a catch phrase born in the townships of Johannesburg which is used to express excitement. Right now South Africa is excited: in June and July millions of football fans worldwide will be turning their eyes on the rainbow nation for the 2010 World Cup. This could also be the time for the probably most crazy house culture in the world to shine. The last years have seen a growing interest in local music styles from around the world. Much of Western pop music seems stuck in endless recycling of its own history and has become more and more open for local styles like favela funk, cumbia or kuduro.
When apartheid finally came to an end in 1994 the South Africantownship youths had created their own club music called kwaito. At the beginning kwaito was not much more than slowed-down house beats over which raps in Zulu, Xhosa and broken township English were laid. DJs had started playing Chicago house in the 80s and were selling mixes out of the trunks of their cars. SA's kwaito rose to become the soundtrack for celebrating the end of apartheid and soon turned into the economic motor for the rebirth of a new black entertainment industry.
Meanwhile house was always around and DJs started to fuse and produce their own local version adding uniquely South African sounds from kwaito vibes, Zulu Mbaqanga basslines to Hugh Masekela samples. Local house duos like Revolution or BOP were instant chart breakers and proved that the love of the nation is house.
With the kwaito craze fading, house has again taken the lead as SA's number 1 party music. Today South Africa is the only country on the continent that has its unique local house culture. And the only country in Africa where kids dream of being a DJ not a singer. DJ Mujava from Pretoria came up with one of the major global club anthems in the last years: 'Township Funk', released on Warp Records in the UK. The DJ and producer is part of a huge rebirth of black culture that has been taking part in South Africa since the end of apartheid. The main players of this cultural revolution grew up with a love for house music and have since made it their own.
The EP starts off with 'Ayobaness' by Pastor Mbhobho, a crazy priest sporting a huge afro and wearing lots of bling bling. "His royal Ayobaness" or "The president of youth culture" as he puts it, he is a bit like South Africa's very own version of Ali G. Pastor Mbhobho is followed by DJ Mujava's "Mugwanti", another smash hit from the suburbs of Pretoria. 'Just in Time' by Aero Manyelo from Midrand Johannesburg is a track with a bass that pumps the speakers of any township Shisanyama (a barbecue). Another hidden gem is DJ Steavy from Nelspruit whose 'Ungazocala' offers a mix of ghetto and disco sounds.