There’s more than a hint of ambition on the double LP sophomore effort from Sam Austin Rabede, the producer known as DJ Black Low. Pretoria, South Africa-born and based, the young man makes amapiano with new ways of expressing this local-turned-global style of dance music.
In DJ Black Low’s musical imagination, the songs manage to smoothly vacillate between dreamy and firmly-grounded. Adorned with vocalists across most of the twelve tracks, there’s a new dimension to Black Low’s now-signature approach to abstract, angular deconstruction of the rhythmic developments in his songs.
The album references influences and ambitions in its song titles and lyrics while the music itself is anthemic in its sonic and structural aspirations. On many of the songs a slow-burning tension transforms into something unexpected until you’re somewhere else as the track concludes. There is an emotional and compositional maturity that builds on his earlier work. Vocals and lyrics are in focus. Production collaborators among Black Low’s Gauteng Province circle add to the constantly churning array of ideas that populate this consistently surprising release. Despite being a relative newcomer, DJ Black Low is onto something here.