November 16, 2018
70 Picks

Few things are as exciting as when two artists from cultures thousands of miles and an ocean apart come together to make revolutionary work. Even better when they’re our friends. So – DAMN, how incredible is it to hear a brand new collaboration between Durban, South Africa’s DJ Lag, and East New York’s Epic B.?

“Going Modd” unites the two dance cultures each artist is at the heart of — Durban’s Gqom and Brooklyn’s Flex — and finds common ground. DJ Lag builds on SA’s awe-inspiring, musically diverse dance music scene, the rhythmically crisp, much more electronic next chapter in Durban’s and South Africa’s personal take on house music. Epic B’s sound comes out of BK’s long-time twin staples — hip-hop and dancehall — adapted for the borough’s flex dancers, whose love of his beats inspired Epic B to move his music in their direction.

“Going Modd” is an even collaboration all the way, where it’s hard to tell what each producer is bringing because their trademarks begin to blend. The track’s primary infrastructure — a single-chord synth line; with soft (but not too soft) bass-drum rolls dancing ’round underneath – could be DJ Lag’s; but the wide, strong keyboard setting sounds like numerous Epic B’s production. Meanwhile, the eerie, ghost-dub breakdown in the middle of the track typifies the type of break Epic B throws the dancers, but with a sonic mystery that’s of a piece with Gqom’s occasional dark-party vibe.

However way you chop it, “Going Modd” is ahead of its time and one of a kind, a multi-continental piece of uncompromisingly Black, dance music futurism.

Check for more of DJ Lag and Epic B’s music on the excellent Swing Ting label from Manchester.