South Africa’s ‘Gqom’ Club Sound is Hard to Describe, Easy to Feel

bandcamp mal wieder mit einem schönen genrepost, diesmal über gqom, die dystopisch-düstere tanzmusik aus durban.

Bandcamp Daily

gqomoh-600 Gqom Oh!

Few new genres have generated as much noise as gqom, a distinctive form of club music that’s been brewing in Durban, South Africa for the last several years. Hyperdub label founder Kode9 says gqom is, “like being suspended over the gravitational field of a black hole, and lovin‘ it.” Gqom fits neatly into the house music family tree as a cousin of kwaito, a fusion of house and African samples that developed in Johannesburg in the 1990s.

Though it’s close to kwaito and shares similarities with grime, there’s something different about the gqom sound. Monotonous background drones swell and collapse, and delicate-yet-sharp polyrhythms skitter across synthesized hi-hats and snares to form the meat of most gqom tracks; those elements are supplemented by abstract, often clipped and shortened samples.

According to Rome-born, London-based DJ Nan Kolè, who propelled the style to international recognition with the launch of…

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