Emo Kid - Gqomtera

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  • There's something very 2017 about Emo Kid. While the South African producer's name labels him a sensitive rocker, the title of his eight-track EP, Gqomtera, reminds us that he makes gqom, Durban's version of South African house. The press release, however, clarifies that Emo Kid actually makes a style called sgubhu, which "shares many stylistic parallels with gqom." I suspect only scene insiders can truly tell the difference. (Sgubhu is perhaps a little brighter in tone.) Emo Kid still names one of the tracks "Futuristic Gqom," so maybe that's the best way to describe sgubhu. But "Futuristic Gqom" is less the future than an alternate reality in which gqom has achieved big-room status. It has a trance-like breakdown and a jazzy central melody that's halfway between a guitar and a Fender Rhodes. That may sound tacky, but there's a pop quality—along with a driving rhythm—that makes the track supremely fun. You can hear this sense of fun elsewhere, like in the flute sound in "Asbambeki," the near-baroque drama of "Rains Of Terror (Main Mix)"'s strings and the marimba melody of "Ground Shaker." The rave hoover and steel drums on "Insimbi Yase Dubane" offer light to what can often feel like dark music. It's exciting to know that this scene is evolving, even if it takes a refined ear to hear it.
  • Tracklist
      01. Asbambeki 02. Futuristic Gqom 03. Insimbi Yase Dubane 04. Rains Of Terror (Main Mix) 05. Enkwarini (Remastered 2017) 06. Ground Shaker 07. Digital Response 08. Isukile