South African Gqom pioneer DJ Lag shares long-awaited debut album ‘Meeting with The King’. The record is accompanied by the lead single ‘Ikhehla’ featuring Babes Wodumo. The project is out now via Ice Drop and Black Major. Stream or download here: https://platoon.lnk.to/meeting-with-the-king
Widely acknowledged as a pivotal artist in the innovation and dissemination of Gqom, DJ Lag’s first full-length record keeps faithful to the idea of experimentation in the underground on a thrilling set of new songs. Enigmatically titled Meeting with the King, it builds off DJ Lag’s signature darker style but sees the producer drop the BPM from 127 to 124-12 on several tracks. This reveals a slower, sexier sound on songs like “Ikhehla” featuring Babes Wodumo which, in keeping with Lag’s uncanny ability to capture the life of the city he lives in, feels the soundtrack to the after-party of the after-party on a steamy hot Durban night.
In creating Gqom 2.0 – more than a decade after he taught himself to DJ and produce while still a teenager in Clermont, Durban – DJ Lag finds a deep connection with Amapiano, Afro House and Afro Tech. The result is unmistakably DJ Lag’s sound signature but this time excavating new ground to create a fusion that makes a persuasive case, in particular, for Gqom and Amapiano as sonic siblings in delivering high energy music for the dancefloor. And not just dance floors in South Africa and across the continent: with Meeting with the King, DJ Lag again proves why a sound created in the backrooms of Durban can infiltrate the very epicentre of South African music as well as collections of international groovists and music lovers.
As Crack Magazine said, the acclaimed artist’s debut record is “nothing short of a grand entrance fit for royalty”. Ask DJ Lag about his intention with his first full-length and he’s unequivocal: “I’m not playing games with anyone. I’m aggressive. It’s like fighting with everyone. It’s my first full length project and I didn’t want to do anything half-way.”
Drawing inspiration from the music and artists he was surrounded by during the process of creating Meeting with the King in lockdown, the first salvo in this vision comes in the form of an epic collaboration with Lady Du – the songwriter behind some of Amapiano’s biggest hits. Titled “Lucifer”, it builds slowly, the vocals, beats, and sirens coming together in a hypnotic whole. Another album highlight is the instrumental “Raptor 2.5”, a collaboration with Canadian-American electronic music producer and DJ Sinjin Hawke that represent Gqom’s endless possibilities and manifestations across borders and is accompanied by a stunning Travys Owen-directed video featuring multi-hyphenate Manthe Ribane.
Other big hitting tracks on this epic album include “Destiny”, a soulful collaboration with Amanda Black; “Thongo Lami” featuring Ndoni; “New Wave” featuring Blaqchild; “Yasho Leyonto” featuring Dladla Mshunqisi and “Khavude”, an explosive collaboration with Mr JazziQ that also features the late Mpura and Vic Typhoon. In the end, says Lag, “I got to make this album exactly the way I wanted to” – and a brace of singles released in 2021 and early 2022, along with several high-profile live dates (including playing the Boiler Room Festival 2021 in London and Amsterdam Dance Event) have stoked near fever-pitch anticipation for his debut record. What’s clear is that Meeting with the King is the most compelling example of a musical pioneer going back to his roots as a way of creating nothing less than the future sound of the world.
01 – Thongo Lam ft. Ndoni
02 – Destiny ft. Amanda Black
03 – Raptor ft. Sinjin Hawke
04 – Lucifer ft. Lady Du
05 – Ikhehla ft. Babes Modumo
06 – Into Ongayazi
07 – Shululu ft. K.C Driller & Loki
08 – Khavhude ft. Mr Jazziq, Mpura & Vic Typhoon
09 – Keep Going
10 – Something Different
11 – Yasho Leyonto ft. Dlada Mshunqisi
12 – Chaos ft. General C’mamane & Omagoqa
13 – No Child’s Play ft. General C’mamane & Deejay Jackzin
14 – New Wave ft. Omagoqa
15 – DJ Lag ft. Babes Wodumo & Mampintsha
“The gqom king conquers the globe” – DJ Mag
“The groundbreaking forefather of gqom” – New York Times
“One of the best ambassadors for dance music in the world” – Mixmag
“DJ Lag’s debut album is nothing short of a grand entrance fit for royalty” – Crack Magazine
“The electronic musician is a key figure in the rise and evolution of gqom, while taking his sound in a unique direction” – CLASH
“One of the most definitive producers and DJ’s of the present day… he’s a key figure in progressive development of bass music culture” – Ransom Note
“Lag brings with him a universal ear for sounds and bass lines that give his tracks an unmistakably unique flare” – Stamp The Wax
“DJ Lag’s upcoming debut album, Meeting With The King seems like it could be not only career defining but genre defining” – Resident Advisor
“Meeting with The King is a triumph of South African club culture that will inevitably propel DJ Lag further into the mainstream” – The Wire
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