Let’s Dance – Various Artists: Africa Gets Physical Vol. 4 – Thandi Draai (Get Physical)

Thandi Draai

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

The Africa Gets Physical series has been a ray of light in house circles since it started. For its fourth volume Berlin label Get Physical hand the reins to Thandi Draai, who has been making waves in South African tech house over the last couple of years. Draai’s guide looks across the continent for inspiration, highlighting a range of talent in house circles.

What’s the music like?

Excellent. House may be the main musical discipline but there is a lot of variety here, and it is well chosen and ideally sequenced by Draai.

Of the 17 numbers there are some powerful stand-out tracks. Afro BrothersAmathuba, featuring Pixie and Lucky Keys, is a slightly trancey number with a really strong vocal. BlaQRhythm’s In The Jungle goes heavy on the percussion, while the next one strong offbeat presence. Dawgpound uses a clever, refracted vocal on Egypt to give the impression of a distorted monastery set to house beats. Eltonnick & G-Wash10’s Osiros, featuring T_Phoenix, is just superb, its driving beat and penetrating vocal complementing each other perfectly. Meanwhile Khensy & Cuebur’s Hulelewani is powerfully wrought, with a richly harmonised vocal. On the deeper side sits Sikkelela, with rich harmonies from Un_nown & Zikhona.

Throughout the collection modern tech beats sit comfortably with original percussion – which gives the music plenty of drive – and some really excellent, authentic vocals.

Does it all work?

It does – Thandi Draai’s selection is full of top quality house, and the impression is that there is still plenty more where this came from.

Is it recommended?

Definitely – the most inspiring volume of Africa Gets Physical to date, for which the label should be applauded. We need more exposure to house music from the Southern Hemisphere, especially if it’s as good as this!

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