Gqom is a South African house genre that’s taking the coastal town of Durban by storm. In The FADER back in 2013, Jumping Back Slash described it as “a more broken sound, a lot more minimal than normal SA house and rarely four to the floor, it’s a raw sound.” Now that the genre is gaining international attention thanks to shout-outs from Jumping Back Slash as well as the likes of Kode9, Blackdown and Goon Club Allstars in London, DJ and producer Nan Kolè has seen fit to launch a label dedicated to spreading it beyond the townships and file-sharing websites where it’s flourishing. Gqom Oh! will release a sampler EP featuring Durban producers of an average age of 17 on July 24th, with a compilation album to follow in fall. Hear the first track below: a bizarre and brilliant gqom remake of Adele’s “Hometown Glory” from Citizen Boy (pictured).
“The apocalyptic sound of gqom is something extraordinary,” Kolè told The FADER over email. “It’s mostly produced by young teenagers from the suburbs and townships, and mainly is tied to a specific dance called bhenga. It encompasses many genres and at the same time is unique. In each track you can feel the dark side of electronic music, hip hop and deep tribal African vibrations. You can especially feel the troubled history of South Africa. It’s riot music.”