Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Sun-El Musician ft. Mlindo The Vocalist – Bamthathile

Next we visit South Africa, and Sun-El and Mlindo visit our future sidebar…


Julian Axelrod: If “Bamthathile” is a letdown compared to Sun-El’s last single, “Akanamali,” it’s only because it sounds like it could be made by human beings on planet Earth. Compared to the living, breathing organism that was “Akanamali,” this follows a more familiar dance music blueprint. But holy shit, is this good dance music. Sun-El Musician has such an ear for melody and restraint, taking his time to build to sort of anti-drop: a gently pulsing Jenga tower of pristine melodies that sounds like a slowly blooming symphony. And so far he’s 2 for 2 on amazing collaborators, with Mlindo the Vocalist delivering a rich, honeyed wail with enough pathos to make you forget about that name. These singles constitute one of the most assured, auspicious artist introductions I’ve heard in years, and we’ll be lucky to watch him grow in real time.

Alfred Soto: I wish this were better than “subtly insinuating,” for I don’t want to compare every Sun-El single to “Akanamali.” 

Scott Mildenhall: Sun-El Musician knows his way around the low-key, and he knows how to make it burrow. Even more so than “Akanamali”, “Bamthathile” persists, neglecting to unfurl like its forebear — this is a far less cheerful affair. Compared to something like “Sonini” it’s also less obviously urgent, but that mesmeric, pulsing persistence is so absorbing that it heightens the immediacy.

Katherine St Asaph: Immaculately chill, and nothing besides. Your score probably reflects whether you find “immaculately chill” to be more praise or critique.

William John: A forlorn vocal mourning love lost, wistful synth washes, bass throbs, and airy woodwinds together combine to dramatic effect, though I can’t help but think how much more electrifying this would be if the tempo was hastened, even slightly.

Ryo Miyauchi: Sun-El Musician tones down the house beat of “Akanamali” while roughening up the synths to more of an electro glow. The dusky groove still stands, though, and the mellow ride works splendid to back up Mlindo, who’s in a reflecting mood.

Will Adams: Sun-El Musician has a way with release, with making you hold your breath until a glorious instrumental break arrives and you spread your arms and lift your head to the sky. “Bamthathile” is more subdued than Sun-El’s usual euphoric house, but that moment is still there: after the chorus, when the winds pick up and send the electro midtempo into another realm.

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7 Responses to “Sun-El Musician ft. Mlindo The Vocalist – Bamthathile”

  1. “Ubala” is another great new one:

    Album out at the end of March, as far as I can tell.

  2. “Ubala” is indeed heavenly

    and good work sussing out a release date, every time I see a vague “from the upcoming album” I get all impatient

  3. It’s right at the bottom of this interview

  4. Album now out “before the end of April” per the label’s website. But for now we have this preview mixtape of sorts which contains some promising new material, including a great bootleg of Francis & The Lights:

  5. actually he literally just posted on Instagram that it’s out on the 27th of April

  6. It’s out a week early! And it’s excellent.

  7. It really is great. And “Sonini” now has a video