A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

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Real Scenes: Johannesburg
By
 
[RESIDENT ADVISOR] South Africans are arguably the biggest consumers of house music in the world, and Johannesburg is the beating heart of their scene. If you're looking for proof, there is no need to visit a nightclub. In turning on a television, listening to the radio or walking down the street, it's clear that a 4/4 pulse is the metronome of everyday life. The city's preferred sound—vocal-led, percussive, melodic—is largely at odds with what's popular in other international markets; this coupled with cripplingly slow internet speeds goes someway to explaining South Africa absence from the global house music conversation.
 
But although the scene's stars hold ambitions that extend well beyond the country's borders, the reality is that they're thriving on home turf. Johannesburg has written—and continues to write—its own narrative. It has tales of hardship. The fight to free itself from the brutality of apartheid, and the role music played in that struggle. In a city still rife with poverty, house music can offer a way out. For the latest Real Scenes short film, Resident Advisor journeyed to Johannesburg and its outer lying townships, meeting the DJs, producers, promoters and record labels who are central to its story.
 
 
 
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