Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Trevor Noah has pulled out at the last minute from hosting the MAMAs 2016, due to 'a severe upper respiratory infection'

L'Vovo Derrango - The Fabulous

2009-02-19 11:21
The Fabulous
Then disco took a similar dip, and eventually house emerged holding a monopoly on the revelers once born and bled under kwaito's defiant lo-fi kick.

Now we're in 2009 and listening to L'Vovo's The Fabulous feels like a rhythmic shake-up that both confirms and counters the nay-sayers. It's as if kwaito never faded off the dance-floor but instead took to a strategic corner and hid, observing, maturing and growing rich.

This is what kwaito sounds like when it's been given the L'Vovo Derrango treatment.

It's no longer a holy child confined to the temples of street-bashes, township shebeens and inner-city taverns, but a prodigal son that's plunged itself fully into the once-forbidden and traded his street-corner defiance for suburban bliss. He's changed into a pink shirt, dusted himself off and become a man of pool parties, bikini-clad models and import whiskey. A man who sends mms's off his designer phone(s) and keeps his buzz on the streets vibrant through Facebook updates. Stick your ear out and you can hear him now booming out of new playgrounds: open-top Z-5's, immense suburban mansions, executive beachfront nightclubs.

In The Fabulous L'Vovo keeps it nailed and hammered to this, his tailor-made sound. It's high-production kwai-house with thick drooping basslines, beeping electro-samples, infectious drums and hypnotic synth patterns. And it's business as usual for the "Teddy Bear" of kwaito as he spins his light-hearted slo-flo banter, reflecting on his high-life antics with lyrics that are simple, but so heavily laden with spot-on pop-culture references that you can't help but grin at some of the silliness and quips as you nod your head.

"Umtheth'wakhe", for example, is a track about cell phone and Facebook infidelity where during the chorus, Derrango invites the guy sms'sing his girlfriend to sit down over a cup of "ikof’elimnyama", a Zulu word directly translating to black coffee; which – if you know your house or read the liner notes – you'll find is actually the name of the DJ who produced the song.

Since his 2006 debut, L'Vovo has developed quite a following and apart from the house guys, he really only has to worry about beating himself with this one. This is perhaps The Fabulous’ one disadvantage: none of the tracks spring out with the immediate thump of hit potential like "Bayang’sukela" and "Resista" did. But there’s still enough humour, Durban-sautéed beats and catchy hooks to keep the ever-fickle dance bunch heaving on the floor.

Well, at least for the next six months.
A few years ago pundits were all but ready to draw the curtain on kwaito, citing a lack of relevance, calling it dated, and pointing eager fingers to its mushrooming cousin, house, as the next best thing in black South African dance music. True enough, it was a time that saw a lot of kwaito fall by the wayside. It seemed there would be a grumble now and again – and sometimes even a breakthrough – but nothing lived long enough to cement itself in kwaito’s dance consciousness.

gift 2009-05-14 06:40 PM
life is to short l'vovo must learn from brown dash that you dont just leave your bread and butter coz one of the good days he will regreat what is doing

Recent Reviews

This weekend Scott Stapp, the voice of legendary rock band Creed, kicks off his world tour in South Africa. Read More »
Add your review

Ciara - Jackie

2015-07-17 12:53

Ciara’s sixth studio album has beat and sex appeal but lacks heart. Read More »
Add your review

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.