n o i l l e b e R r alls fo
a signed copy of the soap girlsâ€™ new album! Details inside
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20 ANDROID JONES
How to ................................................................................4 Miss information ...............................................................8 The sight of things ...........................................................10 The line & light collective ..............................................16
46 HYBRID SA
casual contributors Donovan Hogg b Hidden Festival
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70 74 SATANIC DAGGA ORGY
Cortina whiplash ...28 livingston ...............36 psy mantis................48 Changeling .............60
Pimp squad ...............68 stephen rae ..............76 psy-anomic ...............78 Great wizoo jazz ....90 DESMOND & THE TUTUS
Under the ink
Hidden festival The irish muso reviews: al bairre
Ed’s Note Wow! What an issue! It brings me immense pleasure to present Digital Soul September 2015! On our cover we have The Soap Girls as we celebrate the launch of “Calls for Rebellion” - the latest and first independent album by the girls. In this month’s issue you will find all the regular features - Miss Information, The Irish Muso reviews..., The Sight of Things, How to... and as of this month, I am very excited to announce , the first edition of a new editorial named “Under the ink” contributed by Sherene Hustler who you might recall as our featured photographer in last month’s August issue of DS. Sherene has been photographing artists from an array of genres for many years and has always had a keen interest in their tattoos. Now she will now be interviewing said artists and letting us in on the stories behind their ink. I would like to welcome Cameron Anderson back in between our covers, where we all agree he belongs, from a lengthy stay in hospital after being victim of a hit-and-run accident a few months ago. We are relieved, grateful and pleased to have you back! 3.
On the House and and Trance front we have a look at Hybrid SA, the boys from Pimp Squad and interview Psy Mantis who you can catch at Alien Safari’s Sprung this coming weekend in Cape Town. Oppikoppi was a major attraction in SA last month, so along with our review, you can look forward to interviews with Desmond and the Tutus, Cortina Whiplash, Satanic Dagga Orgy as well as last month’s cover stars, Livingston We also interviewed Cape Town band, Changeling, who will be on stage at Rocking the Daisies. Android Jones also makes an appearance in our pages this month. If you are not familiar with his work, prepare to be blown away! I hope you all enjoy this issue as much as we did compiling it! Bless and be kind to each other!
WORDS BY YOLANDE GYPSYCHILD
HOW TO find the best tattoo artist for your needs
ou have decided: you are getting inked. You invest serious time, energy and bandwidth in finding that perfect design and consider all your options - colour or no colour, positioning, size, price. But what do you take into consideration when choosing your artist? Do you instinctively go with the cheapest option or is your decision based on location? Maybe there is a particular artist who is â€œtrendingâ€? in your social circles at the moment? I decided to ask the professionals what they recommend one should look out for and which questions you should be asking.
Tyler B Murphy SINS OF S T YLE, CP T firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Chapman SKULLBOX & TAT TOO COMPANY, CP T skullboxdistributors.co.za
The first step in this process is to be a customer who understands the magical and mysterious nature of tattoos, and to be open to taking advice from an artist. Most of the best tattooers spend the majority of their time tattooing collectors, so it is in your best interests to be taken seriously by your potential artist. Regardless of whether it is your first piece or your 20th piece, tattooers respond well to customers who are patient and show a keen interest in getting the best possible tattoo. With that in mind it is time to meet your potential artist. After you tell the tattooer your idea you can tell pretty quickly whether or not they are into the idea. This is the point when I would ask the client which style they would like to get their tattoo in and I will ask about placement and colour. I would also mention potential problems with the idea and discuss solutions. I like to get to know the sentiment behind the tattoo so that I can guide the process. If your artist is showing this kind of interest you are on the right track. The number one priority is getting a good tattoo, if the artist does good work and you like how they are dealing with you, then you might have found your match. It is also possible that they are a bit rude and weird, be patient, they still might be the best prick for the job, if not, keep looking. Tattoos are a luxury and there is no rush.
There are three key points: 1. Always ask to see a portfolio. People can easily claim that they are able to do something that they actually can’t pull off. Even if an artist is good, what you want may not be their style of tattooing.... Each artist obviously has their forte, niche or genre, so it is important to refer to their portfolio to be sure. 2. Never skimp on prices when it comes to tattoos. Tattoo artists [should be] professionals and they know what they are talking about. At the end of the day you get what you pay for and although you might find several other people who offer you a much cheaper rate, this may be as a result of inexperience or inferior product (inks and needles). The last thing you want is to opt for the cheaper artist who ends up messing it up and then you end up paying even more in the end to get it fixed. 3. Shop around. Everybody has their artist who they support and swear by. But don’t just take someone’s word for it. Go to the shops and check it out, see if you dig their styles and if you like the atmosphere. You have to trust the artist. If you don’t feel comfortable and you don’t trust him/her, you are bound to end up with a piece that doesn’t represent what you originally wanted.
Juli Hamilton JULI HAMILTON TAT TOOS, MONTRE AL, QUEBEC & C APE TOWN email@example.com
Derek Baker ME TAL MACHINE TAT TOO, C APE TOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
The are surely more than one thing to look for when choosing a tattoo artist. First, one needs to make sure that the artist is a professional. A few years of experience and a solid portfolio are good signs to look for. Don’t choose someone that simply draws better than you can. Do some research online, check out what is being done by the best tattoo artists worldwide, then you’ll have a better idea of who is really talented and who is not. Good artists will have a solid reputation, and will more likely have worked in proper studios and will have the required knowledge regarding health and safety procedures. Do not go for the cheapest options. Good artists are more pricey, but their work speaks for itself. Pick an artist that does the style that you would like, and, very important, meet with the artist for a consultation. It’s good for the artist and the client to get each other’s vibe, as you are not only permanently marking your body with some ink, but the experience in itself will be something you’ll remember forever.
When it comes to looking for a tattoo and an artist, 1st. question to ask is about hygiene and sterility. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions about the hygiene aspect and make sure all you questions have been answered to your satisfaction. 2nd. as most tattoo studios have more than a single artist, look at portfolios. Portfolios are an indication of the artist work, styles what the artist likes to do and the quantity of the work. Choose the artist whose work style compliments the design you have in mind. Portfolios are just that – these are not for you to choose your tattoo from, but to help you choose your artist. 3rd. everyday, you encounter people with tattoos. Good or bad tattoos – ask who did the work. This will give you a greater scope of an artist consistency in work. If you don’t like the work done (not the image, the workmanship) don’t go to that artist!
Which one are you?
How does one spot the Rabbits? Easy - did you notice that new guy at Sunflower Festival two weeks ago? Then last week there were 3 of them; this week twelve? ‘Nuff said
I decided to have a look at the different stereotypes. Who knows, you may just discover that you belong to one of them!
estival season is upon us and all off us, irrespective of genre of choice, is getting amped!
Cape Town sees the first of this Trance Season’s events on the 5th of September when Alien Safari presents “Sprung” and Jo’burg also kicks off with Moksha.
THE RABBITS The Rabbits duly earned their title and should carry the label with pride. They are that group of male friends, all aged between 19 - 23, who don’t actually look a day older than 16.
The Raver is that special breed of person who isn’t embarrassed to dress up in fluorescent, fluffy clothing, giant boots and suck on a dummy all day. Ravers will arrive the moment the gate opens and be the last people to leave. They are welcoming to all other ravers, because ravers are all about the ecstasy, tiger balm, massages and feeling the music. Can usually be found Jumping around in a small group at the side of stage with glow-sticks, home-made beaded bracelets, and a whistle.
The awkward person
They don’t really want to be there but felt like they had to go because everybody else talks about how amazing it is. This person looks, and feels, incredibly out of place. Can usually be found In a quiet corner wishing that they were still at home
The bodybuilding posers
These guys only go to music festivals to show off how ripped they are by exposing as much skin as possible, drenched in as much baby oil as possible. Second-degree sunburn is just a minor inconvenience after you’ve spent months planning your workout routine in preparation for the festival which you’ve mistaken for a body-building competition. They all seem to be wearing running shorts which somehow escaped from the early 90’s to show off the fact that they’ve forgotten leg day and will spend the day flexing and brofisting anybody else with a bottle of baby or tanning oil in hand. The shorts make an excellent place for them to tuck their thong which they claim they won’t wear. Can usually be found Finishing up 10 reps of selfies, before fistpumping to 3 sets of Deadmau5 and 2 sets of Avicii, all whilst surrounded by other shirtless guys.
The attention whore This is the guy (and yes its always a guy), who wears something to ensure that he stands out from the crowd. Normally a bright blue lycra bodysuit, a far too small Borat mankini, or a costume that would be better suited for a Halloween party. This dickbag is only there to feed off the power he receives from high-fives and being in as many photographs as possible Don’t give him the attention he seeks otherwise you will just increase his energy levels. Ignore him.
Can usually be found In the middle of a crowd of people singing too hard to female vocals. If you could hear them over the music, they probably sound like Christina Aguilera, if she was a pubescent boy singing into a pedestal fan.
The bimbos These are the orange girls who wear so much fake tan that they look like they fell into a bag of Doritos before they walked through the gate. Tragically, they woke up this morning thinking that they would be comfortable in their choice of outfit, yet regretted that decision 15 minutes after leaving the house. You can often spot them standing in the middle of a grass field, wearing high heels and outfits not really suited for dancing. Can usually be found In a grotty portable toilet staring into any slightly reflective surface whilst trying to frantically fix their hair and reapply their makeup.
The people who take too many drugs
These are the people who drop R350 on a ticket then take so many drugs on the day that they can’t remember a single thing. Despite the lack of any discernible memory of the event, for weeks afterwards they’ll tell everybody about what an amazing time they had. They spend the day dancing like a maniac, yelling random things at strangers, trying to unlock their wallet like a phone, or talking into a beer can. They don’t understand why there are so many people there. It’s like real but not really real? It’s confusing. Is it really real people or not real people? Can usually be found In the first aid tent, being attended to emergency services. reference irkitated.com
WORDS & IMAGES BY
Fundamentals: The difference between Hip Hop and hip pop KAMAL KWEKU YAKUBU
here is one common thread that links hip hop listeners worldwide, and I dare say Universe. This is the thread of lyricism and wordplay. Although one cannot deny that there are many elements to contemporary hip hop such as dance and graffiti or swag (which I personally find disturbing and as neurotic as ‘selfies’); the hip hop movement as we know it today is essentially grounded in a movement of outspoken philosophical radicalism which emerged in North America in the late 1970s and early 1980’s. The search for origins is a particular disease amongst historians, philosophers and all those interested in the history and order of things. The problem with tracing origins however is that culture is always spontaneous and can rarely ever be traced to a single event or any one individual. Some hip hop historians who consider hip hop within a more global paradigm attribute the beginnings of hip hop to West African musician, Gyedu Blay Ambolley who it is claimed in some circles to be have been the first to have recorded a rap song in the world in the late 1960’s in Ghana, West Africa. Regardless of where the exact roots of hip hop are grounded, whether in West Africa or in North America, one cannot neglect the fact that today hip hop is part of global popular culture of music and even fashion (swag) and is here to stay. As American hip hop group Binary Star (a duo of Senim Silla & One Be Lo) argue in an interlude on their classic album, “Masters of the Universe”; there is a marked distinction
between “hip hop” and “hip pop”. According to them, the rap genre has lost its way- while flaunting money and drug game exploits, the philosophy and the “diamond gems of 412 most notably known as a politically minded American musician, having started Stop the Violence movement shares the same opinion as Binary Star and MF Doom. For KRS-one hip hop is an artistic movement of breakdancing, graffiti, turntablism and rap that reflects the emotive expression of western youth of African descent (but increasingly global youth) who attempt to find success and meaning within the social realities of their lives that are characterised by poverty, racism and urban decay. KRS-one, affectionately referred to as the teacha in hip hop circles puts forth these views in his 2008 album, ‘Adventures in Emceein’. With the above bifurcation in mind, my personal preference in rap music is Hip Hop. Hip pop, with its overdose of sex, booty and violence is a genre of music I honestly cannot
stand and frankly find embarrassing especially when I look at the effects that this music has on the world and how it spreads negative gang culture and stereotypes about hip hop music around the world. For instance, I wanted to buy a new pair of Jeans yesterday and to my shock I discovered that there is a style of pants that comes with a gang flag at the back and is apparently easier to sag with. If you do not know what sag is, it is the Afro-American prison culture of pulling down your pants to a little level below your waist to expose your underwear and of course the colour of your gang bandana. Though I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for hip hop, a relatively young guy walked into to the shop and purchased the jeans immediately. SWAG. Although one cannot help but despair at what the egotistical, violent and sexually charged ‘Hip pop’ is doing to rap music and its hidden philosophy, the spirit of real ‘hip hop’ is also very much alive in Cape Town. This is evident in the incredible amount of amazing graffiti (one of the fundamentals of hip hop as pointed out by the teacha, KRS-one). Below is a small collage of photos taken by self- styled graffiti photographer, Stephanie Elana Reid which were discovered on her walks around the city and the southern suburb of Woodstock in the month of July, 2015. Finally, below is a philosophical verse from the best of classic hip hop, Black star (Mos Def aka Yasin Bey and Talib Kweli) in a track entitled which has affected me in a deep and positive way, hope you enjoy it!
