Lakei takes neo-kwaito way back in his Suburban Stimela EP

This is already Lakei’s second release of 2019 and his first official immersion into the world of kwaito.

Suburban Stimela’s three tracks power past in a flurry of off-kilter beat and hip-swinging synth.

The Capetonian rapper and producer has been dropping beats all over the place over the last few years with his ongoing Inkomazi mixtape series. His latest forte is the sort of low-tempo kwaito which ruled the ’90’s, finding its feet in the hands of millenial production.

Mx Blouse makes a welcome appearance on opening track, “Uyabhampa”, whose chiming, watery synth layers build and build until the languid groove sets in. Lyrics slip between English and isiXhosa without falter – “You’re playing hard to get/and I’m losing interest,” he intones.

“Groova” serves as a vocal-less palate cleanser, sifted through with a gritty, driving bass-line and a kick-off kwaito beat.

Seconds later and a second beat is filling in the blank gaps, then a third – while “More” slides in as a silvery hip-hop conclusion and leaves you wanting just that.