The legacy of #JohnnyClegg continues with son @Jesse_Clegg’s infectious “Let It Burn”

JESSE CLEGG, “Let It Burn”

While many of us are still reeling over the loss of his joyful larger-than-life father, Johnny Clegg, a few days ago, I was really pleased to see Jesse Clegg release “Let It Burn” in the past few weeks.  Already known for his dynamic stage performances when opening for his father, “Let It Burn” marks a more pop-oriented direction for Jesse after more rock flavoured releases, which included an impressive live album a few years back.  The South African singer/songwriter has immense crossover appeal with “Let It Burn”, a surprisingly infectious pop/dance song which shows off his diverse voice.  Like his dad, Jesse creates songs for singing and dancing, and you can hear his roots showing with the percussive rhythm which becomes a bed for the rest of the song.  I was thrilled to see Johnny Clegg perform three times, once in Savuka and twice in solo performances, and he always gave it to the max, even a few years ago after he had passed age 60.  Johnny’s legacy will continue to flourish with Jesse and beyond.

Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The team of @EricSharp and @Zhaomusic return with smooth house of “Monday Blues”, and Zhao’s “Magic” gets a playful remix from South Africa’s @Kususaofficial and @ArgentoDust

ERIC SHARP and ZHAO, “Monday Blues”

ZHAO, “Magic” (Kususa and Argento Dust remix)

Here’s a fine one-two punch post about two releases that feature the voice of L.A. singer/musician Zhao.

First up we have Zhao reteaming with producer Eric Sharp for some smooth house with “Monday Blues”.  You’ll recall his distinct vocal in Eric’s 2016 immensely catchy deep house release “The Thirst”.  Here the setting is easily reminiscent of Camelphat and Elderbrook’s huge “Cola”.  Like “The Thirst”, “Monday Blues” is heavy on atmosphere and it’s a great track for DJ’s to lead into the wee hours.  It also has terrific lyrics which will definitely help take away any Monday blahs.  

Zhao’s single “Magic” has a number of remixes on release, and the best of them is the playful and imaginative one from  South African producers Kususa and Argento Dust.  It benefits from nicely layered harmonies, Zhao’s higher register, and creative synth work to take the song to a different level.  

Both songs are true delights and well worth your attention.

US-based South African duo @GoldFishlive remix 2017’s “Late Night People” album with standout “If I Could Find” (@jackLNDN remix)

GOLDFISH, “If I Could Find” (jackLNDN remix)

After a bit of a break, US-based South African duo GoldFish re-emerged recently with a beautiful acoustic song “It Was You” (with Zeeba) which I wrote about last month.  It’s a bit bold to remix a two year old record, but GoldFish has the dedicated audience that wanted it, and thus their 5th album Late Night People arrives with many interesting remixes by the likes of Midnight Kids, Beowulf, Adam Kahati, and Kyle Watson, not to mention “Ibiza Sunset” mixes of two of the songs.  But if there’s any highlight to the selection it’s “If I Could Find” as remixed by UK producer jackLNDN – a producer who also sings!  “If I Could Find” is dynamic, sophisticated house music that will flow comfortably into any house music playlist that you can devise.  The musicianship is impeccable and jackLNDN’s spin on it should help attract club DJ’s to this one.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Toronto’s @FrancoisKlark offers solid story-telling pop with “Run”

FRANÇOIS KLARK, “Run”

Newcomer François Klark is off to a fine start with his second single release “Run”, from his forthcoming album “Love”.  Hailing originally from South Africa but now based in Toronto, François has a soft, appealing voice that appears to have some soulful power which we get to hear in key moments of “Run”.  Sort of a cautionary tale, in its video “Run” offers pause for thought, when encountering a bad scene with his special guy, that if you ran from it at first, would you still do it a second time?  Or, does it just play out in your head that way?  François knows how to weave a good story and “Run” should be aimed initially at Canadian radio listeners for worthy national exposure.  Check out the video at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2018 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Tears In Your Eyes” by @NoraEnPure will make your heart melt while you dance

NORA EN PURE, “Tears In Your Eyes”

“Tears In Your Eyes” was released during the summer through Spinnin’ but somehow slipped past my ears until the other night when I heard it at a club.  South African-Swiss DJ Nora En Pure (aka Daniela Niederer) creates a perfect emotional deep house companion to Loud Luxury & Ryan Shepherd’s cover of “Fill Me In” from earlier in the year using similarly pitched-down vocals with a melody that along with the lyrics soars right to your heart-strings.  If the nightclub crowd reaction I saw was any indication, “Tears In Your Eyes” is a gem-in-hiding by someone well-known overseas but not in North America that I would love to see breakout internationally.  Watch the lyric video above for this winner

Published in: on November 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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From Out Of Nowhere: @KongosMusic’s Album “Lunatic”

kongos

KONGOS, Lunatic

You’ve already heard the single “Come With Me Now” blasting out of car stereos, but aside from being one of those winning kind of hit songs, you probably don’t know anything about the group behind it, Kongos.  Kongos is the last name of the four brothers in the band (Johnny, Jesse, Dylan and Daniel) and they are all sons of the South African singer John Kongos, who’s best known for his minor 1970 hit “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”.  The brothers grew up in both South Africa and England, and their sound is heavily influenced by their father’s homeland.

The band’s diverse sound stems from classic rock, late 70’s punk like Elvis Costello, as well as traditional South African elements which you can hear through the accordion and the odd Umbaqanga rhythms.  It’s not like Paul Simon’s Graceland or Ladysmith Black Mambazo thank goodness; Lunatic is best when it rocks out.  I love the deep bassy rhythm of “Hey I Don’t Know” (below) and the Reggae influence on “I Want To Know” is infectious.  You can hear that Umbaqanga rhythm (best exemplified by Johnny Clegg’s bands Juluka and Savuka) on “Sex On The Radio”.  “It’s A Good Life” is a standout because it sounds like a natural follow up to “Come With Me Now” without sounding like anything else within Lunatic.  This is a tight band of brothers who know their stuff and produced a record that took a long time before a major record label (Epic) re-released it earlier this year.

So now that you know more about the brothers Kongos, you will not be hearing the last of them.  They just played my city and I’m sure will be back again.  No one hit wonders these guys!

Published in: on May 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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