Friday, 19 September 2014

Fred Buddah/Ofuren - Mystical Arts - Roots Go Deep

It was only a matter of time before South Africa’s embracing of deep house began to bear fruit. Now its DJs, producers and labels are gradually spreading their wings, making a mark and leaving an impression on the international scene. At the forefront of this charge and taking matters to the next level is the Roots Go Deep imprint.

Until now a digital-only label devoted to the music of South African artists, it has boldly seized upon the zeitgeist and released its first vinyl EP.

And what a debut it is too. A split EP featuring label heads Fred Buddah and Ofuren, Mystical Arts is about as self-assured, striking and unexpected as deep house gets these days. Featuring a solo track each and a pair of collaborative cuts too, the release is a bona fide four-track triumph.

Off-kilter, wonky and by their own admission nodding towards MCDE’s Raw Cuts, Buddah and Ofuren’s opening salvo Floral Synergy is a classy and well-constructed beauty that trips languidly yet purposefully throughout, aided and abetted by a menacingly soulful undercurrent. It bodes well indeed for their partnership.

Solo-wise, Ofuren’s Ripples Through Reflection takes the dubbed-out route to great effect, applying the less-is-more ethos and allowing the space between to do the work every inch as much as the music. Buddah’s individual offering, Ragan, is just as tidy and enjoyable though more ambient and edgy in style.

Arguably saving the best until last, Buddah and Ofuren’s Do Deejays Dream Of Dancing Sheep not only nods to the origins of sci-fi classic Bladerunner, but is also light-years ahead of much of the music masquerading as deep house these days. Sumptuously sub-aqueous, wonderfully wobbly at times, suitably melodic and with a touch of acid too, Do Deejays Dream Of Dancing Sheep is sublime to the very last drop. Deepness as it should be, straight out of [South] Africa.

Check out:

Mystical Arts @ Juno
Roots Go Deep @ Facebook
Roots Go Deep online

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