Creating original ideas in an age where formulaic methods to creativity reign supreme is a rare feat, but it seems to be something young local label Suid Tronica are having no problems doing. The minds behind the label have covered a fair amount of ground in a short time frame, largely due to their first compilation album Sounds of Suid Tronica Vol.1 which featured a diverse listing of electronic sounds and feelings. They have now returned to release Vol.2 in the series with another 11 offerings.

As with the first release it’s advised to throw all preconceived expectations of local compilations out the window before diving in for the first time. While there are definitely some tracks which can and will shine on the dancefloor, like the pure energy romp that is Thor Rixon & Leeu’s Red Is Right, many of the other tracks feel suited to other listening settings. Alex Van Heerden’s Waterslang, for example, is a dreamy lullaby featuring harmonised Afrikaans vocals. Uzobuya by behr also begins with a slower ambient energy, but unexpectedly switches halfway into a driving drum & bass influenced number. 

Harry Charles contributes two jazzy sounding additions, one upbeat song in a collaboration with Cesar and a gorgeously haunting solo cut titled Seven Minutes Down. A fair amount of downtempo influences seem to come together on the album, as evidenced by the standout banger that is Treepian’s Communication, although more traditional local sounds can be heard in tunes like ZiyawakaZitha’s Asambe Mntfwanami with Bholoja.

While plenty of the songs on the release could easily stand on their own, as a package they bring life to each other in unexpected ways. Collectively the compilation feels like a sonic collage of ideas and influences all coinciding without running into one another, an impressive accomplishment considering the diversity of the artists.

Editor’s Favourite: Treepian – Communication / Thor Rixon & Leeu – Red Is Right

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