Nerve-shredding gqom from a Durban pioneer.

In less than a decade, DJ Lag—the alias of Lwazi Asanda Gwalahas—has established himself as a sonic innovator and leading ambassador of gqom, taking the bass-heavy, minimalist sound from South Africa to a worldwide audience. (Its name stems from a Zulu word meaning drum or hit and Hyperdub label head Kode9 described it as “like being suspended over the gravitational field of a black hole, and lovin’ it.) He’s achieved all this before the age of 30 and from his home in Clermont in the coastal city of Durban, which is where he began making beats using little more than FruityLoops as a teenager. Soon he was playing his tracks at local gigs and sharing them with taxi drivers who liked to use them to attract customers. Then, in 2015, following his blistering performance at the G-Star Raw x Boiler Room sessions in Johannesburg, his sound seeped out to an international audience, and a year later he released on London’s Goon Club Allstars—delivering four hypnotic originals “made for clubs … made for nightlife,” he told DJ Mag. He released his debut album, Meeting With The King, in 2022, and following that he’s recently embarked on his Alpha-Zulu tour, which will take him to every continent this year. (Alongside the shows, he’ll be collaborating and recording with local artists to drop tracks monthly.)

In support of the tour, which is currently in South Africa, we’re delivering DJ Lag’s much-anticipated XLR8R podcast, which as you’d expect is dark, heated, and raw. Expect an hour of bubbling club rhythms, chopped vocals and powerful drums.

XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.


01. DJ Lag “Destiny” (Black Major / Ice Drop)
02. Deep Narratives “Hard Cong” (Maluka Records)
03. Dladla Mshunqisi “Woza Uzizwele” (Afrotrainment)
04. Omagoqa “Njengenja” (Other Side Recordings)
05. Babes Wodumo “No No” fear. Que DJ, Skillz & Zuri (West Ink Records)
06. DJ Lag “Intongayazi” (Black Major / Ice Drop)
07. DJ Lag “Lucifer” (Black Major / Ice Drop)
08. DJ Lag “Khehla” (Black Major / Ice Drop)

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