London's UK Funky scene, via Johannesburg, to the world - We look at extended family member D-Malice, his journey into the afro house sound and his connection with Sonarpilot Audio.
D-Malice is now one of the UK's key ambassadors for the growing 'Afro House' scene, a movement naturally twinned with the rise to premier league status of superstar DJ Black Coffee and what has become known as the South African House movement and more recently, Afro Tech.
The journey towards afro was a natural one for Malice, for most of the mid-late 2000s he was a recognised name in the UK Funky scene (an offshoot of UK Garage) with club hits such as the white label classic 'Gabryelle Refix' and 'Poison' for dance music giants, Defected. The swing and percussive nature of his productions fed neatly into the afro mould, to him many of the aesthetics of UK Funky were similar to what he was hearing coming out of South Africa art the time... a vibe that was familiar, but from half a world away.
Whereas in the UK and Europe the pace of change in dance music seems ever more rapid, sub genres within sub genres emerging with each passing season, for the South Africans their house sound has grown and evolved over a much longer period of time. It's roots partly lay in the township sound known as Kwaito, the downtempo song and verse characterised by a four to the floor beat that anyone outside of SA, would say is house, all be it kinda slowed down... Add to that UK/European and classic US deep house flavours that seeped onto to the dance floors in Pretoria via DJs like Vinny Da Vinci, and it was only a matter of time before their own take on house, South African House, became a thing. A sound with its own identity, its own following and its own industry.
A family affair...
D-Malice's first trip to the Motherland came in 2012, alongside Sonarpilot label boss Jonny Miller and another Sonarpilot extended family member, Pascal Morais from the Netherlands.
Linking up with one of SA's mainstay tastemakers Kid Fonque, Malice toured the clubs and represented the UK's take on afro in the clubs and at the township dances, directly to the people. For him it was full circle and a connection to the very heart of what his music was all about.
Spending more time in Joburg, both Miller and Malice would also go on to sign with South African dance music giant Soul Candi for album and single releases, a label managed by Kid Fonque, himself in turn having spent many years in the UK soaking up the music and culture.
Jonny Miller, Pascal Morais, Kid Fonque & D-Malice -
Back home and for some time now London has pulsed to the afro house sound, driven by D-Malice's club nights Motherland and Sessions along with continued releases on his own label, DM Recordings. Along with pushing his own productions, the label has become a test bed for a host of young, hungry producers from SA, Rudo Deep had his first release on DM before going on to remix 'In The Beginning' for Sonarpilot - Connections once again...
It was only a matter of time before D-Malice himself was involved in the Sonarpilot project, remixing 'Hunter' for us in 2014 and at the time of writing, him and Jonny Miller are mid way through production on a sequel of sorts, penned for release later in 2019.
Check D-Malice online here...
Soundcloud | Twitter | DM Recordings