Review

DJ Lag remixes Bongiziwe Mabandla’s “Ndiyakuthanda” from soothing ballad to grating gqom jive

Injecting some vibrant – and slightly volatile – energy into Bongiziwe Mabandla’s characteristically soothing sound, gqom pioneer DJ Lag just remixed Mabandla’s “Ndiyakuthanda” into a percussive, alien-esque dancefloor banger. 

Although banger might not be the operative word here – jive more likely is. It’s built on a percussive rhythmic backbone, pinpointed and decidedly calmer than one would expect from the sonic innovator. But where he might opt for a lighter groundwork rhythm, he more than makes up for in unsettling rawness when it comes to the synth production. 

Disconnected and ethereal, pairing untethered synth melody with whining electronicism, it’s the spacey, alien overtone which really sets the track worlds apart from Mabandla’s lulling acoustic original. Organic beats meet industrial production and spawn a groove-inducing, nail-biting remix which is as raw and unsettling as it is impressively forward-thinking.