As the first gqom artists to release internationally a few years back, Rudeboyz are considered originators in their native Durban scene, and their primal music is getting more refined. And with Gqomwave, Rudeboyz up the ante. It still sports the strong, simple flavors—hypnotic repetition and an ominous darkness that's never allowed to wallow thanks to a martial dance floor punch—that made this South African house variant so appealing. The patterns sound more complex but they are still tightly locked to syncopated groove.
This is immediately obvious on the standout track, "Major Turn Up." Rudeboyz favor explosive drums, which pair well with the monotone staccato chordal strike that wells up in the background. On "Bounce Back," a gqom track that operates in halfstep, the delay on the snares recalls the tip of a drumstick skipping lightly over a stretched skin. "As'Jableni" is another banger with the familiar UK funky-style beat that features the vocals of T_D Snaxx, who sadly died earlier this year but leaves behind a legacy of tough township chants. Rudeboyz' gqom has always had motorik drive and funky nous, but a new level of purposeful detail makes it even more exciting.
TracklistA1 Major Turn Up
A2 Bounce Back
B1 No Mercy