Battle of the Bands

Moses Boyd & DJ Lag

October 12, 2019 5:00 pm
The 2019 AFROPUNK Carnival of Consciousness in Atlanta is thrilled to play host to a special unique event, the live collaboration between the London-based jazz drummer and electronic producer Moses Boyd, and Durban, South Africa’s “King of Gqom,” the producer/DJ, DJ Lag.

One of the genuine stars of London's 21st century jazz scene, drummer/producer Moses Boyd quickly established himself in the mid-2010s as a bandleader, composer, and collaborator whose affinity for other genres like grime and electronica helped distinguish his original approach. After initial instruction from jazz drummer Bobby Dodsworth, Boyd became a part of the jazz education program, Tomorrow's Warriors, while studying at Trinity Laban College, cutting his teeth at local jam sessions. Alongside tenor player Binker Golding, Boyd is one-half of the sax-and-drums duo Binker & Moses (their 2015 debut, ‘Dem Ones’ earned them the Best Jazz Act award at the UK’s MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards); he is also the leader of his own group, Exodus; as well as a solo producer and BBC Radio One presenter. Besides DJ Lag, Boyd has collaborated with electronic producers such as Four Tet and Floating Points, as well as with jazz and soul artists like Lonnie Liston Smith and singer Zara McFarlane. Additionally, Boyd is a central figure of London’s jazz scene, and a regular bandmate of internationally renowned players like saxophonists Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings, tuba player Theo Cross, and numerous others.

History will remember DJ LAG as a pioneer who propelled the quintessentially Durban Gqom sound beyond the confines of the coastal city, straight into the capitals of the international electronic music industry. At 21 he made his live global debut in the closing months of 2016, starting at the Unsound Festival in Poland and finishing up at Seoul’s Cake Shop nearly a month later. To date, he’s racked up healthy ratings at platforms such as MixMag, The Fader and IDM with his 2018 EP Stampit, propelling him to collaborations with cultural trailblazers in their own right such as choreographer Mette Towley on "Switz", FDM-king Epic B on "Going Modd", Kelela's "OnAnOn" Remix, "Anywhere We Go" with Shekhinah and his production of Beyonce's MY POWER on "The Lion King The Gift". The latest in a string of accolades includes the prestigious BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix hosted by tastemaker Pete Tong — with previous guests including game changers such as Skrillex, Daft Punk, Flying Lotus and Massive Attack— all pioneering sounds of their generation going on to take over the world, one set at a time. It’s a stunning rise for an artist just in his 20s, particularly with his most recent Uhuru EP up for GRAMMY consideration via Diplo's GoodEnuff Records. It's clear that DJ Lag is ready to put in the work required to make sure Gqom takes its place in history.