South Africa breeds so many new rhythms and electronic music styles at such a fast pace that it’s hard to keep up. This thriving musical ecosystem has produced genres like kwaito, shangaan electro or the South African afro-house style (and its multiple subgenres like durban or bacardi house), but now there’s a whole new genre to add to that list. Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to introduce you to the entrancing gqom style and its biggest champion Jumping Back Slash.
This hard-to-pronounce genre is the latest to come out of this exciting scene and the man making the rest of thee world pay attention is Jumping Back Slash. After moving to South Africa he fell in love with a new sound that was coming out of Durban, where kids fired up cracked copies of Fruity Loops and started reducing afro-house and kwaito to its most basic elements. Everything gets stripped away until all you have is a syncopated beat, a menacing bassline and a few vocal chops thrown in for good measure. The results are minimalistic, dark and hypnotic, and we can’t get enough of it.
Inspired by this fresh wave of club music coming from the South African underground, Jumping Back Slash has been putting out a stream of amazing tracks in the gqom style, and his contribution to the Upper Cuts series confirms that he’s on a roll right now. In true gqom fashion Kanganga is dark, menacing, uplifting and danceable, all at the same time. This repetitive yet unpredictable beat serves as the perfect example of a sound which is still taking its first steps, but is already positioning itself to become the next big thing to come out of the South African dance music scene. Download the new Upper Cuts track right now and further expand the geographical borders of your iTunes collection.