Wow, Zimbabwe's blandly-named-but-sometimes-brilliant local genre urban grooves is really picking up pace! Less than a year ago I was googling it and finding nothing, but now there's tons of material, much of it newly produced. It's great to see music springing up in a country that hasn't had a happy last few years, and for it to be fresh and unsettled the way good new genres are supposed to be. (Though a lot of it seems to be made by expats.) There are influences there from the two regional power houses, Tanzania and South Africa, and you can kinda hear some sort of warped kwaito-meets-bongo-flava thing going on in there. Like on this track, by the unfortunately named Street Niggaz out of Bulawayo, which clocks in at a very discoey 116 BPM and samples the bassline of Madonna's Holiday.
Street Niggaz - C'Zobalimaza
I love the houseyness of a lot of this stuff. There's stuff that almost borders on straightforward gospel house! In general, there are loads of warm deep-housey synth mats, which I'm usually ambivalent about but it works great here. But it's far from universal: there's plenty of material here, still, that copies the usual American and Jamaican suspects, and it's still developing. (A lot of stuff is actually labelled "Zim Dancehall", they've even got their own riddims.) Then there is material that ties into older Zimbabwian music as well: plenty of Kalimbas and Kwassa kwassa guitars going on here.
There's plenty more tracks in the genre to be found on the youtube page of zimvibes.
Essential EP’s #13
2 weeks ago