- Thanks to the rise of Black Coffee, South African house music is currently the most popular it's ever been outside of the continent. Culoe De Song deserves praise for his role in the sound's evolution. A cluster of EPs on Mule Musiq and Innervisions across 2009 and 2010 alerted the world to his talents, only for De Song to fall from the international radar. But now De Song and Innervisions have re-joined forces, releasing his first EP in four years.
If you've seen Dixon play in the past six months, there's a strong chance you'll have heard the title track. "Y.O.U.D." was this summer's "Gotham" or "Scala," the kind of track that leaves its mark on dance floors large and small. Tougher than the billowy deep house South Africa is famous for, prancing synths and slow, soaring pads are tightly wound across a thunderous kick and bass combo. On two separate occasions, though, the straps come loose, unleashing a percussive volley of claps and human barks. Usually these kinds of big-room records lose their gleam after several listens, so it's testament to just how good this track is that it still excites. On the flip, De Song explores an opposing mood with "Gyser," crafting a stripped-back DJ tool. Its metronomic groove won't have you off your seat in quite the same way, but it's a solid counterpart to one of 2014's standout club cuts.