The Mixtape Vol. 189

A fresh mix from DJ Lag to celebrate his collaboration with Moses Boyd 'Drumming'

In the coming together of two pioneers of their time, DJ Lag and Moses Boyd collaborate on the first music video from the Goon Club Allstars-released Stampit EP of 2018, entitled 'Drumming'. Off the back of their Dour Festival collaboration, as well as the making of a groundbreaking new outfit set to premiere at the 2019 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the two are each at the helm of great movements in their own right.

South African Gqom pioneer Lwazi Asanda Gwala, also known as DJ Lag, sat in the bedroom of his Clermont township home, quickly and quietly propelling this unheard of, house sub-genre beyond the confines of the coastal city and straight into the capitals of the international electronic music industry. Today, dance floors teem with revellers losing themselves over and over in the minimalist yet powerful genre the world over. At 21 years of age, DJ Lag has dominated world stages, having just embarked on the last leg of a four-part world tour, travelling across five continents and performing over 100 shows in 2018 alone. To date, he’s racked up healthy ratings at platforms such as MixMag, The Fader and IDM with his 2018 EP, Stampit.

Producer and composer Moses Boyd is a trailblazer well beyond his years. Inspired by Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, and Ed Blackwell, as well as drumming techniques from West Africa and the West Indies, Boyd’s physical and musical dexterity are such that have led him far in his short life. With humble beginnings in South London, Moses had to make a choice – stick grips or street life – and it’s become very clear that his passions were well placed. Winning multiple accolades at the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in 2015, he was also recipient of The John Peel 'Play More Jazz’ Award from the 2016 Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards. During his exploration of various styles of jazz and beyond, his latest release, Displaced Diaspora, from his own label, Exodus Records, explores his Jamaican ancestry and speaks to a new generation of young Jazz enthusiasts stirring up rhythms that add a new level of immortality to a timeless genre.

'Drumming ’s' transcendental energy mirrors the depth that Gqom possesses, where many would call it a passing craze. In teaming up with the like of Moses, we explore the universality of an instrument as old as time, with a fresh take on a genre seemingly reserved for old-timers. While both young, the two have made historic musical choices, and director Chris Saunders thoughtfully embraces the connection between them in a scintillating space-time visual shot in London.

“The track is deep, thoughtful, emotionally intense…” says Chris. “It is driven by its repetitive heavy drum beat, and our narrative follows Lag through an original, intimate and mainly bass driven choreography within two surreal spaces in London, connecting a new dimension and his own personal voyage of discovery in his touring life. The overall feel of the cut is that of perpetuity; as if there is no end to the building of intense visual monotony, before finally disengaging the viewer for just a moment on the streets of London, in a ‘La Haine’ style black and white sequence. The video focuses entirely on the rhythm of the song and plays out the headspace of the listeners’ emotive state in a live setting. It’s a bass escape mechanism translated into visuals, which will both be utilised live and within the video.”

Choreographer and movement coach Andrea Spisto, who previously worked with Chris on Oumou Sangare’s 2017 music video for 'Yere Faga', shot in Johannesburg, spent several days working with Lag, who having come from a dance background, hasn’t performed as a dancer for camera. With her careful coaching, the two collaborated in creating the “drumming dance” seen in the video, coupled with the sync and live drumming movements that make Moses such an exemplary percussionist.

You can watch the video below and then be sure to listen to the new mix DJ Lag shared with The Way of Us to celebrate his new collaboration. Enjoy!

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