“….Against the canvas of the night, there is a curious ilestial phenomenon. It is the Black star. Black people unite and lets all get down. We got to have what? We got to have that love. What is the Black star? Is it the cat with the black shades, the black car? Is it shining from very far to where you are? Is it coming from a place of difference? Intimate and distant? Fresher than an infant? Black, my favourite stick like sugar coated molasses. Star, on the rise in the eyes of the masses. Black is the colour of my true love’s hair. Stars, bright shining in hot balls of air. Blacker than my baby girls stare, blacker than the veil that the Muslim leaders wear. Black like the planet that they fear, why are they scared? Black like the slave ship that later brought us here. Black like the cheeks that roll ways for tears, the tears that leave black faces well-travelled with years. Black like assassin crosshairs, blacker than my granddaddy’s armchair, he never found the time to chill there, because his life was warfare. You see, on the front lines, the Blacks are all there, Black, like the perception of who is on welfare. Black like the faces at the bottom of the well. I have been there before to bring it the light and heat it up like Winnie Mandela. Let us Imagine Nelson in Prison, maybe like Martin Luther, I am just a dreamer. I love rocking tracks like John Coltrane loves Naima, like the student loved the teacher, like the prophet loved Khadija, like I love my baby girls features, like the creator loves all creatures who are knowledge, peace and truth seekers. Today, everybody is following with no leaders ….” // Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Blackstar- Astronomy
Elements coming together
WORDS BY DANIELLE SCHEEPERS
hen looking at a photograph, a fragment of a scene is revealed to you. The photographer chooses to emphasise or subdue certain images to show something which may have gone unnoticed before. Different approaches to the same subject will teach you something about its essence. Changing your perspective also points out your own internalised views about a subject which you may not have realised before. In my opinion, when that statement is shifted to movement, the subject becomes ‘The Line and Light Collective’, a Contemporary dance company founded and directed by Capetonian creative Zee Hartmann. The two basic elements of line and light which are easily translated into any visual art form have served well as the title of this local company of performers. Over the past two years, the company has made itself known with freshfaced boldness at various venues in the city, including De Waal Park, public rooftops in the City Centre as well as the Theatre Arts Admin Collective venue in Observatory. Casual, transparent and often improvisational, this group of artists have stripped away the pretence of a stage with polished performers and squeaky clean exits at stage right. Minimalist décor and comfortable clothing allow the viewer to focus on what’s really important: The movement. Don’t, however, for a moment think that this leaves the average audience member standing amongst intense dance purists, watching experimental movement and wondering how the heck they got there. If anything, the relaxed approach makes the performers easy to relate to. Having worked with the company before, I can definitely attest to this, and so, when I contacted the director herself for an interview, it was with certainty that the meeting would be an oasis in the drought of my day. If I could get there that is. The tyre of my dependable little hatch back burst on the way, and so it was with frustration that I finally rang the doorbell to my interviewee’s home. Comfortably stationed behind her laptop, she faced the day directly from her apartment, which opens up onto a garden allowing in the shadows of the afternoon. Immediately I was embraced, welcomed and offered a glass of water. Seeing the state I was in, this was seamlessly
K ATE KERNOCHAN AT DANCE MAKING II, 2015. PHOTO BY CL ARE LOUISE THOMA S
ANDERSON C ARVALHO AT DANCE MAKING I, 2014. PHOTO BY PAT BROMILOW- DOWNING
amended to a much needed glass of red wine. ( Ah,oasis!) As we moved over to the couches, I took stock of the myriad of artwork splashed freely around the room and basked in the warmth of an arresting yellow wall. I then began to realise how someone can embody their passion, all I could see was Line and Light. As we spoke, I gained an appreciation for the importance of being a wellrounded performer. Hartmann herself is a talented photographer and has studied both dance and drama abroad. Finding herself marginalised in the drama field, and with the opportunities for dance performance increasing, she began to focus her energy more directly into the field which allowed her to give of her essence. By definition theatre asks you to become someone else, whereas dance lets you be who you are. For many artists, their craft has become their saving grace, a way to cope with the chaos of life. It seems that it was no different in this case and the safety which comes with the structure of a class is what has taught her to be “human”. Returning to South Africa with the intention of becoming involved in the dance community here it was challenging to find classes and ways to integrate into an existing, albeit contained, hub. This marks the beginning of the Line and Light Collective; it was a way to create her own environment. “I feel really lucky with the type of people that have been involved so far” says Hartmann about the performers in the company. She admits to being surprised by those that have chosen to come on board and their willingness to get involved in a process of dance making not widely known and advocated in South Africa. This process is one of being an active participant in the dance making process, i.e. being present at meetings, opening your work up to
CHANE OT TO AND K ATE KERNOCHAN DURING REHE ARSAL FOR DANCE MAKING I, 2014. PHOTO BY ZEE HARTMANN
observation and commentary by fellow dancers, as well as questioning the process itself. Many dancers have come from a background of standard ballet or modern dance training which doesn’t leave much room for development of your “voice”. One such artist was Chané Otto who became involved with the collective from the outset when she attended an audition held in lieu of an upcoming project. Otto, who was trained in syllabus modern, tap and hip hop from a young age, went on to study Ballet and Contemporary dance at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts. She admits to being drawn to the freedom of the movement as well as the class set up of the audition. Following that, she has been involved with several showcases, each one uniquely engaging the audience, sometimes including other elements such as spoken word and singing. According to Otto the structure was different to anything she had been involved with. There was sometimes improvisation and one work flowed directly into the other, “We didn’t quite know how the audience would react”. In the most recent performance titled; “Dance Making- Duets”, the audience were given pens and paper to write down observations during the performance. At the end of each work, the choreographers; which were inadvertently also the performers in most cases, were able to ask the audience questions about their creation. The reactions were refreshing and allowed for a unity between the two parties
in sharing opinions. A particularly interesting case of audience participation was a work involving both Hartmann and Kate Kernochan. In this, the performers gave the audience line drawings and made them choose ten; five for each performer respectively. Each one represented a movement or phrase and were strung together randomly. The audience witnessed dance making before their eyes. The sequence was performed, reversed and subjected to applied rules such as eye contact. Music was then chosen at random by selecting a number and letter, and there you have it, a moving performance viewed from various different angles. And so, when attending one of the performances by the Line and Light Collective in future, come with a new lens, come questioning. Company class with the Line & Light Collective will be on Fridays at Callow House in Kenilworth from1pm-2pm. It is a contemporary/improvisation based class. The Line & Light Collective will start work on a new Dance Making performance in the near future, but no date has been set yet. Zee will be conducting Dance Making workshops at various high schools throughout Cape Town starting September. For more information on the workshops or to book a workshop, please contact her at email@example.com.
A digital artist whose work immerses the viewer in a total psychedelic experience of twelve dimensional hyperspaceâ€?
ndroid Jones’ pictorial work is one strain of a larger project that he calls “Electro-Mineralist Art.” Moving “beyond the traditional organic vegetable and animal technologies
of pencils, ink, and brushes”, Android takes up emergent technologies that are crystalline, metallic, electronic and digital in their materiality and aesthetic feel, implicating a historical scheme that echoes the integral view of planetary evolution from physiosphere to biosphere to noosphere to theosphere; where the techno-media of exhibition artworks have been by and large, as the artist says, bound to or associated with the biologic. Android is classically trained in academic drawing and painting and this traditional art background is the foundation through which he bridges the knowledge of the past and brings it into the future. For a postmodern art of high noospheric and theospheric expression, Android instead upgrades to more resonate
noospheric vehicles; where the crystalline or “mineralist”, proper to the physiosphere, is recovered as a marginalized inorganic principle for the artistic celebration of the energies of life. The content of these marvellous works ranges vastly from the kosmic to the micro, from tantric beloved to sacred civics, from expansions of consciousness to reconfigurations of our three bodies. The pictorial syntax is at the very least proper to a teal register; a collage mode descending from synthetic cubism. Subtle radiance and causal voids abound throughout. Honouring the history of art, the mystical projects of the later Dali come to mind, Android taps into pre-modern, modernist, and post-modernist aesthetic idioms, advancing an Electro-Mineralist Art as Integral Alchemy. Michael Schwartz – January 2014
I have seen things in this life that I am incapable of translating into words. In my practice I have visited realms where the imagination ends, and the terrifying beauty of infinity unfolds over and over again. If I could distill into words exactly what motivates me to create the art that I make than it would not be worth making it. Instead I have chosen the Pen. Honestly I don’t know why I make this art, or what compels me to keep creating it; it’s a mystery I intend to pursue for the rest of my life, and each image brings me closer to the Ultimate Truth.
cortina WhiplasH DUIS VENENATIS NIBH IN TUR MAIORE REIUM RE NOBIT HARUM
from zef chic to magnifiqu
ortina Whiplash is outrageous, fun, brazen and without a filter. Muddy and murky, heavy and hard core rock & roll. They say it like it is and play it like they want. Their rip roaring stage presence causes havoc amongst crowds.
Love them or hate them, Cortina Whiplash is here to stay. We were lucky enough for them to plough out some time for us in their snowed-under schedule. DS: Cortina Whiplash is a very eccentric name. How did you guys come up with the name of your band? CW: At one point or another all our fathers owned the undisputed king of zef cars, a Ford Cortina. As a band we have always identified ourselves as zef chic, so the Cortina reference was a good fit. As for the whiplash, well it pretty much sums up the experience of watching a Cortina Whiplash show and it also fitted in with the car theme. DS: How long have you been jamming together and could you please share your names and the instruments you play with us? CW: Together we’ve been jamming for about ten years, specifically with Cortina Whiplash about 7 years. Loandi Boersma – Lead vocals and bass guitar Tessa Lily – Lead guitar and backing vocals Auriel Leffebre –Drums and backing vocals DS: Besides playing music, do you have day jobs or do you solely rely
IMAGES BY LEIGH LOBOTOMY
WORDS BY NATALIE MENTOR
on the band for an income? CW: If we relied solely on the band for an income we’d be starving and wearing clothes that are even more raggedy and torn than the ones we already wear. Believe it or not being in an alternative, all girl band is not incredibly lucrative. We all mostly work other part-time jobs and mostly in the music industry. Auriel and Tess own a studio in Pretoria called Arcangelmusic, Loandi works in the film industry and Tessa also sessions for other artists, and she’s currently performing with Nomi Mazwai and also at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. DS: In your experience, would you say there is a difference in the public’s response / treatment of a female band opposed to an all-male band? CW: Most definitely as with most things in life the response to a man vs. a woman is usually vastly different. We are often categorized with other allgirl bands irrespective of our musical ability or styles, we don’t categorize male bands like that. There is also an element of sexualisation of what we do, men will mostly comment on how sexy Loandi looks, or how hot it is to see women jamming rock n roll. When it comes to men we’ll say, he’s a
brilliant musician or a great performer we don’t merit his music on whether he’s attractive first. If we’re too outspoken on female issues we become branded as lesbians. It is unfortunate that we are not simply taken at face value and on the merit of the music we create as well as our performances. We are all experienced musicians and constantly strive to write challenging, interesting music and I suppose we happen to all be women. DS: There has been some controversial reactions to your music. Would you brand yourselves as feminists? CW: I’m not sure I understand the framing of this question, does being a feminist make you controversial? People and women especially seem to be ashamed of being labelled as a feminist. There is a social stigma perpetuated by such people that simply diverts from the real need for strong feminine voices and ideals. We are women and we speak about issues relevant to us as women. I suppose you can call us feminists although this is not something we’ve “branded” ourselves as. To be honest I don’t understand how all women aren’t feminists. We live in a world where 1 in 3 women suffer physical abuse in their
how all women aren’t feminists. We live in a world where 1 in 3 women suffer physical abuse in their lifetime, earn on average lower salaries for the same jobs as men, where there’s such a thing as female circumcision, where young girls are forced into sexual slavery, etc. . So many women suffer through sexual abuse or inappropriateness. Just ask your friends. Everyone has a story. In fact feel free to call us feminist lesbians, nothing wrong with either of those labels. DS: Do you think it is important to treat your band as a business and why? CW: That depends on what your objectives are for your band but I suppose ultimately it’s best to be business-like in your approach. We primarily do what we do because we love making music and have things to say. But along the lines we’ve learnt about the importance of contracts (as well as Lebanese cousins to enforce said contracts), getting paid upfront etc. DS: You always look like you have truckloads of fun when you perform. Do any of you have musical backgrounds? CW: That’s because we are mostly having lots of fun. Or we’re fighting and letting out our aggression on stage. We have all studied music and have been performing for over ten years. DS: Who are or has been your personal role models throughout your lives? CW: Patti Smith would probably be a combined role model for all of us. DS: How about musical influences? Who did you listen to when you were growing up and who have you been listening to lately? CW: Fugazi, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bad Brains, Patti Smith, Bikini Kill, Dead Weather and many more. DS:Inpreviousinterviewsyoumentionedthat when you played overseas, the organisers of the events you played at treated you with more courtesy and respect than their local counterparts. Do you find that this is still the case, or have you noticed any changes recently? CW: That’s still mostly the case but as with most things you can’t generalize. There are some venues and organizers who get it but on the whole it’s pretty dire out there. You typically
can’t even expect a meal and a drink which is par for the course overseas. Artist hospitality is rare, it feels more like a case of “You should be grateful you get to play at my event/ establishment” which is a mentality I think a lot of local bands play into. So many are prepared to accept shitty terms for the sake of playing a show. Bands have been trying forever to unionize, but at this point we don’t even manage to avoid two shows of the same genre being booked in a similar area on the same night. DS: At Digital Soul one of our aims is to create a platform that brings forth more exposure for South African artists and a greater sense of appreciation amongst the audience. Howwould you sayCortina Whiplash contributes to this notion? CW: I think it starts with instilling music in the minds of our youth. Beyond that if you figure out how to get people more interested in attending gigs and seeking out new music then let us know. It seems people are mostly prepared to venture out and see popular acts as determined by the media and popular opinion. The true gems however are out there, underground and often without the funds and access to such media platforms. People have to be selfmotivated to get out on the streets and attend shows with bands they’ve never heard of. DS: Can you tell us what your songs are mostly about? CW: The topics of our songs vary from pseudohyena penises(i)? To zebras trying to rape us to addiction etc. They are pretty eclectic so it’s hard to say what they are mostly about. I guess mostly about life.
