DJ Lag & Okzharp 'Steam Rooms EP' 12"
Durban gqom ambassador DJ Lag and London-based Okzharp combine over four club heavy tracks rooted in their long-term long- distance connection, the EP’s title originating from the Durban nickname for the local clubs where much early gqom-style music was played. Opener ‘Now What’ layers a wooden percussion scraper with a ticking cow bell and chants. Set at a slightly faster pace thanmost gqom, the track harbours a dark energy at its core generated by a low rumbling background synth and pitch shifting claps. ‘Steam One’ - inspired by DJ Lag’s set at Hyperdub’s club night Ø after he brought the heavy steam room vibe - has a slow and entrancing build up with a subtle melody layering on stabbing syncopated kicks, leading up to a woozy synth breakdown. “We were inspired bythat moment in the club when things get hazy and bendy and glowy. It has South Durban via South London DNA, so inevitably there's a heavy kwai-gqom vibe with a grimey funky London twist running through it”. ‘Nyusa’ opens with a grinding acidic bass line overlaid witha metallic and gravelly melody with suppressed chants. Sharp kicks drive the track leading up to a wobbly synth breakdown and back up synth stabs raising the energy. Finally, ‘Sambe’ pairs menacing strings with a steel drum melody, displaying characteristics of both funky house and gqom in a subtle meeting of the two styles. ‘Steam Rooms’ is a collection of dancefloor heaters set to make the club sweat, the amalgamation of a London / Durban link up reflecting both producers environments and sound palettes for icey cold gqom tracks with funky house shadings.
Catalogue number: HDB123