The Sound of Durban Vol. 1 is the first full-length compilation collecting the sound of the suburbs and townships of Durban, South Africa, a music known as gqom. The album unites many of the genre's local producers over 15 tracks. Rome-based DJ and musician Nan Kole and South Africa-based Lerato Phiri set up the Gqom Oh! Label to highlight the music and artists of Durban, the often-overlooked cradle of the new South African sound; as Kole recalled in an interview with The FADER in October 2015, Thanks to [Phiri's] work the artists I was interested in had greater trust in a stranger who contacted them from Italy to promote a kind of music that even South African promoters don't want to promote or to enter the club. Taking it's name from an onomatopoeic Zulu word signifying a drum, this extraordinary, apocalyptic bass music encompasses many influences. Each polyrhythmic track draws on the darker side of electronic music, hip hop, sound system culture, kwaito, UK funky, and deep African vibrations. As Kole puts it, You can feel the troubled history of South Africa. It's riot music. Tied to a specific dance called bhenga, gqom exists in a DIY-oriented universe, grafting organic and homemade samples on sourced software to create this wholly unique sound. Gqom Oh!'s greater aim is to invest in much-needed technology to help build a local creative infrastructure. The Sound of Durban Vol. 1 showcases a host of local talent including Julz da DeeJay, Cruel Boyz, Citizen Boy, and Formation Boyz. With it's mix of ethnic tradition and urban tension, South Africa has been a cradle of cultural phenomena. In it's own way it is a country of great wealth, particularly rich in contradictions, yet decades after the end of the country's apartheid, little appears to have changed for the millions of black people who live in it's notorious townships. It is from this background that innovation is continually being injected into the living body of the local music culture. The heartbeat of Durban is gqom. Also includes tracks by Dominowe, Forgotten Souls, DJ Mabheko, Emo Kid, DJ Bradolz, and TLC Fam.