Twenty-six year old South African producer Mbulelo Mehlomakhulu grew up with a passion for house music. He began releasing music early at only 18, working with Blaque Core's Profound Nation and issuing a slew of records under the Xerophytic Soul moniker. Achieving local and global success with tracks like 'Ancient Cultures', he began to pioneer a more experimental sound - a cross between Durban's dark, propulsive gqom sound and vintage Detroit techno. This forward-thinking composite didn't go unnoticed, and Mehlomakhulu was tapped by Derrick May to release "The Robotics People" EP on Transmat in 2018.
Now Mehlomakhulu returns with four stargazing hybrid compositions that again dance in the shared sonic space between Detroit and Durban. Gqom's slow, sensual pulse carries 'Play the Beat' with chants and echoing cowbell smacks swallowed into a wormhole of squashed analog bass and reverberating Underground Resistance stabs. Title track 'Kalibre' is less florid, but commands the dancefloor with clattering South African drums, ballroom slams and the ticking urgency of Chicago's DJ Sneak.
'Uranus' and 'God's Groove' lift the dancefloor to a higher plain, spiritually connecting with Carl Craig's historic early run and layering synthetic neon pads and cinematic shimmering effects. Mbulelo's sound is smart and poignant, and completely his own. By linking contemporary South African dance music to Detroit's pioneering 1980s techno vision, he makes a connection that's never felt more current.