DS: How would you describe your music to people? CW: We like to think of it as doom-rock-jazz. IMAGE RUDI OLIVER
IMAGE RUDI OLIVER
...feel free toi call us feminist lesbians, nothing wrong with either of those labels.
IMAGE RUDI OLIVER
DS: Do you have a specific group of followers in SA or how would you describe your fan base here? CW: We have a lovely core family of supporters here in SA but our fan base is growing all the time and we strive to play shows to audiences outside of our niche supporters. DS: What image do you wish to convey to the public and how do you deal with people who aren’t comfortable saying the word vagina? CW: When people are uncomfortable with saying the word vagina we like to scream “BIG FAT, MOIST, HAIRY VAGINA” at them. The image we’d like to convey is one of women who are comfortable with themselves and their vaginas. DS: You have been very busy “boob touring” and gigging all over SA. What are your career goals for the moment? CW: We’d like to tour Paris next and hopefully Reunion Island again soon. Mostly we want to travel and the band is a great way to facilitate that. Also we hope to release that boob video soon. DS: Anything special in the pipe line for the long haul? CW: Not really, I suppose just to continue moving forward and creating music. DS: How was your experience of Oppikoppi? What were the highlights of the event? CW: Oppikoppi was one of the nicest slots and stages that we’ve had the fortune of playing at. Highlight for me was Kobus of The Black Cat Bones showing us his mangina backstage before the show. It was very motivational. DS: Congratulations on being selected to play at the Moshito Music Conference. You ladies must be excited? CW: We’re incredibly amped for Moshito. As musicians it is a great platform to network with international festival organizers and venue owners which makes our ambition to travel that much easier.
am chilling in my favourite suit, staring at my laptop screen wondering how in the hell I am going to write an article that does the majesty that is Livingston any justice. Sure the interview part is easy, but to relate the sheer epicness of the concert the day after, I feel like an artist who can see the masterpiece in her mind’s eye but the colours and strokes fail to make the impact… INTERVIEW
IMAGES FROM LIVINGSTON ON INSTAGRAM
Arriving at Clarke’s in Bree Street I am greeted by a table of warm, friendly and open faces of Jakob Nebel (JN), Chris van Niekerk (CvN), Beukes Willemse (BW) and Phil Magee (PM) which helps considerably to calm my rattled nerves. With us at the table is James Gillespie, the Scottish one man wonder supporting act who has joined the guys from Jozi onward for their tour. More on James in next month’s issue. As I explained to the guys, the idea behind this interview was to try to do something different from usual interview questions, the fact we featured them in last month’s issue helps as we already know their background. DS In my FB stalking, I mean research, I saw that you wrote some tracks on Beukes’ farm, any possibility of you recording an entire album there or anywhere else in SA for that matter?
BW I don’t know yet, we have been talking about it, but it’s a long way to travel, but we work in Euros so when that converts to Rands it makes things a lot cheaper. We’ve been dreaming a bit about hiring a house here in Cape Town, we fell in love with Cape Town. We record residential, we all live in a house together. PM It can be a very intense process. DS How was your OppiKoppi experience? I saw a lot of positive feedback on social media, I saw that you guys Beukes and Chris, have been telling Jacob and Phil about it BW And not just a short time, it been years. Jacob joined the band because I told him about OppiKoppi JN 13 BW Yeah, 13 years. They were convinced that it doesn’t even exist.
JN Weâ€™ve played a lot of festivals over the years, also very big festivals, but this was a unique experience. The location and the scenery is spectacular and the vibe between the people, for me not so much the line up (apologies if misquoted here, my recording is unclear) but vibe is peaceful, itâ€™s spectacular. BW It was kind of a choice between OK and the Rocking the Daisies, but I happen know someone who books the bands at OK. DS Since we are celebrating Heritage month in September, what is it about our SA heritage that you find most appealing both as Saffas and foreigners? JN For me what I find really beautiful is to see that, speaking from a German point of view, with our history of the second World War I just think that the time that Apartheid finished is really not that long ago and just to see how, and I know that there are a lot of problems in this country, but in general all the different groups of people and races get along well with each other, you just meet so many friendly people that is very special but from an outsiders perspective I think it is spectacular that people manage to get together again.
CvN Actually being a South African and having lived abroad for so long something that I actual really enjoy because it is so apparent now for me, you know with different cultures living together in Europe it feels like it kind of blurs together, the individual cultures and individual groups are not so defined. Here you can really see tons of different cultures sticking through, understand what I mean? It’s shocking in a way. It’s just all these different cultures working and living together and it’s different languages, I don’t think that I have an intelligent sounding examples, but you know what I mean. It feels that each one is still keeping each of their cultural individuality and yet they somehow are able to live together. It’s great. It’s much more apparent now. BW Yeah, actually, it’s not so much a heritage thing I suppose, but something that really struck me is something that I completely forgot is how friendly South Africans are. Especially, it’s weird they say that the poorer people are, the happier they are. When we were on the farm there are a lot of people that are very poor, but they seem to be very happy and friendly, you know, they always just randomly walking on the street with a smile on their face. I have forgotten that over the years, that was amazing to see. It was so awesome, really really cool. PM I agree very much
DS Has SA been giving you love and what has been your most heart-warming experience this far? CvN That’s a no brainer. PM That would be, it was on the farm where Beukes grew up, we had the pleasure of spending an evening, well two evenings actually, with the Zulu people and they did like singing and dancing for us. It was just an amazing experience, we were so welcomed and a part of it, like a family in a way. It was pretty incredible, thankfully, we managed record some of it as well. DS Are you going to incorporate it into some tracks? PM We hope so. BW Yeah, that’s the idea and you know again, the warmth with which we were just embraced, you know. I feel that having grown up on a farm, I speak Zulu as well you know so I can understand what they are singing and some of the words and stuff and I thought it would just affect me, because of what we do we are kind of emotionally open our channels to receive emotions through music is kind of open. JN What he is trying to say is we cried a lot. (Queue laughter) BW Exactly, I thought it would just affect me, but they all cried as well. When the Zulus start singing it just hits you. DS You are from different countries, all of who participated in WWII, do things ever get Allied vs Axis between you? (Laughter erupts around the table.) JN Ooohh, don’t mention the war. (He laughs, as does everyone else.) BW No, there has never been almost even an issue like that. JN It has nothing to do with us. I mean for me as a German I still very much grew up with our history and you know it’s a big topic and sort of trying come to terms with the how your grandparents could have been a part of that time. It still is for a long time, a very emotional topic for me, but not between me and other people. We are completely different generations. Same goes for these guys, it’s a lot more recent with Apartheid. DS What is the one thing that you cannot go without? BW Sex JN Earplugs, I guess. DS As a result of his sex? (Again, the table erupts with laughter) CvN Please quote yourself on that. PM I am a food man. CvN My phone. BW Yeah, he wouldn’t survive a day without his phone. CvN I would, but I would be empty inside. (He laughs.)
CONCERT It has become a habit of mine to attend concerts alone, no distractions of having to worry about mates, allowing me the freedom to be absolutely consumed by the artists on stage (I am eccentric as fuck and I love it.) With the local band Stoker getting the crowd amped with their incredible hard rock, I find myself head banging away and cannot wait to experience them again. James hits the stage next and totally kills his short set. In the crowd, Jakob and Phil are giving him love and I find myself the witness to one of the greatest scenes of camaraderie I am certain that I will ever experience. James in turn bats back by sharing the mic with Chris when they do ‘Chemicals.’ The music is entrancing, the brotherhood as clear as daylight and the crowd ate it up like Brucey did the chocolate cake in Matilda. Mostest Epicus…
The overall experience of Livingston was one unlike any other, normally one attends a concert, explodes in the moment and goes home afterward thinking that was cool. This time, however, owing to the face time with these gentlemen, apart from now being a consummate Livingston fan, I was left with a sense of longing for the one thing that I will never have… brothers.
