27 February 2023: If one had to select a single word to describe DJ KMAT’s Ballentine’s Boiler Room set, that word would be “yohweh”, a word accompanied by a heavy sigh to make it make all the sense. While many might understand the essential attitude of the one-word description, only batho ba Pitoriya (Pretorians) would truly grasp the feeling of “yohweh” which becomes “tjoweh, in specific instances. Expressed when making commentary about a thing, a place, a person that resonates with you in a powerful way, “yohweh” and “tjoweh” are only ever expressed when the impact of a thing is so great that the excitement is beyond your control.
A little over a week ago in Soweto, a particular set regulated the room through gradual sonic builds that brought the whole room to a boil. The highlight reel of this set would occur as a young DJ played the hit track “Bhebha”, a song of Pretorian nostalgia. It is now 8 days later, and DJ KMAT continues to live rent-free in the minds of her followers, music lovers, the Boiler Room attendees, and TikTok devotees.
It might have been her skill, the way she swayed to the music, made typical Amapiano hand gestures, or that she was performing with pure bliss in her eyes that the crowd was in an uproar; their hands in the air alongside hers. Whatever the catalyst was her stars were indeed aligned that night.
Paying homage to the DJ Mujava era, the song “Bhebha” is quite nostalgic to the average 012 Civilian. The set saw KMAT taking the audience down memory lane to times when iziSkothane were rampant, ‘groove’ culture was hardcore, and tracks like “Township Funk” with electronic tribal beats laced in acidic bleeps were the stuff that made a hit track.
In a room thicken by nostalgia, “Bhebha”, sent the crowd roaring as the crash of the cymbals, snares, and hi-hats rung alongside the thick persistent bass. The crowd is engrossed in a sonic frenzy as KMAT launches her fists in the air to rally the group, and the immediate circle around her joins her fist thumping – every musician’s dream. Quite simply put, DJ KMAT’s set at the Ballentine’s Boiler Room this past phuza Thursday can be summed by a very resounding, “YOHWEH”!