”Written byNick Trethowan
A hot selection of tracks to keep you moving through the winter.
It’s cold in Cape Town right now. Real cold. The sort of cold that makes us long for the African Summer sun while contending with that wind that cuts to the bone. While the storms rage and we inch towards Spring, we’ve gotten a selection of tracks to keep you going and get you through. From local baning goodness to international talent, we have a range to get lost in.
Starting our warm Winter selection off is LIOR 0X, a Congolese DJ and music producer upcoming in the amapiano scene. This is an easy listen that fits right into the evening. Having stumbled upon this track, I had it on once and then twice. With a passion for mixing and production, LIOR 0X released his acclaimed EP “NaMoNi Yo” in 2021, blending traditional African sounds with modern electronic music.
His second EP, “Subconsciously I Move Towards You,” solidified his position as a promising new amapiano artists. His title track “Subconciously” hits so, so smooth. Collaborating with others and exploring new sounds, LIOR 0X has caught the attention of the Congolese music industry and we’re amped to see more.
Having just dropped, the firey album ‘the fumes” kicks off our selection from our favourite local hip hop dectet, Dank Neighbourhood. Having began production for their second album “the fumes” in early 2022, the group used beats from previous jam sessions to create a pool of tracks. With the MCs started writing and finished recording towards the end of 2022. Despite the members’ frequent travels, they managed to come together for sessions when in town. The 10-track album, “the fumes,” represents the unique Dank Neighbourhood style and is meant to be enjoyed with others, whether at parties or while relaxing. It showcases the group’s energy and invites listeners to sing along. The album offers a mix of lively tracks like “the fumes” and “Fuckboi” and also features slower, introspective songs like “Explaining Rainbows” and “Words Like Bru,” which have already gained popularity. We highly recommend this listen.
Zimbabwe-born artist Chiko Chinyadza, known as Downtown Kayoto, has released “Lite” ahead of his new EP “Learning In Public” via Other Projects on July 6th. One of the main tracks of the EP, “Lite,” produced by Jack Laboz, combines elements of house, trap, and UK Grime and draws influence from Kaytranada and Skepta. The song explores themes of futility and listlessness, reflecting on Chiko’s position as an artist. The music video for “Lite,” directed by Joe Howat, pays homage to various artistic references, including Fight Club, A$AP Rocky’s “A$AP Forever” video, Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry magazine, and the film Belly. Chiko Chinyadza’s genre-defying approach to music creation and his non-conformist style are inspired by his home in Hull, a Yorkshire market town, where he continues to make music and art alongside his biomedicine studies.
Swedish teenager Claudia Neuser, known for her impressive rise in the music scene, has released her second solo single, titled “The Greatest Story Never Told.” After gaining recognition with collaborations and her debut single “Euphoria,” which amassed nearly three million streams, Claudia is ready to showcase her talent further. The song, written by Matilda Melin (Orkid) and produced by Mack and Robert Habolin, is an internationally influenced pop track delving into the theme of an unrealized perfect love. It’s a classic pop banger and I friggin’ love it. Claudia has a bright future in front of her and at the age of 17, to be releasing and producing such good music only suggests more amazing things on the horizon.
Niki & The Dove / The Greys
Swedish artists Niki & The Dove and The Greys have released their third collaborative single titled “Police” on June 2nd and it absolutely slaps. The song is part of their upcoming EP, “This Is The Music,” set to be released on June 30. The track explores a futuristic robot drama where humans must use their intelligence to save the planet from robot domination. Niki & The Dove, formed in 2010, gained recognition with their debut single “DJ Ease My Mind” and have since received acclaim for their blend of indie and electronic sounds. The Greys, a collective of musicians and producers, bring their euphoric breakbeats to the collaboration.
As we come to the end of our eclectic range of beats to warm ya bones, we get to Higher by ZUSO. ZUSO, led by solo artist Gabriel Cuenca, is a captivating blend of indie dance and intelligent electronic music. Praised by Grammy-winning producer Dan Konopka as “talented, unique, and professional,” ZUSO has accumulated over 70,000 streams across various platforms. Starting his musical journey as a teenager, Cuenca released his debut single “Skies,” followed by “Feel Better,” which together garnered over 57,000 streams. With an innovative sound that keeps evolving, ZUSO consistently strives to push boundaries in the industry. “Higher” is a fun breakbeat track with elements of liquid DNB and an ethereal progression that honestly just makes me feel like going running through the rain. Wait for the drop at 03:03, trus me.
Misumena ft Sharon Okon
Introducing “Oko Mi,” the latest release from electronic music duo Misumena, featuring Nigerian vocalist Sharon Okon. This mesmerizing track captures the enduring power of love with its rich blend of deep electronica vibes, pulsating beats, evolving synthesizers, and a profound bassline. Misumena is driven by their core values of sustainability, collaboration, and giving back. They actively work towards reducing their carbon footprint by donating their Spotify earnings to CO2 reduction projects through Stream by Stream. They prioritize fair compensation for their session musicians, paying them upfront at their requested prices. Additionally, they generously offer the stems of their songs for free, providing aspiring musicians a platform to develop their own careers. With Misumena, expect remarkable music that not only sounds good but also does good by positively impacting the world.