knobs& Tassels The Primal Herd WORDS BY
CHRISTELLE SCHEEPERS IMAGES BY
CHRISTELLE SCHEEPERS &
© T EIG U E B LO K P O E L PH OTO G R A PH Y
a day spent at knobs and tassels
ere’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They are not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.” –Steve Jobs I cannot think of people who are more befitting of this quote than Blake and Ray, the dynamic duo from Knobs and Tassels (K&T). For those of you who have been following our publications (thank you), you might remember K&T from August’s article on ArtMode, where I had the pleasure of being introduced to Blake. This month, however, they are going under the microscope as I attempt to dissect the phenomenal idea that is K&T as well as the creatives behind the brand and what they believe in and stand for. K&T have two separate, yet equally fascinating galleries: one at 363 Albert Road, Woodstock (where you will find them upstairs in this wonderland of a co-op space) and the other is at 115 Harrington Street, Cape Town. I chatted to Blake and Ray, respectively, at each site. Even though both the sites and gentlemen are rather juxtaposed, they have one very crucial thing in common: a vision to give artists, who do the
Swords to Ploughshares
Ma not fall within the scope of mainstream art, a platform or space where they can showcase their talents. In so doing, they not only make the art more accessible to those of us who love art but by no means have Black American Express Cards (yet), all the while affording the artists with much needed assistance with regards to the legal aspects of being in the industry (such as Copyright, Intellectual property rights, etc.) We have all heard tales of artists and/ or musicians being ripped off by unscrupulous dealers or record labels and we thus know that such protection is imperative in order to ensure the success of the Primal Herd. I will tell you a tad more about the Primal Herd later in this feature, for now I wish to turn the spotlight on the dudes making things happen. Blake, a mere 25 years of age, hales from Mpumalanga where he grew up on a farm and was home schooled - yes critics home scholars do become normal functioning members of society - and eventually followed in the family tradition (as many of us do) of becoming an electrical engineer. However, during his apprenticeship, Blake decided that engineering is not quite the right fit for him and opted,
instead, to follow his own compass and head in the direction of his true North. Connecting the dots, making the moves and BOOM! Blake soon finds himself in Cape Town to live out his creative passion. In addition to providing artists with a safe space where they can flourish, Blake also works on his own wares called “Swords to Plowshares.” The idea comprises of taking old Apartheid regime military jackets and breathing new life into them by incorporating African print material into them. He wanted to take something that once represented something negative and turn it into something beautiful, with an undercurrent of where we once were as a nation to where are now. Upcycling, art/ fashion and social commentary… does it work? Like a bomb! Let’s switch our focus to Ray. The 38 year old ex-Joburger tells a tale that many of us wish that we had the balls to. After having studied fine art and film, he worked in corporate graphic design and was living le good life when one day he simply decided: enough is enough. Instead of sticking to his soul-sucking cash cow job, Ray chose to stick it to n (quick, where’s
the Bell’s?). He made the decision on a Sunday, by that Wednesday he was in the Mother City. A year and a half later, I have the pleasure of meeting a man who is clearly in his element. Although he is not an exhibiting artist himself (yet) Ray speaks of the K&T vision with same zeal that Blake does. When asked why he has yet to exhibit himself, he says that he finds it cathartic to help others put their work out there. He says that like many other artist out there he is nervous to share his work with others in fear of being criticised (say aye if you find yourself in the same position: “Aye”). He is, however, hopeful that one day he would pluck up the courage to exhibit his own art. To this brave man I say: “Tempus Fugit, sir, go for it.” The two met and started the partnership when Ray replied to an ad placed on Gumtree, a year and a half later they are well on their way to creating something truly remarkable. Now for good stuff that makes K&T so damn special: The Primal Herd. From what I’ve deduced the Primal Herd is a dual prong foundation of K&T, one part philosophy the other a tangible act of artist flair encompassing love and respect. The philosophy, as earlier explained, refers to the fact that they wish give artists a safe space to do what they do best, create beauty. Blake says the idea is tantamount to the functioning of a buffalo herd (God bless the plaasjapies), when a lone buffalo roams the fields it is an easy target for the lion during the hunt. However, very few lion will dare attack a herd of buffalo and this is cornerstone of the K&T philosophy: safety in numbers. The real Primal Herd, however, is the awe inspiring skull collection that K&T are busy building. Ray tells us that they give out 10 cow skulls (gathered from slaughter houses after the animal has been killed) to Cape Town artists, soon to be expanded to the rest of SA, and have them decorate them in different ways. Needless to say, these skulls have been interpreted differently by those who created them as well as those who have had the privilege to view them after the fact. It is a brilliant way of honouring the cattle that provide us with the meat that we munch on. This simple yet intriguing act gives a new life to skulls that would otherwise simply end up on a rubbish dump. As for the venues themselves, the 363 co-op space holds an eclectic collection of art such as paintings, Blake’s “Swords to Plowshares” range and my personal favourite a rather gorgeous collection of 420 paraphernalia including The Bongalong range. Like thousands of fellow Saffa’s (myself included) the K&T team are adamant supporters of the Legalise cannabis campaign, but that is another story for a different
“Invest in individuals, Spend Conciously”
- Blake Combrinck
article. The cool thing about the Co-op space is that there are many other epic entrepreneurs situated in the same building including clothing designers, furniture makers and a blow-your-mind muscle car and all things vintage themed eatery, who will be featured in future editions of DS (yes, I did just shamelessly punt a forthcoming attraction.) At the 115 Harrington Street gallery I find a totally different setup: it is an open space that holds a single exhibition. Ray explains that the idea behind this gallery is that they provide the artist exhibiting with a “blank canvas” on which they free to do whatever they want and in so doing utilising the gallery as they see fit. Their current exhibition, a collaborative showcase by Cathrin Schultz and VRVO Adornments, was literally an inferno with burners bellowing out flames below or behind the pieces. On the weekend of the 28th of August The event set held at 115 was the EP launch of the Frown, which was unquestionably another epic humdinger. My experience hanging out with Blake and Ray (as one of my early ventures into the beauty of the art world) was a borderline life-saving, eye opening one, yes I have flair for the dramatics. It taught me that love and art are inseparable, that following your passion is completely possible, no matter how old you may be, since there great people out there who will keep you safe while find your feet. It was an incredible privilege for me to spend time with them and I look forward to future interactions with these two gems. If you are in need of some inspiration, want to join the Primal Herd, are looking for a kiff venue to host your exhibitions or album launches or would simply like to find some well-priced gorgeous art, stop in at either of their galleries they are always keen for a chat or to lend a helping hand to both artists and collectors alike. Trust me, you will be glad that you did.
IMAGE BY TY CAMPBELL BARNES
A definitive guide to Deep House
f you have never been for a ‘Cheeky Nandos’ or met the ‘Arch Bishop of Banterbury’, chances are you’ve never Instagramed a picture of your new Nikes either. Well it is time to throw away your Katy Perry album and educate yourself in the ways… of the deep. Who better to guide you on this voyage to gym snaps and rolled up skinnys than those handsome boys from Hybrid SA, masters of the scintillating bass lines that take you deeper than Shakespeare’s poetry ever could. While making big waves at festivals like; H2O, Colour Festival and Spiced Vac these lads still find time to grind through varsity. The duo consists of Angelo, lover of those dark, rolling basslines and Taylor, who brings the bouncier elements. When it comes to live performances these guys are starting to develop a reputation up in Jozi for really bringing the heat and never lacking a few tricks up their sleeves to change the game a bit. The most recent is the “live element”. Instead of standing and simply delivering the track they made last week, these guys perform
WORDS BY CAMERON ANDERSON
it with Victoria , their vocalist, live and in the flesh. Angelo reckons it brings a new kind of crowd interaction as no set is the same. They have a band-like feel to theAm with all the different parts, influences and techniques that they combine which keeps them away from the monotony of commercial ‘anthems’ that we’ve all grown tired of. More of a performance than a “come watch my computer”. They aim to make the crowd go mad for something they’ve never heard, but something that will stay with them. Now that you’ve met the duo, I have no doubt you’ve raided Soundcloud for their latest single; “Creatures of the Night” with DevConFive and Victoria; and what a tune it is. It starts with a subtle little beat and a teasing melody in the background.Fromasmooth,tranquilandcalming prologue to hauntingly beautiful harmonies by Victoria, the song is dark and mysterious. In my mind I can’t help but imagine the music video would be shot in a circus atmosphere, at night of course. The song is villainous to say the least.
Deep House comes with its very own language. For example: ‘DJ’s going knee deep, this is a banger, oaks are shmutting and squeaking some tekkie, they are just having it!’ translates to ‘The DJ is very good, he is playing a very enjoyable song, the crowd is dancing and making a joyous occasion out of it.’ The language itself isn’t too complex, so practice this basic example and soon you will be able to banter with the best of them.
First of all, get a gym membership and an Instagram account. These two are of utmost importance as you are not allowed to leave the Virgin Active without posting at least one flex selfie. Gents we recommend you litter your social media with the common bicep flex and ladies for you we recommend the abs pic or, of course, the thigh gap photo. Just a reminder that all these photos do require you to have your headphones in and the caption must be an inspirational misquotation dealing with the struggles of success. For every 3 gym photos you put up, be sure to include 1 photo on healthy dieting, this ratio is vital and cannot be compromised under any circumstances.
With this new knowledge I can only assume you’ve gathered the troops and got all sorts of pre-drinks planned for the Hybrid SA events, maybe even fan-girled a little bit.
loving Deep Before you mention it, I know this heading sounds a bit dodgy, but the trend was set from the last two lessons and it would be callous to lack such consistency. Deep House is not allowed to be played as conversational background music in the car, when “Creatures of the Night” comes on you’re going to have to tell your mum that no one cares what Mrs Anderson said and turn it louder! Not so loud that everyone in a Civic with a spoiler wants to race you, but loud enough to drown out your now erratic mother’s moaning. When in the club, it is the ultimate compliment to the DJ to close your eyes, face the ceiling and give a euphoric smile. Note that an euphoric smile is not done to the same extent as an ‘I just wet myself and it’s still warm’ kind of smile, it has to be subtle. Deep House requires no violence or hate, to anyone, even if your suede shoes are ruined by someone’s warm beer, truth be told it was a blessing as suede shoes most certainly died with Elvis.
Mantis WORDS BY
YOLANDE GYPSYCHILD IMAGE PROVIDED BY PSY MANTIS
From Jo’burg to Durbs and Cpt - 21 years of mixing magic
DS: What genre(s)/subgenre(s) do you play? PM: I play Dirty Progressive Psy Trance
Royston, Moog and Mikey Dredd (Mushroom Mafia) had music. Some of them even had trance on vinyl and everyone would just share what they had, so DS: Please describe your sound in no more than the style was more full on Psy, I used to go through 5 words loads of tracks to find something I liked - more of PM: Dirty, Fat, No Bullshit Prog a hard minimal style . It took me a long time to find my “sound”. Now I stick to my label (PSR Music DS: Do you have a day job? ). It’s the style I love playing. PM: Yes, I run an event / Decor company called Oh My Gosh Productions DS: Your biggest gig played to date? PM: Probably one of the Woodstock festivals in DS: Was there a pivotal moment / epiphany JHB, think Woodstock 5 when you realised that this is what you want to do? DS: Tell us about the best set you ever played? PM: It was at one of the Big JHB Raves...Think it PM: It’s kind of hard to pin point one, I always was Mother. I just saw what the DJ did to the crowd judge it by crowd reaction, the music I play is pretty and I was hooked new in SA. But the two that stand out was in Durban. It was urban tribes the Play Ground, There DS: How old where you when you first started was just something about it. Sometimes surprise playing? sets are also the best, I was asked to do another PM: 17 set for the after party at Mozamboogy, and that one was just fun from start to finish. DS: And how long have you been at it now? PM: Never really worked it out...umm 21 years... DS: Which artists have you been listening to Holy Shit [LAUGHS] lately? PM: A new guy on the PSR Music label Jawgrinder. DS: Do you pre-plan sets before gigs? His music is amazing, very talented artist PM: I have an idea of what I want to play, but always keep if fresh and play for the crowd. DS: Is there a DJ / producer who you admire or that you draw inspiration from? DS: Have you ever heard a piece of music that PM: Yoh, There are many. Definitely Necmi , Gonzi, really moved you? If yes, please tell us about it? Elfo… I could carry on for days PM: Well one of my favourite songs ever, and it isn’t trance. Is Blind Melon No Rain...I just think it’s DS: Do you have any surprises up your sleeve the most beautiful songs written. If you watch the for us for Sprung? music video, it’s really about finding your place in PM: YES one huge fat chunky dirty rocking set! the world, finding where you belong with people just like you. DS: If a koala bear wearing a sombrero walked into the room, what would he say? Why is he DS: How has your style and track selection here? changed /developed since you first started PM: Grab you towel Mantis! We need to get off playing? this planet! PM: When I started it was hard to find trance.
IMAGES SUPPLIED BY THE SOAP GIRLS WORDS BY YOLANDE GYPSYCHILD
Soap GirlsCalls for R E
dgy, reminiscent of the Grunge era in the early to mid 90’s, when we saw the beginning of the end of a global revolution of sorts with regards to the independence and voice of adolescents and young adults; when bands like Nirvana, Hole and Pearl Jam were the music of choice to the young and rebellious.
Influences such as Alanis Morisette and Meredith Brooks are notable in the undercurrent of riffs and their lyrics raw - sugarcoated impressions of Gillette’s “On the Attack” album. “Calls for Rebellion” is The Soap Girls’ first independent release and as the name suggests, it is their rendition of breaking free from the bounds and restrictions as set out, not only by recording labels and the (often) harsh judgements of the media, but also portaying a message to the listener saying: “Get out of your comfort zone! If you have something to say, come out and say it! Think independently and freely. Come on, we dare you!” I had the opportunity to ask the girls a few questions to gain a better perspective of just who Millie and Mie are, when they are at home.
