The 4th edition of Samuel Cosmic's ROOTS with Acacia, Murphy Cubic and Jay: A Review

The past few years have seen the rise of Afro House as a global movement. The momentum has been so much so that even Zimbabwe hasn't remained untouched. Key to the genre's Zimbabwean presence has been an ecosystem of curated events, that give dexterous DJs the platform to interact with audience. From long established events like Hidden Culture's Deep End, to more recently established platforms like Garden of House, AfroBeyond and KAOS.

The space has seen a growth in approach and event organisers keep adding onto this. One of the most recent additions to this genealogy of Afro House events is Samuel Cosmic's ROOTS. A sister event to AfroBeyond, ROOTS moves to a different rhythm and its captures a much different atmosphere. Launched in February this year, the event returned this past weekend for it's 4th chapter.

Hosted at The Secret Terrace at Queen of Hearts, ROOTS has that feeling of defying the norm. The Secret Terrace, although part of a registered establishment, has the setting of a hidden downtown backroom, which is distinctly House music as such locations were the birthplace of rave culture. 

On our arrival on Saturday night, Acacia was already on the decks and we walked in to the embrace of Nitefreak's Gorah. It was an instantly absorbing experience, and while of a sober mind, in that moment rhythm was a welcome intoxicant. Although the crowd was still spread out sporadically during his set, Acacia was a conductor with the deck's as his baton and the audience his orchestra. He was a DJ unknown to me at the time but by the time he passed on the baton to Murphy Cubic, he had made an impression.

Murphy Cubic didn't miss a beat and from the moment he took over the decks, he levelled up the tempo. He gave us what I can only describe as House music laced in a sheen of Gqom. He played a House remix of Angelique Kidjo's "Africa, One Of A Kind" that was a thing of beauty, and if the Secret Terrace wasn't of steady foundation his remix of the viral "They're no rules in Africa, welcome to Zimbabwe" clip would've left cracks in walls.

An hour in he was joined on the decks by Samuel Cosmic and they delivered a back to back set to remember. If Shazam released a report of it's most used location on Saturday night, it would surely be Queen of Hearts' Secret Terrace. From the pervussive unknowns, to the universally loved songs like DJ Kent's "Horns In The Sun" that had everyone shouting "Yaba Yaba Yaba Ye" in song. ROOTS was a cocoon of African rhythm.

At some point Jay joined the duo of Samuel Cosmic and Murphy Cubic on the decks, and he was an equal match to them on the occasion. The trio were doing the tiki taka on the decks like they were Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, and an amazing remix of "Stand By Me" was the exclamation point. When midnight came and they began winding down, a part of me wanted more. 

Now while they were certainly a lot of high moments, they were also some low points. A few times the DJs lost me or teased an amazing song then promptly moved on without letting it breathe. However as a whole, it was a euphoric experience of House music rooted in Africa rhythm. A fourth chapter for ROOTS and another step in establishing roots of Afro House in Zimbabwe.

Greedysouth rating: 7.1/10

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