One of the most sobering thoughts in recent times is the concept of community. As people, we all exhibit a sense of individuality that makes us who we are, yet at the core of our being we all share a space and a time, a right now. A beautiful sonic illustration of this is the Red Bull Dubane Connect, a 5 track compilation EP that challenged artists of different backgrounds and sound to come together and create a fluid body of work.

Red Bull is no stranger to pushing the boundaries as it pertains to artist collaboration, and this time around it was Dubane’s turn to show what they could do when thrown in a studio and told to create. The EP features the cream of the crop in Durban’s local music scene such as Garde, Robin Thirdfloor, Nipho Hurd, U.Beyond, CampMasters, DJ Asvnte, DJ LeSoul, Nobuhle Khuzwayo, Emex, King Bruce, MusiColours and Mnqobi Yazo.

“Sabela”, the opening track of the project is a deep and soulful call to the listener to lend their ear to Durban artists and what they have to say. The mesmerizing vocals of Nobuhle Khuzwayo instantly speak to a message of hope for what is to come. This is followed by the uptempo “Do You Believe in Me” featuring Garde, DJ LeSoul, Nipho Hurd and Nobuhle Khuzwayo. This groovy tune is an instant mood lifter that leaves you wanting more.

The project peaks as it comes into an alternative sound of kwaito reimagined through the song “Sum” featuring Nipho Hurd, Garde, DJ LeSoul and rapper Robin Thirdfloor. This time-bending summertime bop is a soundtrack for Decembers passed and those still to come.

“Sunrise” is perhaps one of the most surprising songs on the project. Deep house is a genre that is huge in Durban so it is no shocker that it made an appearance on the work. However, it presents to us an introduction of vocalist, Nipho Hurd into this genre. Her strong vocals complement the sound so effortlessly that it becomes an instant no brainer as to why she was chosen for this beat.

The closing track is somewhat of an homage to Durban through the Qqom track “Sulele” featuring Campmasters, Mnqobi Yazo and Robin Thirdfloor. The track itself is palatable and you would probably dance to it if it came on at groove, however, it gives rise to the question of whether a collaborative project for Durban such as this one has to have a Qgom track in order for it to be considered as authentically Dubane.