Editorials

Top 5 of South Africa’s most important record labels In 2019

Top 5 of South Africa’s most important record labels In 2019 – We cannot conceal that South Africa has one of the most exhilarating young music scenes up to date.

This can range from burgeoning jazz-inflected records by the likes of Sibusile Xaba and the UK connection of Shabaka Hutchings’ Ancestors project, or the country’s contemporary electronic music underground, spanning club-ready house and the experimental, advance new music is coming out of the Rainbow Nation.

  1. Super Black Tapes
    Location: Johannesburg

Popular for : Deep house

This is a home to the current generation of deep African house for artists like T.Siza, Fred Buddah, and Ofuren. Their cornerstone is on dropping music solely from African artists. Super Black has been established for about 5 years and was previously titled “Roots Go Deep Music” prior to changing – to Super Black Tapes in the year 2016!

  1. Gallo Records
    Location: Johannesburg

Known for: South African pop and traditional music

One of the massive record labels in South Africa, also the label was able to produce some predominant groups like Ladysmith Black Mambaso, who emancipated their first music by a black musician in Apartheid South Africa to elevate to gold status. We cannot exclude the late Lucky Dube, South Africa’s biggest selling reggae artist and political activist, I mean with classics records like “I’m A Prison” radiated on the savage, bloodthirsty regime in amid the apartheid.

  1. Süd Electronic
    Location: South Africa / London

Known for: Electronic music

The Südelectronic was the initial South African electronic music labels to obtain international identification. With remix and production contributions by highly esteemed artists such as Tama Sumo, Mary Boyoi, Jan Jelinek, Marco Shuttle, Portable, Cassy, Caswell James, Anthony Shakir and more. Südelectronic went on to host events in London which ran for 11 years. – Portable

4.NON
Location: Johannesburg / Cape Town

Known for: Experimental Electronic music

This is a record label is a co-operative enterprise, circulating Africa – Cape Town, Lagos, Kinshasa – and drops unconventional electronic music produced on the continent. Their character is “to articulate the visible and invisible structures that create binaries in societies, and in turn distribute power.” – Portable

5.Location: Johannesburg
Known for: Kwaito

Our very own Kalawa Jazmee (“KJ Records”) is a self-sufficient South African record label that pioneered in the launching of the musical genre, prominently as “Kwaito”. It was formally established in 1992 & prior titled Kalawa, it has produced acts such as Boom Shaka, with their debut album It’s About Time released in 1993. Amalgamating forces with Trompie’s label Jazmee in 1995, it then became known as Kalawa-Jazmee Records. The label continues to flourish under Oscar Mdlongwa, Bruce Sebitlo, Zayne ‘Mahoota’ Sibiya, Mandla ‘Spikiri’ Mofokeng, and Emmanuel ‘Mjokes’ Matsane, with Gao Mokone assuming the task of Label Manager. – Lakuti

Written by: Aphiwe Theodorah Mvinjelwa

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