Prolific Amsterdam-based house and techno imprint Dekmantel hand the reigns to Esa Williams for his latest EP, the appropriately titled Aweh (Capetonian slang for ‘awareness’). Esa’s debut on the label reflects Dekmantel’s ever-expanding gaze; indeed, their growing philosophy seems to be the discovery, exposition and promotion of good music regardless of age, place of origin or genre. In this sense Esa, a musical educator and promoter of artists in danger of “slipping through the cracks”, and the label are a harmonious fit. Inward and outward in perspective, Aweh is an EP that at once uses traditional Gogo music vocals and modern kwaito beats while paying homage to Cape Town’s 1990s importer of early house music.
‘Rent-A-Disc’ on the B-side takes its name to the aforementioned music outlet, which was a key source of music discovery for his father. The track opens with a familiar bumping percussion line comprised of a punching kick drum and rattling hats while acid-alluding, oscillating arpeggios are joined by a-melodic synth stabs. The satisfaction of this allusion brings the track to its conclusion, via siren-like wails, before returning to the original formula. The most conventional house track on the EP ‘Rent-A-Disc’ concludes the release by celebrating its American influences without forgetting its South African origins.