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Nozinja: Nozinja Lodge

From the label:
Nozinja is Richard Mthetwa, an electronic music producer based in the Limpopo province of South Africa, and the charismatic architect of the Shangaan electro sound. From its roots as the frantic heartbeat of Nozinja’s rural locale, where dancers convene at weekly street parties, bouncing on their heels and shaking their bell-like xibelani skirts in the ferocious heat, Shangaan electro has become a recognised genre in its own right, a burgeoning, radicalising influence on dance music worldwide. Explosive, ecstatic and celebratory, it’s the head-spinning collision of the soulful traditional song of the Shangaan people with the high-speed energy and limitless possibilities of cutting-edge music production, and it has ensnared the ears and limbs of dancers, beatmakers and DJs alike. At the heart of it all is Nozinja, who has been diligently forging the Shangaan electro style from his tiny home studio for the best part of a decade. A homegrown super-producer of sorts, Nozinja has carved out an Afro-futurist evolution through countless productions/collaborations and the regular street-dance competitions which he organises, all documented and self-distributed via the plethora of DVDs, CDs and tapes he has released over the years. After several trips to Europe to convert new fans with his team of dancers in tow, in 2014 Nozinja signed to Warp and released the hypnotic, digitally scrambled single ‘Tsekeleke’, signalling a fresh direction for the Shangaan originator. Later that year an encounter with junglist ruffian Tessela led to a studio collaboration on ‘Wa Chacha’, released as a split 12” containing each producer’s interpretation of the Shangaan track – further proof that Nozinja’s sound is at much at home besides new-school western production styles as it is on its folk-cultural home turf. That collaboration has set the stage for the next act in this extraordinary tale: spring 2015 sees Nozinja release his full-length debut on Warp. Nozinja Lodge sees him truly hit his stride as a producer, testing the frantic upper limits of Shangaan electro on white-knuckle, rave-channelling cuts like ‘Baby Do You Feel Me’ and ‘Vatswelani’, while enjoying the freedom to take his foot off the gas and bring a tender, lilting touch to the sound on ‘Vomaseve Hina’ and closing track ‘Jaha’. It’s a dance record with a unique soul, stamped with the spirit of the Shangaan people, their language and musical history, while endlessly chasing the visceral thrill of the dance. For Nozinja, his journey from small town businessman to international Shangaan ambassador has taught him that the sky is the limit – and his dreams are only getting bigger. With imagination, perseverance and an iron-clad belief in his cause, Nozinja now stands at the vanguard of the next generation of African music; no longer a novelty or fad, but a new chapter in the globalised story of electronic music.”
Nozinja Lodge is out June 1 on Warp; listen to “Nwa Baloyi” below.


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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