There is something magnificent happening in Johannesburg – a nascent electronica scene that has been threatening to disrupt the silence with artists like LEEU providing the soundtrack.
I highly recommend putting on a pair of great headphones, closing your eyes and creating images to accompany the music filtering into your ears. Suid Tronica is transcendental. One moment I imagine myself outdoors, watching the sunrise along with hundreds of other people as wind instruments, steel drums and pulsating beats envelop me. The very next, I’m in a dark basement at who knows what time, lost amongst strobing lights and sweaty bodies on a packed dancefloor. It is a rare gift to find a release that is diverse and challenging without being so obscure that it alienates the listener.
The level of effort and consideration that went into this offering is unmistakable. The calibre of collaborative artists alone is enough to have any South African underground electronica fiend salivating. The crew of LEEU, Vox Portent, Hlasko, Micr.Pluto, Big Space, Andy Islands and Dom Benigno is capable of giving Jamie XX, Nicolaas Jaar and Machinedrum a serious run for their money while showing respect to local trailblazers like Felix Laband.
‘Heliotropes’ is so distinctly Big Space that I guess correctly before checking which song is playing, the track is reminiscent of Space’s Brown Bag EP in the most gloriously nostalgic manner. ‘39.5 AU’ is an inspiring amalgamation of the Jozi beat wizard, Micr.Pluto’s off-kilter rhythms and the spacial brilliance of LEEU’s ambient majesty. ‘ChimiChanga’, much like it’s culinary counterpart, overflows in the collaborative department, filled to the brim with features from Andy Islands, Thor Rixon and Pano Roller. Delectably funky bass riffs, bacardi house rhythms and hypnotizing synths have me dancing around my bedroom at 3am like a complete lunatic.
If you are one of the people constantly moaning about no good music coming out of “the scene”, you’re either looking in all the wrong places or you haven’t cleaned the wax from your ears in a while. After just one listening session, Suid Tronica has crept deep into my heart, I feel it under my skin and I hear it inside my head long after I’ve removed my headphones. You will do yourself a gross disservice if you spend another moment not listening to these songs.
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Listen to “Suid Tronia Episode 1” below on Soundcloud.