Lemon and Herb carry us to the Edge with a grandiose Extended Play.
House Duo Lemon and Herb, formed by Skhumbuzo Radebe and Don Jobe are a vibrant pair that intuitively deliver Afrobeats.
The Afro House sub-genre is a steadily growing African sound that the rest of the world seems to be hungry for. The marriage of Djembes, Mbira, Shekere and talking drums create a vibration the is reminiscent of cultural ceremonies.
The Duo has dabbled in this ritualistic sound that imparts a sense of cognitive spiritual awe for a while now. The take-apart of Lemon and Herbs sound is their fusion of electronic synth and other none organic sounds. Their 2018 release Fly is an example of such fusions of Afrobeat and eurocentric, electronic sounds and a most recent example is Nqo.
Edge – EP
The EP Edge is a dogmatic embrace that Afro House is here to stay. The EP takes you through a dark and cinematic journey of Afro House music. From the artwork, one already gets chills as to what to expect from the offering. Therefore, the caveman-esque cover sets the tone to the to what lies beneath.
The four-track EP features only a single vocal track and the tracks that follow only are beats that are afro laced.
Track 1. Nangu
Nangu is an isiZulu word that can be directly translated as “here is”. This track sets the tone to the entire EP allowing one to grasp the overall direction of the project. The deliberate use of drums and bongo’s emphasize that Africanasity.
Track 2. D.R.U.M. (Drums Really Unite Men)
The cleverly titled track D.R.U.M. does indeed stand up to its meaning and the essence that house music represents. House encompasses drums to entice dance and movement and in turn, uniting whichever group of persons listening at any moment.
D.R.U.M. is surprisingly not heavy on the use of drums as you might imagine, but rather is its most prominent element is the use of the cowbell.
Track 3. Edge (LJ Pepper)
This is where the Eurocentric influences come alive and stand fast prevalently in the entire scope of the project. Edge is the title track of the EP and employees the vocals of LJ Pepper who furthers the EDM feel to the track. This gives the track an international appeal but still maintains a South African sound that we can recognize.
Listening to this track is reminiscent of a Black Coffee production.
Track 4. Serengeti
Serengeti, as the name, suggests this should be one of the most African sounding track. That title brings the expectation for raw instrumentation and primitive drums accompanied by ritualistic chants.
Exceptionally the song does live up to the expectations that the title creates, as it incorporates all the elements that bring out the best form factor of an Afrobeat track.
The overall listening experience of the EP is a cohesive experience which is important to keep consistent listenership and without distracting deviations of sound that might just overwhelm some listeners.