I’m a sucker for a new sub genre, the more unpronounceable the better, so was thrilled to come across something called Gqom this week – apparently it represents “da sound u get wen u drop a rock on tiles”.
At first I was surprised that something that seems so Western and cutting edge like bass music/dupstep/electronica could find a voice in the poor South African townships of Durban, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that a music that started out being made on Playstations by 15-year old black kids in deprived London tower blocks should resonate with 15-year old South African black kids in deprived Durban townships, especially when held against the college kid centred fratboyisms that twisted the urban grime of bass music into safe and inoffensive stadium-glo-stick-waving US EDM.
OK, enough rambling, here’s the lead track on a compilation album documenting the scene. The African musical influences are more than apparent and it stretches the genre in any number of new directions.
Listen to (and then buy!) the whole thing here and read all about the album and the scene.