Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa

BY Ashley HampsonPublished Jul 20, 2010

Through sheer word of mouth and the ability urban areas have to spread hype, Shangaan dance ― hyper-local, traditional South African music from Johannesburg ― has been expanding with the help of Nozinja (aka Dog, Zinja), a composer and record label owner revolutionizing Shangaan music. From his home studio in Soweto, Dog sells thousands of albums a year, without the help of digital distribution. He's expanding the local scene by taking Shangaan disco ― a style of music that typically runs at 110-BPM ― and reworking it into Shangaan dance. The tracks on Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa are a breakneck 180-BPM, with the ensuing dances catching approaching half-a-million hits on YouTube. This fast paced, rural South African music focuses on tradition. Though the artists on the compilation use American phrases (such as Zinja Hlungwani's "Nwa Gezani My Love," where the lyrics "please be mine, what can I do my baby, to make you mine?" run throughout the track), Dog's production reworks foreign samples, stringing them alongside traditional contexts. The result is sun kissed South African dance with a bit of an '80s flair. It is an interesting compilation, to say the least.
(Honest Jon's)

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