R ebellion DS: You started out as street performers at the age of 9/10, tell us more about that? Which streets where your stage and what was the act? SG: As kids we would put on shows singing in different languages and doing crazy skits at the Houtbay Harbour to sell soap which we made in order to raise funds for different charities! We would learn folk songs in every language and do really bizarre impersonations and skits. That lay the groundwork for our onstage performances and also our inability to give a shit about
SG: People never took our age into consideration so we were never shielded from very harsh criticism or unnecessary judgment. It was not easy being Contrary to popular belief, we so young and pursuing our are very different as individuals. dreams, as adults seem to be Very much like the balance oblivious of the fact that children between ying and yang. can also have a voice and vision. DS: You signed your first We were very lucky and still are recording deal at the fragile that our mom (she is our age of 15, how did you cope manager) has always been in with the professional pressure the picture and has always had combined with the trials and our best interests at heart. tribulations that go hand-in- Although we recall many a time hand with being a teenager? when we saw how deeply affected she was too, she still what people think! We are extremely close and the best of friends and the fact that we are sisters is such a bonusď Šď Š
... itâ€™s extremely importan
especially for very young artists, to always have someone with no hidden agendas on their side. i
stood our ground for us, often shouldering the blame for what some referred to our “risqué outfits”. I shudder to think how certain situations would’ve turned out had she not been there. I think it’s extremely important, especially for very young artists, to always have someone they can trust , someone with no hidden agendas on their side. MILLIE: I’ll never forget our first BIG performance, it was as guest performers on Idols top 10. The backlash we got was very hectic and we were very young. The record label gave absolutely no real support,we were never given the chance to call out the people who were adamant on creating a witch hunt against us. During that time my self-esteem was very fragile and the things that journalists were writing definitely crossed the line (e.g. calling us sluts! Can you imagine how frightening and upsetting it was to a wide-eyed young girl of 17?) This somehow set the groundwork for a cesspit of nasty haters. Thank God I had the support of my mom and Mie! DS: Can you remember the first musical experience that truly touched you? MILLE: My life has been shaped by music. Every emotion I have felt has been compounded by music. For me, witnessing the effect that music had on a terminally ill young child, who has sadly since passed away, was enough to grip me. I am still in awe of how that young girl, who suffered so badly and couldn’t move at all, was transported by the magic of sound. Music transcended everything and took her away from her surrounds. Knowing that music can affect the soul and spirit so deeply has kept me enthralled and if I am able to strengthen or connect with another soul through music I will have achieved my life’s purpose. MIE: This is going to sound really lame but I remember watching the wedding singer when I was really young and was obsessed with the soundtrack. When I heard the guitar in “White wedding”, I knew that I wanted to be a rock star. I would play that soundtrack 24/7 literally. I think music is amazing; how it can transport you to another time, even now when I hear the songs
DS: Tell us about your new album? Where was it recorded? Does it have a general theme? SG: Our new album is as raw as music can be in the age of technological perfection and pretense. Its an honest reflection of life as we know and experience it! For us it’s a release from all restrictions and conformity that we have endured over the years, hence the name ‘Calls for Rebellion’. We have literally put everything we have into this album and have allowed zero interference even in the arrangement, so it’s a true reflection of us as artists! It was recorded here in Cape Town in extremely challenging circumstances! The theme, we guess, if there is one, would be honesty! We also have to give a huge shout out to Charlie Hamilton from backyard studios, as he has been an immensely selfless support.
DS: Please talk us through your general music writing process?
might just be playing and suddenly we will have a riff which a song is born from, or one of us SG: We don’t write to will start a verse and the any formulas or with other will be inspired to preconceived ideas so do the chorus. At other generally what happens times we may be fightis that we will feel ing and eventually we strongly about some- end up joining two difthing and our best re- ferent songs. The prolease is music, so we cess is never the same
DS: One gets the distinct impression of influences such as Alanis Morrisette, DS: Are you the only Meredith Brooks and musicians in your Hole in your music. If family? we checked your SG: No a lot of our diskman ten years ago, relatives, our mum have would we have found been guitarists, singers any of these legendary women in there? and theatre people.
but every song is born from reality and has a story behind it.
SG: Most certainly! We are eternally grateful to the amazing artists we were exposed to growing up, to this day we are deeply enamoured with Hole, L7, Meredith and Alanis’s work, the list is long!! DS: This is your first independent album, isn’t it? In your experience, how does the experience of recording independently compare to it’s alternative?
SG: Imagine taking a deep breath of fresh air after being trapped underground for years, that’s the best figurative way we can think of to describe the experience! When we were signed to a major label, we literally had no voice and no choice. We had no real input in our own music. As an example, often I (Mille) wanted to sing the way I love singing, but I wouldbetold“no!”andinstructed to “sound sweet, white!” Whatever vision we had would
be discounted, it was as if we were little dolls without feeling or a thought in our heads. This time we have written, arranged, composed and performed with absolute creative freedom, it’s just pure, honest, creative, raw music! We are so proud to say: “here we are. Take a listen!”! It’s unpretentious, no checklist with boxes to be ticked and zero formulas followed!! We truly hope that our music will speak out to all who hears it.
Our new album is as raw as music can be in the age of technological perfection & pretense.i
DS: And the U.S? How has your experience of the South African music industry compared to that of its’ American counterpart? SG: The South African music industry is quite “dog eat dog”. Artists don’t stand together as strongly as they do overseas, but one great thing about the scene here is that artists are self sufficient and don’t rely solely on technology for a great sound; it’s still very real and honest in the sense that we don’t have access to the technologythat a lot ofbands do internationally, so your music just has to be good. Interestingly enough the other thing that stood out for us was the absolute humility of some of the biggest names in the industry that we have had the pleasure of meeting. Also interesting was that most producers/engineers in the USA are very young and we learnt that this is standard and this is why and how they keep the music industry constantly evolving. DS: Can we look forward to a tour to celebrate the new album perhaps? SG: We are headed for the UK, Holland and Germany for the next 3 months for the first leg of a year long tour! In fact insert some laughing here…. We are “ full-steam-chaos” as we fly out on the 24th of August! But we do have plans on doing a road trip tour on our return to SA before heading back to Europe in March 2016. We are very fortunate to have an incredible force behind us in the form of our manager, Sam Debray and a team based in the UK which is headed by Paul Cope (who discovered us) and who has put together this tour that we are embarking upon. For those of you who haven’t heard our latest single Champagne Cocaine go watch our crazy animated music video on youtube and don’t stray far we will be releasing many more singles DS: Any creepy fan stories? SG: There are quite a few, we once did a show out in Hartswater for all these crazy cool farmers and we were staying in a guest house, so after the show we heard strange noises coming from the chimney; we thought it might be the wind but there wasn’t even a breeze. Turned out that it was actually some dude trying to get down the chimney into our room which we had just swapped with our manager! We were a little freaked out [laughter]
changeli Psychedelic Nostalgia Going beyond the cultural trends of their generation
ed Bull Stuios named them as one of the best in S.A although we are not sure who the studios would have compared this sui generis band to as we were unable to find another band, atleast locally, whose music is reminiscent of legendary sounds from 60’s and 70’s Acid Rock.
Appropriately named after the song by The Doors, I spoke to Noah, to gain some insight into Changeling and find out what inspires a group of 90’s babies to produce a sound synonymous with free love and LSD.
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DS: You describe your genre as “psychedelic rock”, a genre synonymous with the 1960’s, yet you were all born post 1990 – where did the influence/inspiration transpire from? NOAH: Well it came from my Dad’s record collection. I just identified with the psychedelic records. I guess I find psychedelic music to be as relevant today as it was in the 60s and I think it will be for a very long time. There is a gap in modern society were spirituality used to be, I feel psychedelic music can begin to fill that void. For me at least. DS: You are on the line-up for Rocking The Daisies this year, excited much? NOAH: Yeah it’s great. To be honest when we first started the band that was one of our goals for sentimental reasons, but as our sound became more experimental the surer we became that we wouldn’t be asked. I’m still surprised we got asked.
DS: What do you have planned for RTD? NOAH: We are going to attempt a live exorcism. DS: Share your song-writing process with us? NOAH: It’s always different. Ideally one of us comes up with a riff or a melody or an idea and then we just jam around that. It can be a very natural process but it’s also subject to everyone’s state of mind. So if someone is in a grump we won’t get anything constructive done DS: Can all the band members read and write sheet music? NOAH: No not at all. My sister, Ruby and I are the only ones who can and I’m terrible at sight reading. We don’t have any need for it at this point. DS: Tell us about your songs – what are they inspired by? What are they about? NOAH: At the moment all the lyrics I write are love songs. I’m very interested in the tradition of love ImAGE by
songs because of how malleable it is as a genre. Lyrically I’m inspired by Alex Turner, Nick Cave, Martin Amis, English folklore and mythology. All the songs on our Temptress EP are basically a narration of a relationship from beginning to end. I see the music as kind of mimetic of that too. It sort of mirrors the peaks and troughs of the relationship.
of the best in SA – What do you guys think when you hear a statement like that? NOAH: We didn’t actually know they said that. That’s nice of them. I guess there aren’t many people who do what we do in South Africa. So that helps.
DS: Over these 3 short years since the band was first formed, you have had 6 different DS: Is it safe to assume that your parents drummers. Any ideas as to why this pattern listened to legendary bands like the Doors and has emerged? Pink Floyd? NOAH: I think we are cursed, like the position NOAH: Yes I guess it is, although that would imply of teacher for Defence Against The Dark Arts at they had a conventional music tastes, which they Hogwarts. Although it seems Tyla has broken the did not. If it was Floyd it had to be early Floyd, from spell. There is a serious lack of drummers I Cape Syd to Darkside and no further. As children my Town! Most of the drummers in the scene don’t sister and I grew up with our Dad making bizarre even play drums as their first instruments. jokes and phrases that we never understood but DS: How long has Tyla been with the band? Is picked up from him, regardless. It was only later he a keeper? that we realised that the cautionary remark of; NOAH: His first show with Changeling was “careful with that axe, Eugene” and the name, probably about 2 or 3 months ago and it’s worked “Gerald” given to our household mouse were in out perfectly. Being originally a bassist he plays fact references to Pink Floyd. precisely what is needed without over doing it. DS: Red Bull Studios named Changeling as one DS: Tell us about your first gig in Jhb? Where
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was it? What was the audience like? NOAH: Our first show in Johannesburg was at Kitchener’s with Sol Gems and Retro Dizzy. We played well but I got the feeling our music was maybe a bit too loud and noisy. In reality I think I was just over analysing the situation because we got really good feedback after the show. DS: Can one compare audiences from Jhb and Cape Town or are they different? If so, in what way? NOAH: Oh Yeah, totally. It took us 3 years to pull a reasonable crowd here in Cape Town and actually get people to move at all. In under a week in Johannesburg we pulled similar crowds and they were a lot more into it. I think Cape Town struggles to understand dark, they like the happygo-lucky stuff whereas Jo’burg is perhaps a bit of a darker place, it has an edge. Tyla and Cameron from Black Math would always tell me that Johannesburg crowds are more into heavy music and it is totally
true. DS: You are all at an age where one is expected to make those life defining decisions such as career direction. Will all of you be pursuing careers in music solely or are you looking into “day jobs”? NOAH: Our Cameron is studying to become a psychologist and Ruby is finishing her last year studying fine art and she is a bit torn between music and art. I’m also studying at the moment but Tyla and I are pretty much going to be doing this forever. Obviously some sort of job will be necessary to live though. DS: Have you guys encountered any die-
hard fans yet? NOAH: Yes but they are all our friends. DS: Your advice for preventing alien abduction? NOAH: Well if everyone paints themselves green the aliens might get confused and leave. That’s the only solution I can think of.
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“We are not a metal band ” Words by
marco du plessis &
Satanic Dagga Orgy, no, your assumption is far off. As the first line in YOLANDE GYPSYCHILD their EPK states: “we are not a metal band!”. If you attended Oppikoppi and were wondering who the band dressed in speedos were, allow me to enlighten you - that, is Satanic Dagga Orgy. They sing about people you meet on the internet, Pastor Ray and other common-day events and encounters. Light-hearted and fun. Meet SDO...
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© alexander wolf
DS: You just returned from your first Oppikoppi, and a big one at that. How did you find the experience? SDO: We were blown away by the reception we got at Oppikoppi. To have close to 1000 people up at 12h00 and at the Skellum stage is unbelievable. We kind of only realised the magnitude of what was happening about halfway through our set, but jussus it was too much fun. If we could do that every weekend – well, we’d be dead – but happy. Happy and dead. DS: According to JHBLive there are 10 different types of people at Oppi: newbies veterans, the snobs, the ones who go too hard… just to name a few, do you agree and were you able to identify such groups? SDO: We spent a good portion of Friday sitting at “Sarah’s Judgement Table” trying to see how many festival templates we could find. We got almost the whole collection. Festival girls (the ones who look like they’re at Coachella, not a dustbowl in Africa), Metal heads, Veterans, Kortbroeks, Preppies, Hippies, MDMA-Girl, Stumblebum drunk oke, Random Shouter, and then there’s that oke from the Anti-retro Vinyls who was too cool to speak to us. DS: How does a folk-punk / acoustic band end up with a name such as Satanic Dagga Orgy? SDO: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the ghost of Robin Williams came to us in a dream and once we’d defeated him using spells learnt from watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch, his last words were: “Call your band Satanic Dagga Orgy…” How could we refuse? DS: How would you explain your sound if you had to do so in no more than two words? SDO: Our sound. Just kidding. Either – pop-pun or polk-funk DS: How did the sound start? SDO: In the beginning there was nothing. Then god moved across the waters… Wait, how was there water if there was nothing? Theology is hard man. First there was nothing but the Vaaib. But the Vaaib was lonely, it couldn’t keep going without something to feed it. So we created The Sound to feed The Vaaib. We like to jol, that’s where our sound came from.
