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MONITOR - Johannesburg



Where House and Techno is a Way of Life

The sprawling epicenter of South Africa, Johannesburg lives and breathes dance music. House, techno and their localised offshoots are woven into day-to-day life, representing the resilience of a city looking to the future after the dark decades of apartheid.

While Jo'burg is home to a thriving nightlife, the 4/4 pulse follows you everywhere, from taxis to bars to street bashes. South Africa's hybrid "kwaito" sound bubbled up from the Jo'burg township of Soweto, where it’s still heard thumping at neighborhood parties.

The City of Gold's restless evolution as an economic hub has shed new light on its music scene. As labels like Soulistic Music and Stay True Sounds fly the flag for South African house, a visit to Jo'burg might take you to the cultural melting pot of Braamfontein or the techno and house-fuelled dancefloors at And Club and Truth. In this edition of Monitor, we explore the sounds, labels and clubs that keep this city moving around the clock.


Interview: Themba

Johannesburg’s Latest Global Success Story

After years honing his craft, Jo'burg native Themba properly arrived on the global house and techno circuit in 2018. With a sound he describes as "African-inspired techno", Themba draws on his roots in the studio, incorporating local singers and percussionists into his productions.

Outside of South Africa, Themba is a regular fixture at Black Coffee's Hï Ibiza residency, where he has played back-to-back with his superstar countryman. His recent releases include "Who Is Themba?" on Herd and the Paliva EP on Hot Since 82's Knee Deep In Sound, with another EP incoming via Yoshitoshi.

A tireless advocate for the South African scene, Themba also works closely with the non-profit organization Bridges For Music. As he says of the city that made him: "You can't compare the hustle and energy of Johannesburg to anything else on the African continent. If you're lazy and just want to chill, it's not the place for you."

Check out Themba's featured chart!



Afro House's finest select their favorite gems




club tips


label spotlight

Starting life in Jo'burg's Sugartrax record store in 2001, Soul Candi has grown into one of South Africa's landmark house brands. Its legendary compilation series kicked off in 2003 with Soul Candi Session 1, featuring breakout tracks by the likes of DJ Mbuso and Jerah. Over the years, Soul Candi has championed South African talent including Da Capo, Cuebur, Euphonik (aka Themba), House Victimz and Mobi Dixon, expanding beyond its label roots to become "an all-encompassing media house" with house music at its core.



Use this map to explore the diverse musical hot spots of Johannesburg.