When it comes to dance music in the South African market, RPM Dance is probably one of the better-known and oldest labels in the country. The label forms part of Gallo Record Company, SA’s oldest record company that is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Besides the individual artists the label represents, its charm lies in the frequent compilations it produces, with the BUMP series probably being the most popular series of compilations. Some of RPM Dance and Gallo’s latest dance releases include:


RPM Dance, Marketed and distributed by Gallo Record Company

Love them or hate them, this is Dutch group Scooter at their thumping best. Songs like Rock Bottom, Apache, Seven Bridges and Mesmerized all feature the group’s trademark thumping beats and anthemic, stadium-type vocals, while Privileged To Be Here features a clever sample of The Police’s Walking On The Moon. The three guys that make up Scooter can fill a stadium faster than you can get your rocks off, and Who’s Got The Last Laugh Now is an excellent testimony to their craft and their popularity. It’s actually quite brilliant dance music…if you can keep up!


RPM Dance, Marketed and distributed by Gallo Record Company

There was a time, not too long ago, when albums containing cover versions – like this one – irritated me more than an overloaded taxi in peak traffic. But with time came change and today it feels as if most so-called new dance tracks are merely funked-up cover versions anyway. Not that I’m complaining – I’m all for sampling and putting a doef-doef on a familiar melody. But what it also means is that the standards and quality of cover albums have been steadily improving, and in the case of Cover To Cover 6, actually make it stand out as a proper dance album. There are songs on this album that I have forgotten about, and they’re being covered by familiar names in the club scene – think Global Deejays, Vinylshakerz etc. So yes, I think Cover to Cover 6 is a fantastic compilation. If the sampling and covering trend continues, I am almost sure that Volume 7 will be even better!


RPM Dance, Marketed and distributed by Gallo Record Company

Relatively misleading cover art aside, Needle Damage 3 is actually a serious dance album. A double-disc compilation featuring 40 tracks, its beats will keep you going for hours on end. Disc 1 – mixed by DJ Gizmo – eases you into the mood up until track 12, where DJ Storm takes over and really gets the beats pumping. However, pop disc 2 in and get ready to party. Mixed by DJ Bonebreaker from Brooklyn Bounce, this disc starts pumping almost immediately in a style that Brooklyn Bounce is best known for. Some of my favourites include Rob Mayth’s Can I Get A Witness, Andromeda’s Sweet Lullaby, Sylver’s Make It, Sven-RG vs Bass T’s Never Talkin’, Acardipane vs Balloon’s Whoopie Whoopie and Verano’s Popcorn. Well balanced, well mixed and exceptionally entertaining, this is serious dance music for serious clubbers!


RPM Dance, Marketed and distributed by Gallo Record Company

With a massive advertising campaign to back up this bright green compilation, I was not really impressed or particularly disappointed with Clubworx 2. Another double-disc compilation featuring 45 tracks, I found the first disc to have a distinct “remixed for radio” feel to it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it does pick up a bit towards the end, but I really think the mixing of the tracks could have been better. However, the second disc starts off better than the first and actually manages to redeem the album – giving you a clubbers-vibe every now and then. Song choice is acceptable and feature a number of good tracks, including Housetrap’s Freak, Fragma’s Radio Waves, 666 & DJ Baito’s Atención, ATB’s Summer Rain, Brooklyn Bounce’s Sex, Bass & Rock ‘n Roll and Benny Benassi’s Who’s Your Daddy. I’ve definitely heard better.

Gallo’s RPM Dance label has been receiving some stiff competition from Just Music, the new kids on the block. It was formed in June 2003 by Karl Anderson; considered a living legend with more than 15 years experience in the South African music industry – including as Marketing Director for EMI Music and head of A&R and Marketing at RPM Dance. Taking a decidedly independent route with its represented labels and artists, dance music forms a vital part of the label’s catalogue, with its biggest coup probably being the exclusive licensing and distribution deal with the UK’s legendary Ministry of Sound. Some of Just Music’s latest releases are:


Marketed by Just Music, distributed by Universal Music

When Drop The Pressure was released I wasn’t particularly impressed. However, subsequent releases like Doctor Pressure and Muscle Car certainly redeemed Mylo in my books. I was however delightfully surprised with Destroy Rock & Roll, as the album isn’t straight-up dance music. Instead it’s a genuine crafting of songs with clever use of sampling (like on In My Arms, that features brilliant melody and lyrical samples from Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes and Boy Meets Girl’s Waiting For A Star To Fall). Guilty of Love, Paris Four Hundred and Destroy Rock & Roll also stand out on this very impressive album that I am happy to have discovered.


Marketed by Just Music, distributed by Universal Music

Originally known in the UK as Crazy Penis, A Night On Earth – the band’s third album – has been released with the abbreviated name of Crazy P. If you’re not familiar with the band you’re not alone – neither was I. But this CD is phenomenal, to put it mildly. In fact, there is not a single song on the album that I do not like. A mixture of house, disco and jazz, the entire album has a fantastic feel-good factor, and songs like Can’t Get Down, Bumcop, Turnaway, Cruising, Kicks and Sun-Science are sheer brilliance. It’s an album you just won’t want to take out of the CD player. Well, I haven’t yet!


Marketed by Just Music, distributed by Universal Music

If you prefer getting your groove on to the catchy sounds of funky house music, then the Ministry of Sound’s Funky House Sessions is the perfect album for you. Tracks like Everybody by Martin Solveig, Feels Good by David Morales, Love On My Mind by Freemasons featuring Amanda Wilson, I Watch You by Lee Cabrera, Oh My G

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