Published Jun 02, 2015Even if you don't initially know how to parse South African artist Nozinja's new wave musical approach, his debut offering Nozinja Lodge hits the ground running to win one over right from first track, "Nwa Baloyi." Dubbed as an innovative producer and artist versed in high BPMs of the Shangaan electro movement, Nozinja has maintained the frenetic vibe of the traditional Shangaan folk sound and peppered it with modernist influences like Kwaito (South African house) and Tsonga disco to agreeable effect.
Born Richard Mthethwa, as Nozinja he initially comes off as a swashbuckler in spreading the sound — but that's not necessarily a bad thing. With the ten-track project, he maintains a polished vibe and manages to showcase the inimitable sound — which is perhaps better suited to a live context — for an intriguing outing.
The quirky vibe of "Tsekeleke," the unrestrained rave of "Vamaseve Vatswelani" and the relatively slowed down "Wo Va Jaha" are standouts. It's unclear if Nozinja has managed to capture the Shangaan lightning in a bottle for just this outing — and if it will feel played out on future ones. For now, Nozinja Lodge maintains its novel authenticity and stands as a curiosity that is definitely worth a listen. (Warp)