House music is, without a doubt, reigning supreme in these parts of the world. South Africa has well positioned itself as the new mecca after years of inequality and segregation. We have come to witness an array of talent becoming overnight successes.
Mobi Dixon is one such talent that is flying our country’s flag high up. Having had a nod from world renowned producer Little Louie Vega and being nominated for three SAMA nominations, is proof that we’re dealing with a master of his craft.
Live The Music, the album, released by House Afrika, is laced with Afro-deep infused tracks, laden with charismatic chords, scientific arrangements and talent, it’s not a wish nor dream when I say he is here to stay. He proves his skills and prowess from track one until the last.
The album kicks off with ‘Boomerang’ featuring Nana Mbawuli. The song remains true to South African House music as we have come to know it. Snares accompany the Afro influenced baseline with congas placed on top of the beat.
Mixed Up Chick, featuring Monique Bingham, is typical, its arrangement makes for a feature in a set while the elements are done quite cleverly. There’s an organ section that leaves one yearning for more.
‘Without You’, featuring Pomakazi, kicks off with a Gqom influenced intro section. There’s a laid back guitar section that works well with Pomakazi’s vocals. Mobi does well with a horn section, which sits well atop the beat.
Trigger, featuring Inga Hina, picks up where ‘Without You’ left off with pretty much a similar introduction, but this time he ropes in some toms and percussions. The guitar baseline gives it an African feel and works well through out the song while Inga Hina’s singing leaves you intrigued. This track is pretty much a guitar ensemble proving that music transcends boundaries and the fact that House music has a place for any type of influence. The closing has a well thought out and placed violin section. You won’t be crucified for thinking The Soweto String Quartet had a hand in there somewhere. It also comes as no surprise this was chosen as the first single for the album.
‘Ezizweni’, featuring Berita, is on an Afro House tip with borrowed elements from Electro. Berita’s delivery is Afrocentric. Bridges are well timed and executed. This jam doesn’t have much elements, but as minimal as is, it delivers as expected.
Tresor’s Never Let Me Go (Mobi Dixon Remix) further emphasises Mobi’s Afro House influence. He seems to be quite comfortable with guitar melodies and compliments them well. It’s a super ingenious effort and addition to the already successful track.
‘More and More’, featuring Sakhile Moleshe, lifts off on an Afro tip also, with another guitar section.
Furniture, featuring Black Motion, remains true to the style that Black Motion has become known for. The fusion of Black Motion’s drum and Afro House taste gels well with Mobi Dixon’s Deep House influence. The piano section plays well into the whole synergy giving the track an upbeat tempo while the flute gives the track some enchantment. A well produced track indeed and compared to all other tracks on the album, stands out as different.
‘Free Fall’, featuring Bantu Soul, reminds me of DJ Fresca’s Amaphoyisa. Bantu Soul dishes out his signature vocal delivery while the drums beat their way to your heart. I love the piano keys on the bridge and the toms supporting them.
2Bad gets his fair chance on the soulful If I. Drawing influence from Soulful House with a mellow soft baseline and infectious shakers. A dark string section hides itself behind all the music, but one can notice it as it adds mystery to the track. 2Bad is a great vocalist too.
Mobi takes us on a journey with a Jazz inspired ‘Live The Music’, which is the title track and features Lidz on saxophone. Everything about this track is awesome. The intro section, Lidz laced sax and the keys lay a great foundation for a fusion inspired House song. One can appreciate the experimentation of live instruments and Electro synths to make up a dance track. This would be my second most liked tune on the album.
A great offering for certain, though I feel most of the tracks are nothing new in terms of style. It easily falls in the random House music grouping as one can with time grow tired of the music. Two tracks stand out and places Mobi Dixon on a pedestal with the greats. It takes exclusivity, displayed by the likes of Black Motion, Black Coffee, Culoe De Song (to name a few) to be a leader. Mobi needs more self awareness and motivation to stand apart from competition and mark his own path.