DS: You guys are very active on social media, do you feel that there is a need for it? SDO: Absolutely. Any band or musician not fully embracing Social Media is falling behind. It’s not only a platform for your music/videos/ pictures, but also a chance to share ideas, and talk shit directly with people who like or loathe you. For example, our song Crisis has a couple of lines that were sent to us on our Facebook page DS: It appears that all of your music is available for free online, why not just keep it silent and make the people pay for it? Or are there secret albums only the SDO elite are aware of? SDO: Play our EP backwards and you’ll understand why it’s for free. Muahahahaha Seriously though, when we grew up music was not as commoditised as it is now. We used to follow a band’s entire career, and listen to their albums for weeks on end. Nowadays we feel that people treat music more like something to be used for a few hours/weeks, then to be discarded for the next track or artist. That’s why we don’t want to sell our music right now. We’d rather reach a larger audience of music consumers than a small fan base. Also, we have kickass merch. DS: Okay, the question everybody wants answered is: what is up with the speedos? SDO: Ricki, Loopy and Pete are the main speed-ous. Ricki and Pete play water polo, where a speedo is essential, and Loopy just digs them. After much discussion we decided we want to bring them back. For far too long the noble speedo has been ridiculed, and we’re going to stop this ridicule. Speedos are cool, and we’re going to prove it to everyone DS: You get asked in every interview as I have done already. You always answer but this time, give us the truth – The name – Satanic Dagga Orgy? SDO: Ok, ok, it wasn’t Robin Williams. The truth is, no one knows.
DS: Some people feel your name doesn’t fit with the bands style, how do you respond to that? SDO: SDO is almost 2 years old. When we were a week old, people told us we’d never get gigs with a band name like that, then we played Boosh. When we were 6 months old, a venue told us they would never book a band called Satanic Dagga Orgy, we’ve since had 2 tours of Cape Town. We believe that anything is what you make of it, and we’re slowly making SDO mean JOL rather than OhJirreGodJesusVader DS: Your lyrics are generally entertaining, light-hearted and simply taking the piss; who is the funniest one of you? SDO: Well Pete is definitely the funniest-looking, hence the beard. Loopy is probably the funniest, but Zam is the most well-hung. DS: What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you while at a gig or on tour? SDO: Probably the New Zealander who saw us in Durban and changed her plans so she could follow us to Oppikoppi. That or the 80-something year old jolling to us at Boosh. There was also that time we left Ricki in Cape Town and he’s still there. DS: You didn’t find Because anyone usually finds Jesus SDO: Jesus is in something to do
Jesus in Bethlehem, are you looking for him? who has been to rehab will tell you that one there. What do you think he is in for though? rehab for being a pathological liar. That or with wine. DS: Any news on when the first music video will be released? SDO: We have an “official” music video out already for This Train, but we’re working on a really cool one for Memore as we speak
DS: How’s the “Bromance” EP coming along? SDO: Hopefully we’ll finish up the tracking of all the parts this weekend, we definitely want it ready for Krank’d Up in September DS: Do you have groupies? SDO: Does the New Zealander count? 80% of the band is single, so we’d be happy to interview any applicants DS: What’s next? SDO: The next big show is Krank’d Up at Sundowners in Alberton, it’s going to be killer! We’re also doing our best to get onto more festival line-ups, especially Up The Creek – the speedos would be perfect there! Besides that, more merch, a re-recording of some tracks off the Iron Prawn, and ideally a booze sponsorship so we can stop drinking our pay away.
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uave, savvy, talented and a long time Household name; Jon S and Guy Herman are Pimp Squad. Regularly found on the epic DJ lineups brought to you by clubs such as Truth in Midrand
They also released an album under the Deeper Sounds of franchise, naturally named “The Deeper Sounds of Pimpsquad”, which was quite a fete at the time.. We gave the boys a quick 13 questions to introduce them to our younger readers and reminisce with the rest...
DS: Pimp Squad have been grooving dance floors all over SA for the better part of 15 years, how would you guys say your style and track selection has changed/developed since you first started playing? PS: Our sound has always been a journey through house and we’re still road tripping.
PS: Probably the first time we played after Stimming at Truth in November 2012. Stimming was incredible and the vibe was electric. It was our job to close things up after him. We must’ve played for 5 hours - what a night.
DS: What genre / sub-genres do you play? PS: House, Deep, Electronica
DS: Are there any new emerging producers who you have been listening to lately? PS: There are some seriously exciting local artists on the rise at the moment, in particular our fellow agency players; Jazzuelle, Thorne Miller, Chasing Space & Pop Art live.
DS: Looking back at all the international acts whose support-line-up you’ve featured in, Stimming, DJ T, Mark Knight, Inland Knights, Kaskade, Pleasurekraft, Justin Martin, Diesel Boy etc. Which gig would you single out as the most memorable? Why?
were hooked on the groove from an early age. We were teenagers during the 90’s rave explosion and seeing DJs controlling thousands of happy loving people on massive sound systems changed our lives forever. DS As you are moving into a phase of your career where you are finding yourself often among much younger DJ’s / Producers, do you at times feel it is important to pass some of your ideas or techniques on to those who are interested? PS: Definitely, we always try to help and expose new talent where we can. DS: Any pre-gig rituals? PS: If there’s enough time, we normally try sneak in a game of FIFA. DS: Any survival tips for the zombie apocalypse? PS: Stop to scavenge, conserve ammo and aim for the head. DS: What do you attribute your successful dynamic to? PS: Understanding that we each have something unique to bring to the table, and focussing on our strengths as a team rather than our flaws as individuals. Pimp Squad is not your average DJ duo in that we mix simultaneously and are both constantly involved in the performance. Although so much has changed over the past decade, we have always strived to stick to what we do, have fun and never allow our differences to impact on our friendship.
DS: Have you ever cleared a dance floor? What happened? PS: Not only have we cleared a dance floor but we practically cleared a whole club. We were playing at a club complex in Randburg in 2005, and one of our crew decided it was too hot while we were playing and attempted to switch on the old rusty air cons. With one flick he managed to trip the power to the entire building. We waited at least 30mins for the power to come back on. DS: Can you remember the first musical experience that really touched you? PS: We have always loved music and
DS: If you had to list one habit that could possibly ruin or stall a DJ / producer’s career, what would that downfall be? PS: Most DJs and producers start off with a true passion for what they do and the music they love. Unfortunately many tend to lose sight of this and it’s easy to get caught up in limelight and all that goes with it. Stay true and promote what you love. DS: What do Pimp Squad have in store for us in the near future? PS: We have some really exciting projects in the pipeline through our new agency, Plus27 Artists. DS: Do chicks dig it? PS: We hope everyone digs it :)
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Atmosphere Décor is responsible for some of the mind blowing hand-sprayed festival decorations that you can’t stop staring at, from stage design and layout to shading. The man behind it all is Callum Adamstein; a young, long haired trance lover from a little town called George. He started the company a mere 2 years ago, but before his “Atmosphere” venture, Callum lost himself in more mediums than I’d care to mention; from pen to graffiti to stencils and painting. “Every birthday I got stationery and every year I was stoked with stationery” he told me over a cup of coffee. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Banksy and Faith 47, Callum began to do commissioned graffiti pieces for skate parks and bars in the area. Callum started a Facebook page to showcase his works and called it Callum Adamstein Art which he even described to me as a bit “spamlike”. It appears that the rest of the world didn’t consider it spam as the now aptly named page, Atmosphere Décor has close to 6000 “likes”. His interest in décor was sparked by a few cheese panels he saw at a Psychedelic Trance Festival hosted at the Gwaing river mouth near George. It was a simple concept of holes in stretched fabric spread around the venue that got Callum experimenting at home. These humble and simplistic beginnings led to Atmosphere Décor leaving its mark on big events
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like: Vortex Opensource 2014, Transfari 2015, The Playground 2015 as well as Amnesia Festival to name but a few. His creations have found their way to festivals in countries such as Germany, Israel, New Caledonia, Britain and Ireland. Callum’s works are beautifully honest and raw. He shows his true love for the trance scene and his obsession with art. Once rigged and ready, a field or allocated section in a forest is transformed into a magical fantasy world where dreams can come true, to Callum his work is no fairy tale. Being the soul of the brand, hours are tough being a perfectionist doesn’t lighten the load either. He tells me that at any given day there will always be paint up his nose (water based of course Mum) no matter how religiously he replaces the filters on his gas mask. He also tells me of the strain it takes on his back and hands. I suppose these are all small prices to pay if you love what you do. With hopes of one day being a multinational company Callum lives by the motto of “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Be sure to check out Atmosphere Décor on Facebook and Instagram for those pictures that give you a little eye-gasm, also check out his website www.atmospheredecor.co.za.
desmon & thetut
etween killer shows and working on their new album, “Enjoy Yourself”, Desmond and the Tutus’ frontman Shane Durrant, took a few minutes from his demanding schedule to answer a few of my questions.
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DS: Please, share with us your experience of playing, once again, on the Oppikoppi main stage, was it everything that you have come to expect, or was it better? SHANE: We have played a few Oppikoppis over the years and honestly it just keeps getting better. We skipped the last two years so we were especially excited for this one. DS: Come across or make any interesting connections at Oppikoppi? I’m talking about possible collaborations or inspirations for a new direction in your style or sound? SHANE: We don’t generally do the full long weekend Koppi experience, but I love Koppi because the artist area is like a weird school reunion, everyone from every band you’ve ever met is hanging around back there. That’s where the real jol is at. DS: You refer to yourselves as being ‘kak old’ (I feel you, I am an ‘83 model) does that mean that you have or are looking into taking some younger musos or bands under your wing and/or are you open to giving them titbits of advice? SHANE: We have been doing this a while and sometimes one can think a little hard about it, like “man what are we still doing here”, but actually we are still the same four dudes having the best time ever, missioning around the country, doing our thing. Every now and then we get a comment on twitter along the lines of “going to watch @desmond tonight for old time’s sake” and it sinks in that someone could have listened to our band in high school and moved on to university, got a job and turn on the radio and hear us still here making music. It’s cool that we get to be a part of peoples’ lives in that way, people associate music with memories and special times and it’s great that our dumb songs become the soundtracks to people’s lives. DS: You are busy getting your rock on, on stage. You are wearing your favourite costumes, going mal and you decide to stage
dive and it goes pear-shaped or worse you face-plant. Has this ever happened to you and how did you recover? If not, what is the backup plan in case it does? SHANE: A few years ago at Park Acoustics I did a particularly awesome stage dive, well it started out awesome. The crowd wasn’t just passing me along, they were flinging me into the air, but then they chucked me to a group of girls and they just scattered. I hit the deck and things went black for a while. I recovered by standing up and saying: ‘Where am I? Who are all these people? Why am I holding a microphone?” Smooth. DS: You are, in essence, Ambassadors for South Africa. What is the one thing about our beautiful country that you like to share with audiences around the globe? SHANE: I feel like something that the rock scene has taught me is that South Africans place having fun above everything else. With so much drama going down, we still find the time to mission out to these weird bars and clubs and jump around for a couple hours. DS: Are you currently working on any new tracks, EPs or albums that we can look forward to? SHANE: Our album “Enjoy Yourself” will be out by the end of the year which is really exciting! DS: Have you any new sounds or instruments that you have always wanted to experiment with? Like a banjo or didgeridoo? SHANE: We have been incorporating some more disco-y stuff into this album, but generally we are a good old fashioned punk 3 piece and we like to push that concept to the limit. DS: Tell us about your favourite groupie love experience. Have you ever been mobbed by gorgeous female fans or does that only happen in the movies? SHANE: In Japan we had someone follow us around to all the shows (some of the cities were 8 hours apart), she caught the bus to every. single. show. I hope it was worth it.
tephen and I first met when he came to shop that I manage and it was as if the Universe was about to satisfy my wanting to learn about art. Stephen is the embodiment of Goodness, Peace and Joy, a calm soul and it is clearly reflected in his work. Upon the completion of reading this interview I am certain that you will agree with me.
