A newcomer debuts with an EP of enchanting house rhythms.
On "Orchestration" and "Robotic People," tougher syncopated grooves roll out at hypnotic length. Gqom—the dark, sparse South African style that is almost antithetical to Black Coffee and co.—might be in play here, though Mbulelo layers his drums with rich chords that reframe them entirely. "Robotic People" is the classier of the two, but "Orchestration" has more to unpack, its bright chord throbs clashing weirdly with sirens and a tinkling bell riff in a different key. Even so, the track's overall mood is euphoric.
"Origins" uses similar sounds to more introspective ends. A sci-fi monologue in a South African accent gives way to a beat that shuffles, shimmies and sways sluggishly under the mounting weight of flickering chords. It's an engaging and surprising sound—not least for appearing on Derrick May's Transmat label. May says he hears his own "youthful sonic adventurousness" in the 23-year-old producer. Mbulelo may not have a "Strings Of Life" on his hands, but he's definitely got something good.