Various Cape Town Beats Vol. 1

Various Cape Town Beats Vol. 1
As truly international as hip-hop has become over the years, it’s always surprising how the music rarely strays too far from sounds traditionally heard in the U.S. and UK, no matter the country of origin. That prevailing perception is maintained by French label Jarring Effects’ three-disc showcase Cape Town Beats Vol. 1, an expansive collection of Big Dada-style hip-hop, dub and dark electronic tunes hailing from the South African city. Dank tones, effects-laden rhythms and a Company Flow rhyme style characterise cuts like Ben Sharpa’s futuristic Neil Young nod "Into The Black” and the Man Who Never Came Back’s "Crypticism,” while dreary instrumental offerings by Felix Laband and Markus Wormstorm drag things even further into the set’s moody underworld abyss. Also included in this set are two complete beat-driven electronic records by SA producer Sibot, further spotlighting the heavy British influence in the Cape Town underground sound. While that influence all but erases the "South Africa” descriptor, this record speaks volumes to the expansive reach of the once mighty Ninja Tune empire. (Jarring Effects/Fusion III)