DS: Are you a formally trained artist? If yes, at which institution did you study, what did your course entail? If no, how did you develop your skill? SR: Art was my favourite subject in high-school, and I continued taking art classes at college in Florida. I ended up getting a degree in engineering, and with all the time spent learning outside of class-time, the reading, I graduated with the idea that for anything else I wanted to learn, I could do it through a combination of research and asking others questions. DS: How long have you been practicing as an artist? Was your first blank canvas the dining room wall, your medium a permanently marker and the piece stick figure mom and dad or did it happen way later in life? SR: The first artwork that I have in my collection, from something that I did, was something that my father had kept in his office. It was a drawing with felt tip pens of my first pet, a cat. I was 5 or 6 but remember when I did it, I had this idea to use shapes to draw everything that I saw. DS: What was your first formal piece and do you still have it? If not, how much did you sell it for? SR: The first piece that I started working on, when I took the step to focus on art, was in 2010, and I’m still busy painting that piece. Since I started, so many ideas have come, and I have catalogued them. I now have about 50 series that I’m working on. There are completed works within some of the series, and the First Thursday exhibitions have given me a chance to share a new series each month. This month is now my 8th First Thursday exhibition. DS: What is your most frustrating aspect of being an artist? Like does getting your colour mixed flip your pip or does bent paint brush bristles drive you around the bend? SR: It is really such a joy (working on art)… I have these jars that I make paint mixtures in, and where cleaning out a jar to use it again might have caused frustration – taking the time to get it clean enough to re-use – instead of doing something that would be frustrating, I ended up turning that jar into a new art piece. (See the Parachutes). For me, art is moving in the direction that gives me a sense of goodness and peace and joy, so I don’t go in the direction of frustration.
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DS: Have you ever considered doing portraits and would you paint me? SR: Portraits of people? (he chuckles at the latter question). I have considered doing portraits of people, it is one of the series that I have started to look at. I would start with my family and take it from there. Of the projects developing, I try to concentrate on the work that is occupying my mind the most. DS: What kind of music do you like listening to when you are in your creative space? You strike me as the kind of gentleman who loves a bit of Enya Orinocho Flowing in the background. SR: That’s a good question. I really enjoy listening to Johnny Cash’s Gospel music as I enjoy music that is uplifting like that with a positive message. Handel’s Messiah, Church music from Lakewood Church in Houston, I stream past services while working. DS: Are there other disciplines within the arts that you wish to delve into or are you an all-rounder? SR: I started out painting, and I find that now I am doing many different things in art that are also exciting me, like sculpture and installation pieces, even a performance piece. I don’t know if I’m an all-rounder, but I do like to keep it open. DS: Who is your favourite artist? SR: The first person who comes to mind is Johnny Cash, because he seemed to have had many battles in life which he overcame. Vincent van Gogh, because he wanted to bring people the Word of God, and Michaelangelo, as he worked out of love for God. Maria Callas, the singer, her standard of excellence in approach. DS: Would you like to do any collaborative work, like you and Simon Bannister putting together an Animals on the Horizon collection? SR: I am not against the idea of collaborative work, but right now my focus is on working on the current ideas. An idea was suggested of a rapper collaborating with me, but we’ll just see how these ideas develop. DS: You’re halfway through completing a piece and all of a sudden you find it about as appealing as an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, do you leave it be in the hope that returning to it later may reignite the flame or do you simply pour zippo fluid on it and torch the sucker? (That’s not really your style is it?) SR: It’s a funny way of looking at it, but every piece is very important to me. I have pieces that are taking years, some take longer than others, but it is very important to me that I give every piece my very best, so I put in the work for it, that is part of the joy. If a piece is challenging, it’s part of the excitement.
MR. PSYCHO STO HENDRI “PSY-ANO
WO RDS BY YO L A N D E G Y P S YCHIL D IM AG E S SU P P LIED BY H EN D RI P S Y- A N O MIC G RE Y LIN G
ome call him Mister Psycho Stomper, others know him as PsyAnomic, another hand-full even refer to him as “The New Guy” (I urge those individuals to read this interview and note - “The New Guy” was never used as an official alias), but to most, this down-to earth event organiser / DJ is simply known as Hendri. Hendri has been spotted operating witin the Cape Town trance scene for many many years and is the man behind Psycho Stompers gatherings which in just three short years went from “gathering” to festival status! Hendri made some time in his insane schedule to touch base with me this month....
OMPER OMIC” GREYLING DS: Please explain your style and sound for those of my readers who may not be familiar with your music.
coming united. it was my awe moment
HENDRI: I play progressive psychedelic trance, but not the “Neelix kind”. I look for tracks with rolling bass-lines, strong psychedelic leads and I also enjoy a little bit of groove here and there. I’m all about beauty and the journey I can make you go on. I search for powerful tracks with some sort of surprise hidden in every track i play. Artist that influence style are artists like, Symbolic, Sonic Sense, Vertical Mode, Monolock, Side effects, Ace Ventura, Helbur gun, Etic, Timelock just to name a few. I arrange every set harmonically and select every track in such a way that no one wil be seen leaving the dance floor till the very last track building up all my sets to an ultimate ending.
DS: What can people expect from a typical Psy-Anomic set?
DS: Please describe your sound in 3 or 4 words.
DS: We have noticed that you are on the line-up for Psy-Nami and Mindmelt’s event “Stomp the Barn” on the 15th of August which has been advertised as a “strictly Dark Psy” event where music of no less than 150bpm will be played. When did you progress into the darker sub-genre of psytrance? Do you think it is important for all dj’s to make this progression?
HENDRI: phat driving journey-full DS: Why Psytrance? When did you first find yourself attracted to the genre and the scene and what was it about psytrance that appealed to you? HENDRI: I went to my very first ourdoor in 2005. it was Earthdance. when I went to that party I was more into house music but I did have a feel of psytrance at the time from artist such as Fungus of light, Infected mushroom and Skazi. That first night on the dance floor I had a moment and witnessed what the misic did to each and every person around me. I looked around and saw beauty. I saw people smiling. hippies dancing. dreadlocks and feathers. i was hooked..... it was the movement of everyone. How everyone got together for the same reason. people from different tribes
HENDRI: Expect the unexpected. No PsyAnomic set has ever been the same. I buy new tracks before every set. Also expect tracks you don’t always hear. I take time when looking for tracks. I would you up slowly with a surprise in every track. I will never let the vibe drop and will just keep building and building. Driving and driving. My sets have loads of energy in them. I take you on a journey and I’m sure to give you one lekke workout. My sets are always arranged harmonically making sure that every stomper is left ecstatic at the end of my sets. Lots of phatness drive and groove but always beautiful. Think of Lox with a twist.
HENDRI: I won’t call it a progression. I wanted to try something different. I have respect for all genres of music and I really wanted to support a real psychedelic event as well. I see that a true dj would be able to step up to the plate in any genre and still be able to rock it. DS: n 2011 you were chosen to fill the Equinox “New Guy” slot, was that your first “big break” in the industry?
HENDRI: That was indeed my first big break. People started to notice me after that gig. That was certainly my first glimpse of what was to come. It was amazing opening Equinox. After that gig I really started to get my name out there. Since Equinox I managed to play at festivals such as Groovy Troopers, Boomerang, Rezonance, Incendia, Altered States, ETM, Ultranoize, Afriscot just to name a few. DS: As that was the first time Equinox featured that particular slot, it caused some confusion and some fans referred to you as “The New Guy”, rather than “Psy Anomic”. Have you managed to lose that alias or have you found that some people still refer to you as such? HENDRI: hahaha. people did think that was my name at first but I did manage to lose that name... I think that through the years people started to realise who and what Psy-Anomic is. DS: You are a man of many titles – DJ, Restaurant Manager, Psycho Stompers Festival organiser and Father. Which do you see yourself as? How do you maintain and juggle all the individual requirements and responsibilities of each title successfully and effectively? HENDRI: I see myself as Hendri Psy-anomic Greyling. proud father of mia willow greyling and partner to taranmae fitzgerald. we are the unit that make me be who i am. .... its very hard to juggle all of my activities now as i spend most of my time with my family. but as soon as i see a gap on time i jump to the decks and live for what i love. i live for the psytrance scene and for the music. my whole family is the same. they are who drives me now. DS: What do you attribute your success to? HENDRI: passion and perseverance. but passion is tge most important part. my music is my ultimate passion. im not into it for the money or fame but purely for the music and nothing more. once u lose the passion it all goes away. DS: Things have been quiet on the Psycho Stomper front? Would you care to share with us what we can expect from the production which we have all come to love? Any plans on the horizon? HENDRI: you are right. things are quiet. with the last
psycho stomper we didnt manage to break even and because we have always been completely non profit we didnt have any backup capital to back us. we have been jit hard but we getting up slowly. the will be psycho stompers in the future again. we will not stop for what we stand for. to throw parties for the people. a party build on all the righ energies and right intention showcasing true psychadelic music that will take you on a jour ey from the start to the end. our events always has been about love for the scene and for the animals. we will do it again..... just wait and see...... DS: Phatgressive, a combined Prog project by yourself and Kineticz – any news, upcoming gigs or releases in the near future? HENDRI: Phatgressive was an awesome project. kineticz and i were extremely good friends. he was my best friend. we just gelled behond the decks but unfortunately life and all its obstacles it throws infront of you made us stop playing as phatgressive but im sure that you havent seen the last of us..... Good things don’t die....
The irish muso reviews:
IMAGES BY CAROLINE MACKINTOSH
l Bairre - Al Bairre - Al Bairre! I have been rolling that name around my tongue for the last week. Rolling my r’s if you wish. Al Bear is how you pronounce it. Or Albert in French. Don’t sound the “t”. I have absolutely no idea what it means though. Hopefully someone out there will enlighten me. Initially I thought of some dark Scottish mountain where the locals will say to you, “Ye cannie go up the Al Bairre on a night like this, in this weather, ye must be mad man!” But , you see, there is no person named Albert in Al Bairre. That’s Albert with a “t” this time. V and A Waterfront. So, bang goes the chance to go up to him and say, “Hello Albert!” and he replies “ It’s ok Colin, you can call- me- Al!” What’s in a name they say? Well, in the case of Al Bairre quite a lot actually. I wouldn’t say that discovering Al Bairre was like opening up a Pandora’s Box, but more like a beautifully wrapped present that when ripped open, contains an old oil lamp which , of course, you instinctively give a good rub with a duster and “Hey Presto! Shazaam! The genie is out of the
bottle! What a lovely surprise, oh you shouldn’t have! It’s just what I always wanted! Al Bairre in their present(!) form are Kyle, Tom, Nick, Tessa and Julia. The latter two confuse me even with my number three glasses on, because they look so alike, that I’m sure (to be sure) that they are actually one person! It’s a bit like the sensation you get when you drive drunk, not that you should children, and you see two trees and decide to drive between them! To say that they look identical would be an understatement. Al Bairre, in their own words, describe themselves as “an aggressively un-fancy band from the Mother City, who have nice hair and like ugly things”. We should get on famously. My hair is sprouting grey bits around the balding patch and despite my lady’s opinion, I am ugly as sin!
