Take One for the Teamby Dave Durbach / 25.02.2010
The terminal popularity of house is disturbing evidence to the pessimist in me that original music is dying a slow and steady death – embodied (read embalmed) in house’s formulaic beats, recycled samples and endless internet remixes. Nevertheless, because of the undeniable fact that this genre and its myriad sub-scenes continue to thrive in all corners of the world, including right here in SA, I try to keep an eye on proceedings.
Kyle Watson is a young producer from Jozi making waves in Europe and the US. He played last week at the famed Ministry of Sound in London – no small feat for someone barely into his twenties. His new 3-track EP Take One for the Team has recently been released on Dandy Kid Records in the UK, a leader in the so-called “fidget” scene (typified by adjectives like “glitchy”, “bouncy”, “jackin’” and, undoubtedly, “phat”) and otherwise purveyor of ghettotech (a la Sweat.X). It’s the follow-up to the track, ‘Fresh and Bouncy’ released last year on Chicago-based label Potty Mouth Music.
The three tracks on Take One for the Team – ‘Ain’t No Steppin’, ‘Bouncing Purple Knickers’ and ‘HopSkipJack’ – have already featured strongly on popular online EDM platform Beatport. Though I can hardly distinguish between them, all are apparently classic yet fresh fidget house. All super-heavy bass, rave-style buildups, dirty yet repetitive grooves and some squelchy breakbeat interludes. Think African Dope at double-speed. It’s built for the club, and that’s where it belongs. For those who like their music hard, fun and in-your-face, this is for you. But not for me.
(Random fact 1: more proof that SA is making inroads in global house – eminent fidget act Defunct! just put out an EP called Fokkin Lekker on Dandy Kid, including a remix by KW.)
(Random fact 2: KW’s father is Malcolm “Mally” Watson, pioneer of electronic music production in South Africa and producer of Brenda Fassie’s first few albums in the mid-80s, among many others.)