Recently I have been doing my best to learn more about dance music in Africa, and in particular house music in South Africa itself. Part of this desire stems from being put onto (what I believe to be) some of the the early SA ‘beat makers’ such as TKZEE and M’Du. However this is literally where the extent of my knowledge on the matter ends. This level of intrigue was re-kindled once again quite recently by the RA ‘Real Scenes’ documentary on the Johannesburg house scene that was put out last month, and as a result of this I began to do some ‘digging’. This is where DrewCool and his ‘Mzansi Unearthed‘ series comes into the picture.
In DrewCool’s own words the Mzansi Unearthed mixes are made up of ”…house tunes from South Africa (Mzansi) that aren’t readily available in the States or outside of South Africa.” The header alone raises a very valid (if obvious) point too – there are surely a lot of tunes being made that just aren’t available on the commercial circuit in Europe/America. Perhaps it is for that reason alone that these mixes should be admired, especially considering the health of this particular scene right now.
Whilst there are other mixes available on DrewCool’s Soundcloud page, the main focus of this post is obviously on the ‘Mzansi…’ series. Put together over the past 3 months or so and so far comprised of 4 parts – ‘House’, ‘Roots’, ‘Jazz’ and ‘Lounge’, each has a different focus within the genre. The mixes can also be listened to in seamless succession via a single set, with tracklists available for each.
There is a lot of material here, and from what I have heard myself this includes plenty of hidden gems. Check them all out below, and show some love to the man on Twitter if you enjoy what you hear. He deserves the recognition.
Mzansi Unearthed: House
Mzansi Unearthed: Roots
Mzansi Unearthed: Jazz
Mzansi Unearthed: Lounge
Mzansi Unearthed: Township Tech
Mzansi Unearthed – The series so far…