UE.49: Fred Buddah
As we step into 2019, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look into the thriving scene of South Africa’s underground and electronic landscape. Whether it’s Johannesburg’s kwaito revival, the rise to global stardom of Durban’s gqom kings and queens, or the current spotlight on Pretoria’s amapiano and deep house producers, the world’s eyes are currently firmly fixed on the nation and we feel well equipped to cover it.
Kicking us off right in the creative underbelly of Jozi, we’re very excited to present a blistering mix from Sibusiso Fredrick Ncongwane, otherwise known as Fred Buddah. Hailing from the East Rand, ‘The Hip Scientist’ has been putting out Afro-infused deep house in the truest sense of the term for the best part of seven years via his own Roots Go Deep Music (now Super Black Tapes).
Mystical Arts, the debut release on RGDM back in 2014 was a collaborative EP with longtime friend Ofuren and contained some of the most assured, introspective and strictly club-oriented productions to come out of SA in years, resulting in considerable support across Europe but a surprising lack of it back home.
Since then, his sound’s moved on a little, embracing hedonistic elements from Detroit and Berlin into an amalgamation that we can only really describe as African techno. His connections to NYC’s Afrikan Sciences and Berlin-based Aybee make complete sense sonically, with the latter solidifying that link through contributing a remix to Fred’s The Hip Scientist EP from earlier this year.
Alongside label mate t.Siza, Fred is one of the few South African producers putting out holistic club tracks with an authentic local flavour, but which may end up finding more love on overseas dancefloors. Listen to his frankly fire mix below and make up your own mind.
1 Gumz – Mwalimu (Original Mix)
2 Mr ID – Salat Ala Nabina ft. Kwatar Sadik (Nandu Remix)
3 Infinite Boys ft. G.Man – Machangu (Afrotech Mix)
4 Fred Buddah – Vula (Original Mix)
5 Hyena – The Wish (Manoo Likes Apfelschorle Remix)
6 Fred Buddah – Free My Soul (t.Siza Remix)
7 Medusa ft. Carter – Medusa (Chronicle Deep Acid Mix)
8 Aikuja – The Scientist Yaaquub (Original Mix)
9 Iteru Space Band – Black Beauty Salon.
10 Fred Buddah – Free My Soul (Floyd Lavine Remix)
11 Fred Buddah – Transitory Life (Original Mix)
12 Mbulelo – Robotic People (Transmat Records)
The Mystical Arts EP on Roots Go Deep with Ofuren on Roots Go Deep was my first introduction to your music, and I remember that one got quite a bit of love over in London. Is the label still operating?
Yeah, the label is still operating but we changed the name in 2016 to Super Black Tapes. We found a new higher understanding of music as a whole and it’s power to influence people. I mean I think it’s the responsibility of every artist to do justice using sonics. We have to create more platforms of musical expression and I feel that Super Black Tapes as a label is doing so.
Tell us a little about the Untitled Earth series, those feel like some of your most introspective productions. What sort of headspace were you in back then?
I think the environment played a large part. I locked myself in my studio for 3 days and literally made those five tracks, so that’s why most of the tracks are untitled. I believe that when ever you make music, make it in a setting or have objects that draw you closer to your inner being. The music that comes out will always be magic as I have come to notice.
Am I right in thinking that at one stage in the last few years you considered giving up music altogether?
Not at all my friend, music has its hardships and I have seen many brothers and sisters fall by the way side, though I am in the process of perfection. Therefore I can’t say it never crossed my mind but I knew in order to grow as an artist and producer I had to face the challenges that come with being an ‘up and coming’ producer / DJ. That’s partly why we changed the label to Super Black Tapes because we had grown out of what we were doing as Roots Go Deep Music.
So Super Black Tapes is the imprint you’re associated with these days, alongside t.Siza. What’s the plans for the label?
Our plans are to diversify sounds into a world of young innovators basically. t.Siza is a mastermind, young & hip so he is an example to young musical revolutionists. We plan to have a roster of futurist artists driven to deliver the highest quality of African Electronic Dance Music across Africa.
You had Aybee remix one of your tracks on The Hip Scientist. I’ve always felt he’s had a deep connection to the deep afro house coming out of Joburg without explicitly making it for some reason. How did you come to connect?
We met socially I guess, through Afrikan Sciences whom I had the pleasure of working with. We shared music with him and through t.Siza we linked up and made music. So the project roughly took two weeks to come together and Aybee delivered magic with his remix.
What’s next on the horizon for you release wise?
Well basically advancement in both my DJ & producer skills as I aim to continue to deliver what I was from the very beginning when I started making music. I’m also looking to collaborate with more artists like Afrikan Sciences, Jackie Queens to name a few. All things come to those that stay true to their craft.
Fred’s Two Worlds EP is out now on Nomadiq Music.