7. Various Artists, 'Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban'
This record label conversation between Rome's Nan Kolè and South Africa's Lerato Phiri brings the first commercially available full-length of gqom, the stark, moody genre engulfing the streets of Durban, South Africa and forward-thinking clubs the world over. Made for both tiny cell-phone speakers and taxi cabs alike, gqom is heavy on bass and cavernous reverb, combining the dankness of British grime, the polyrhythmic fury of the pop-electronica hybrid kwaito and the merciless boom of the post-dubstep universe. Both versions – 12 songs on two LPs, or 16 downloads ready for your phone – are skeletal in structure but rich in rhythm, including two tracks from breakout star Citizen Boy: the woodpeckering "Tribute to DSB" and the oppressive and seasick "Ghetto Mafia." The collection peaks with Cruel Boyz' "Umeqo Emagqomini (Dub Mix)," whose constantly surprising, ever-evolving talking drum-esque lead percolates with digital plink. C.W.