Over ten years ago, House Afrika released the original Mzansi House collection, with tracks from DJ Fresh, Christos, Vinny, Mbuso and the then relatively unknown producer called Roger Goode. A decade later, the title is back - but this time it’s a collection that’s more in the spirit of the House Afrika Sessions series, which broke names like Liquideep, C.9ine, Da Capo, Chymamusique and Keys Snow, among others.
Mzansi House is a bumper four-disc set that offers a striking representation of the latest in Mzansi’s signature house sound. The navigators for these seamlessly sequenced and super-deep excursions represent the freshest the country has to offer, with each of the four DJ/Producers - Ladi Adiosoul & HouseVille SA, Dafro, Phalafala and Echo Deep - representing their respective catalogues on each disc.
First up on Disc 1 is Ladi Adiosoul, a Vosloorus resident whose track ‘African Soil’ caught the country’s ears a few years back. Here she teams up with HouseVille SA for a fresh mix of originals, suitably subtitled ‘Godbless’, offering soulful loxion house of the highest order, with a string of stirring vocalists including Lady Du, Troy William and Nathi.
Lesser-known Dafro takes charge on ‘Dafrotone’ on Disc 2. An instrumental mix, these tracks bear some resemblance to the immersive Afro-house of Culoe De Song or Chymamusique - plus there’s a track titled in honour of Vinny Da Vinci. It’s the raw energy and jazzy flourishes that set this producer apart. Profound house starts here.
Phalafala’s ‘Deep Melodies’ (Disc 3) sees this young cat collaborating with the likes of Echo Deep and Matthew Kay. The result is a sublime set and further collaborations with established names are highly likely in the near future.
Soweto’s Echo Deep (Disc 4) has already made history with House Afrika, who had him helm their debut Mixtape CD. Here he’s stays true to the high quality control standards he set on that release for this compilation’s final set, subtitled ‘The Music City’. With its luxurious grooves and jazzy inflections, once again it’s the real deal.
Four times the funk, the Mzansi House compilation, mastered by reknowned British producer and label boss Martin 'AtJazz' Iveson, represents an essential barometer of where South Africa’s vibrant house scene is at right now.
Mzansi House is available from iTunes here.