The Heavy Quarterz derby album: "Kosha" DHLA review


There's something for everyone... 
The Heavy Quarterz drop a mixed bag of House Music goodies

By Tshenolo “Staffroommaniacs” Marobane
Edited by Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo

It’s been a long and very challenging journey for The Heavy Quarterz.
A journey that saw them trekking to Jozi to chase a dream most wouldn't dare pursue.
"Kosha", their debut album, is a milestone on their still unfolding journey as it is proof that their investment is finally paying off. 
"Kosha" which can loosely be translated from township lingo as "Hit", was released 
recently under Gallo Music.

The 15 track album combines different influences and sounds the duo have picked up in their musical journey and is set to accommodate House heads of different persuasions.
"Nguwe" the opening track exemplifies this wide appeal as it draws inspiration from various musical sources.

Warm Rhodes chords laced with shakers and tambourines within a bouncy baseline allow the authentic kasi (township) styled vocals to breath. 
For those that favour the Afro House flair, "Kwanele" will hit all the right spots as the track takes it back to the very essence of the heart and soul of Afro related sounds.
"Moferefere featuring Francis Carcassi, demonstrates how the Heavy Quarterz have grown and how they can now shift spaces in a heartbeat. 
This moving track does well with great guitar lines combined with dirty programmed drums to take one to a very special place.

Another standout track is "Gratitude" which features a mellow arrangement of keys and synth chords, on top of crunchy snare drums.
The cherry on top is the baseline which resonates well with the song. 
By the time you get to "Dreams" featuring Memory Zaranyika on vocals, you realise that things are about to get heavy.

Sweet vocals laid on a dark and moody beat with warm pads and string arrangements, a quick paced baseline and percussion work well. 
This change in tempo sets the mood for the rest of the album.
When I get to "Amadoda", I can’t help but feel the producers nostalgia.
The track opens with dark pads interspersed with the Afro chants we have come to associate with The Heavy Quarterz. 

"Amadoda" builds up steadily when the vocals intensify and the bass eventually kicks in. 
Other notable tracks are "Izinto", "Ungowami" and "Karma" featuring Inkabo Sounds.
The later I feel will do well on radio.
For a debut, "Kosha" is an commendable album, which sets a very high standard for The Heavy Quaterz to follow up on.

The duo are known as great vocalists as well as producers and together with former group member Morra De Rey, they made huge hits during the glory days of the Afro House sub genre. 
Who can forget classics like "Roho Yangu", "Amagwala", "Ixolongo" and Matsoso's genius rendition on "Embo" which found itself on Mzee's debut album?

It has taken them some time but The Heavy Quarterz have been patient with the result being the building of a stable brand and their finding of their own unique voice and sound.

Overall I give "Kosha" a 7/10 rating.

By Thato aka Mr Serious Lephoto

Just this past weekend I was driving around, club-hopping with a good friend of mine, while The Heavy Quarterz's new album "KOSHA" was playing in the car. We weren't actively listening to the music since we were talking and just acting a fool on the road. All of a sudden he said to me "Bro, you're playing good music in your car, if this was my car we'd be listening to some old Blues tunes like..." and he mentioned three artists that he normally plays.

This is a guy who is NOT even into House. I told him that's The Heavy Quarterz.

In case you didn't know, The Heavy Quarters is soulful House group consisting of Morra De Rey, Ntsika M, Teboho Mahlatsi and Matsoso Letuka, formerly signed up with Bomba Records and currently based 
in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Like most people, I find it physically challenging to try to listen to an entire album from start to finish, but I found Kosha to be alluring. One can never get enough of this awe inspiring installment that has been two years in the making and well worth the wait. 
With a wide range of creatively selected sounds plus a crafty fusion of jazzy, soulful, tribal and deephouse elements,it was an emotional cruise to far-away places, which left me fulfilled in the 
end. Tracks like "Dreams" featuring the sultry vocals of Memory Zaranyika boasts that soulful underground house feel that most local house fans have become accustomed to. I'll be honest, soon as 
I heard the sneak peak of the album, I was instantly drawn to track 4 "Moferefere" I found my head automatically nodding and feet tapping (or at least one of them). That wailing guitar performance is 
as elegent as it is addictive. There are just a few featured artists on the album since one of the goals was to give music lovers a true representation of The Heavy Quarterz sound. If you're into the 
more traditional and African chants, you will appreciate tracks like "Amadoda" and "Kwanele", catchy warm vocals accompanied by some delightful sounds. And in a particular touch of versatility the last song on the album is "Karma" a trappy Afropop tune, featuring Inkambo Sounds suitable for those times you wanna slow things down or relax the mood a little. Oh yeah this one really caught me by surprise.

On the technical side, I believe Teboho Mahlatsi and Matsoso Letuka had a blast mixing and mastering the album. Well balanced mixes and transparent use of effects, keeping the songs natural and easy on 
the ears. That is one of the reasons it was so easy to listen to the entire album in one go. Lyrically, I enjoyed the concepts and the message behind most of the songs. However I would love hear more personal stories in the lyrics though, delving deeper into their experiences or feelings, but since The Heavy Quarterz are here to stay, I do believe we will get a chance to witness more of that.

On a rating out of 10, I would give the album a steady 9. I would definitely recommend this to other music lovers and compilers.

You may purchase your own copy of the album on either one of the links below.

The Heavy Quarterz debut album out on all major digital stores.

To find out more or get in touch with The Heavy Quarterz, go to: 
Twitter: @heavy_quarterz
Facebook: The Heavy Quarterz
Soundcloud: The Heavy Quarterz

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