DJ Lag Meeting with the King Platoon/Black Major
Known best for constructing artful gqom productions that have gone from township taverns to silver screens, gallery spaces and club floors, DJ Lag’s debut album is nothing short of a grand entrance fit for royalty. Over 15 tracks, Meeting with the King spans windswept Afro-house, Afro-tech and the amapiano-inspired rhythms that the Durban DJ and producer funnels into his work.
True to its name, Meeting with the King is characterised by its collaborative spirit. On melodic opener Thongo Lami, Lag elevates South African singer Ndoni’s voice with a paced, syncopated beat that shuffles along with ease. Keeping his friends even closer, DJ Lag calls in Lady Du for Lucifer and Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha for DJ Lag, two dance floor-focused tracks that show a masterful restraint, their stuttering tempos invoking the effortlessly intoxicating energy of amapiano and gqom.
Despite being created amidst the isolation of lockdown, Meeting with the King is a testament to Lag’s appetite for collaboration with his peers. This is most apparent on Khavude, the album standout that features amapiano super-producer Mr JazziQ. Over a seamless blend of kick drums, spiky synths and sampled sirens, the late South African rapper Mpura arrives, as if on cue, to remind us of his deserved legend status within the scene. It’s a poignant reminder that DJ Lag – although a king in his prime – will always look to the community that lifted him up.