“Symphonic Indie Rock” and “a goal to create an ice cream of orchestral sounds” are two further quotes that lead me now, eventually, to give you, dear reader, my own opinion for what it’s worth. At this moment Al Bairre will be sitting together holding hands, biting nails and lips, wondering if this grumpy old hack will give them a fair chance! A square go as they say in Scotland. Well, just like the moss on a lonely rock up there on the Auld Al Bairre, this band grows on you. “Al Bairre, ye wee bairns dinnie hae ta worry aboot a thing! Ye wee lads and lassies rock!” No, actually, you don’t rock. Rock in my dictionary conjures up images of long haired, head bangers playing very, very long speeding solos on their phallic guitars. Or drummers with too many tom toms driving expensive cars into swimming pools. No, you don’t rock. I will thank my God for that! Symphonic? Well, have you ever studied Sonata form? Introduction, exposition, development, recapitulation and coda? 1st and 2nd subjects? Modulations to the dominant and all that. (Jazz!?) (No!) Three to four movements stretched out to an hour and the audience only gets to clap at the very end? Applause depends whether or not you are still awake! Symphonic? No, not symphonic. I know that Tessa and Julia play violin and cello, or cello and violin, but that hardly makes it an orchestra. Need a few more fiddles and many more bodies playing on blowing things for that to happen. Oh, by the way, cello is pronounced with a “ch”. Strange Italian thing that, bless them. Italians have lots of other lovely words too, like
adagio, moderato, rallentando, allegro and crescendo. Now, all you journalists out there, take note(!) Crescendo doesn’t mean climax. “The orchestra or the crowd reached a crescendo!” No, No, No. A crescendo is the reach-ing part. Gradually getting louder. When it gets up there then it’s a climax. Oh well, what do I know? I have found out though, that through the years, I have often been unable to help certain individuals reach their climax! And I am not even a conductor! But that’s a story for another time and another type of magazine. Now where was I? Indie? Absolutely! The very embodiment of indie. Independent. No corporate control. Definitely not fancy. I have always suffered with indie music. From it’s birth in the late seventies, I either love it or hate it. It’s as simple as that. I have spent a large part of my youthful years listening to the late and great John Peel on the BBC, late at night
with a huge pair of headphones, being introduced to the weird and wonderful world of indie bands. Demo tapes galore, some good, some bad and yes, some of them ugly. (CUE: Ennio Morricone orchestral ice-cream-van music stage left) Al Bairre, don’t look in the mirror in the bathroom, you will not like what you see. You and your music are definitely not ugly. Bright faced, fresh, good looking, nice hair, energetic, a fun loving bunch of youngsters creating a sound that, although at times meanders off a little for my own indie liking and just when I think I’m not really getting into it, Al Bairre, you do your quirky little tricks, recapturing my attention and reeling me back in. How and why is that? Can I single out one attribute that does that? Yes and no. I would like to say that it is the little melodic lines that suddenly “pop” up on the string section. (Ok guys, you have just been upgraded to orchestral status!) Or is it the female vocals that either weave a counterpoint to the low, up close lead vocal or double up in unison an octave or so higher? Or is it the little picky bits on guitar that entice? Or is it the vocalist, who in my opinion can give the guy who sings “Yellow” a run for his money? I can’t help it, but it all blends so well together, that I’m whistling along and tapping my feet, especially when you do numbers that have that cut-time feel, like “Nantucket Sleighride”. I am not a good dancer, but it does bring out the jig in me. Overall, there is a an innocent child-like quality to this sound. Especially on “Caviar Dreams”. This song is a departure from their normal organic creation, being a collaboration with PHAT. Haven’t quite figured out the lyrics yet, but if I was a practising music teacher in a primary school, I would have the junior choir singing this at morning assembly! Beautiful and dreamy and even the rap section doesn’t put me off. Quite the reverse actually. (Not a rap fan usually) Very reminiscent of PM Dawn. Someone commented on Soundcloud that , “they wished that Al Bairre always sounded like this!” I don’t know about that. It’s really a wonderful track but I do like the real, original sound without the synthy type of thing going on. A classic all the same! Talking about not hearing lyrics, it’s something to do with many years of playing drums next to a Marshall stack without adequate protection! But I have to say that some of these tunes move at a fair pace and there a lot of words being sung out in that lovely, almost languid, low register delivery, that at times I cannot keep up. But who cares, if I was at “Rockin’ The Daisies” I wouldn’t be worried about the lyrics. I would be, even at my age, in the front row, doing my late 70’s pogo dance type of thing! Just think Stewart Copeland (the drummer) in a Police video and you will get the idea! Video is something that Al Bairre have embraced and if I may say so, they, or the director have done a sterling job. Very fancy , very fancy ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. In fact they have won an award from MK as “Best Budget
Video”. “Tunnels” is my favourite with cardboard spacesuits but the track is a winner all by itself. Another classic. Love the organ intro, although it could have been much more symphonic! Were the strings on strike? But it all works. It does remind me very much of Trevor Horn and Buggles... and let us all hope that video doesn’t kill the live indie band! Video and recording artists Al Bairre surely are, but watching the live footage of the Daises gig is much more to my liking. This is the real McCoy! No fancy lighting or camera effects, this is Al Bairre in the flesh. (If you want to see more flesh, check out their little video clip taken in the bath tub!) A good live band with lots and lots of energy on stage and plenty of instrument changing. (ukelele of all things!) However, at times there were serious tuning problems which I will let you all off with this time around. (I will blame the sound guy for probably not having the monitors turned up, because the final mix was a little dodgy......TV? Mix?) This live footage sorted out one thing for me. I was really trying to figure out who plays bass and although I saw a normal one appear a couple of times in different hands, it was a complete surprise to see this part played on the up-right stick cello! What a revelation that was! That is seriously thinking out of the box. I love it. I love all of it. Al Bairre, boys and girls, let me say it in Italiano, because they really do say it best sometimes...tu mi piace! (“ch”) Well over a week has gone by since I started writing this piece and because of a million other things to do in those seven days that went pear shaped, I only got to finish it last night. There is a reason for everything. Over the weekend I heard the news that One Direction were splitting up. (yeah!) I needed some way to finish off. Here it is. (CUE: Orchestra strings on tremolo, scratching away, bring in the French horns, some more scratching, trumpets, clarinets, flutes and piccolos, timpani roll, more timpani roll.......getting louder! ......getting louder here.!........bringing it up.......... pp....mp....f....ff....fff........ AGGGHHHH! Al Bairre have only one direction to go and that is.......Up, Up and Away in their Indie
IMAGE BY RUDI OLIVER
“We are not a metal band ”
o p p iko p p i a review WORDS BY DANELLE STRYDOM
ppikoppi. A name synonymous with good music, positive vibes and the unity of a nation. A rock and roll nation, that is. Each and every year, thousands of South Africans spend countless hours planning and preparing for the annual trek to the biggest South African music festival out there. This year’s theme was The Fantastic Mr. Vos Vos, a twisted take on a Roald Dahl novel. Foxes and Vixens were urged to embrace their inner fox and let loose their wild side. The first day blew in like the dust storms of Northam, crazy and all too familiar. Prawns of Mordor were treated to an amazing line-up that set the bar for the rest of the weekend’s performances. The first performance I managed to have the pleasure of watching was Bombs & Issues. A very energetic performance, inspite of the combination of moonboots and torn ligaments! Irrepsective of their chilled time slot, at noon, they had the crowd moving around in no time.
Throughout the first day, the more remember able acts included Cortina Whiplash, AKING, Red Helen, The Slashdogs, New Academics and Bye Beneco. The Parlotones made a welcomed return to Oppikoppi, despite the band’s own misnomers (bravely mentioned on stage by frontman Kahn). They had the masses gathered to see them, singing along to all their most popular tracks. Their beautifully sung cover of “Lisa se Klavier” had fans of all the cultures belting at the top of their lungs. A unified nostalgia amidst a sea of twinkling lighters; it really was a special moment. Waiting for Facing the Gallows to start playing, I could feel the excitement rippling through the crowd consistently. It was with much anticipation that they started their set. A favourite among the local metal scene, they blew the crowd away with their set, making their audience move to the hard rock of their melodic post hardcore. The sound was incredible, the band was tight and the vocals on a next level point. Friday night’s surprise performance, in my opinion, was Power Solo. A band from Denmark, think The Hives, but with different accents and a highly animated stage performance. They really were a gem to discover and I was pleased that I got to see them perform. We ran into the lead singer afterwards and what a friendly, humble chap he is. Saturday morning saw a lot of straggly, forlorn individuals searching desperately for their tents, names and dignity. Only some of which were eventually found. The day broke gloriously and with barely a hint of winter. The North Western sun made it impossible to stay in your tent until after 10am and thus a lot of people were forced to embrace round 2 with far less recovery time than they imagined, or hoped they would get. The solution? The hair of the dog that bit you, of course! There is something amazingly surreal about waking up in a 2 square kilometre campsite that never sleeps, with a dreadful hangover, and feeling said hangover magically dissolve into nothingness as you have a draught for breakfast. Not too far from our campsite, there was a “miracle tent”, pitched to provide prawns with free pancakes, coffee and friendly faces. I am a firm believer that they saved more than one life over that weekend. On Saturday afternoon, lazing around on the grass after a welldeserved pizza, we were amused to see a giant porcupine, cruising around and blasting music, with a following of about 50 very excited people, cheering and waving their arms around. It turns out that this generous, mobile beast was playing Santa and giving away a lot of freebies to the excited crowd. After fantastic performances by rock legends Karen Zoid and Francois van Coke, Tweak had the crowd dancing around during their much anticipated return show. Scores of party goers had a great time reliving their teenage years with songs such as “Sorry for the Birthday Card” and “House Party” . They also did a Blink 182 cover “………..” which was very well received and an awesome sing along track. Shortstraw attracted one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, with thousands of happy prawns singing along with great gusto. Everybody had a good time dancing without cares and uninhibitedly.
Almost every band I had seen did a cover this weekend. Shortstraw was no exception and as the theme song of “Friends” started to play, I saw more than one puzzled, but happy face. The Red Bull stage was heard and seen in its usual glory, with beautiful lighting and rocking EDM tunes throughout the weekend. The Drum and Bass was a particular favourite of mine. Hyphen’s set was really fun to dance to with all the melodic lead lines and solid drum beats. The Red Bull stage offered the night owls a place to gather and shake the last of their energy out before attempting to recuperate for the next day. If I were to award a first place to performance of the weekend, it would hands down go to Brand New. Every expectation I had was reached and exceeded. In the deep of the night, over the rustle and bustle of the festival, a single kick drum could be heard, softly at first but then growing into a deep dong, causing people to flock to the main stage. For the first song they played, until the last, the crowd was drawn into a frenzy of rock and roll ecstasy. The UK band seemed overwhelmed by the massive response of our humble South African audience.
IMAGES BY ©LAURA MCCULLAGH
Quite abruptly, Monday morning dawned on the end of the 21st birthday celebrations. A collective sadness could be felt across the slaughter fields of Mordor. Everywhere people were wondering how they would ever fit in with society again. I do admit, I was one of those people.
THE GREAT WIZOO JAZZ JAM SESSIONS WORDS BY MOLLY FITZPATRICK
It was nine o’clock and Darren English had just picked up his trumpet and started playing. I felt the adrenaline surge through me. I was at The Great Wizoo on Thursday night. The Great Wizoo is a fairly new establishment, having opened at the end of 2013. The weekly jazz nights have been going for almost as long. It’s a Rondebosch sports bar and once a week, it’s transformed into a jazz club, reminiscent of those in New York in the 1930s and 40s. An atmosphere transformed solely by the music. First there were the Loose Jam sessions which happened quite regularly since opening, and then progressed onto the Jazz Jam Sessions which happens every Thursday night with few exceptions. You’ll find The Wizoo in Erin Road, behind Rygersdal Sports Hall, just a stone’s throw away from the Rondebosch Common. I had heard about these jazz nights through friends and Facebook and was always interested by the idea of a proper jazz night; regular clubs, DJs and electronic music can begin to get a bit tedious. Sometimes all you want is some classic, organic music, music you can watch being made, right in front of your eyes, flowing effortlessly from musician into instrument and outwards. The night officially begins at eight, there are a handful of people scattered around the bar, some sitting around the tables, others playing pool and the rest in the restaurant part of the venue. The musicians start to drift in and set up and tune their instruments. Each week a band is chosen to play, usually the band will determine the vibe for the rest of the night. As much as the bands performance is a jam, the jam session itself happens after the band performs. This week it was the Claude Cozens trio: Claude Cozens on drums, Kyle Sheperd on piano and Romy Brauteseth on bass. They were accompanied by Darren English on trumpet; an incredible jazz trumpeter, originally a UCT music student, who has played with some of the country’s most respected musicians and has just completed a Masters in Jazz Music at Georgia State University in the States. In fact, most of the musicians who play at the Wizoo, whether in the scheduled band or in the jam session afterwards, are either past or current UCT music students. As much as jazz is casual and free, it’s of course,
a serious art form. Even the more laid back jam sessions later in the evening are not for amateurs. You have to know your jazz standards and the harmonies. The night heats up the later it becomes, really getting going from about ten-thirty. More and more people start to pour in; as you would expect from any latenight jazz club or Cape Town nightlife in general. Jazz and the late night hours have always gone together, it’s part of the culture of jazz. Back in the day, most musicians were working long hours and were only free to play long after the sun had gone down. The late-night jazz club feel is complemented by the soft smoky haze that hangs over the room – The Wizoo allows smoking inside on Thursday nights, it can’t be jazz without that gentle smokiness hovering over the stage and tables. Jazz is famously difficult to define, encompassing so many diverse forms, but I managed to recognise Bebop. A form that became popular in the 1940s; a more challenging style, characterised by faster tempos and chord-based improvisation. Bebop can be feverish, hard to follow, “musicians music”, yet completely awe-inspiring. I listened hard for jazz standards I might know but came up short except for Giant Steps, one of the most difficult compositions of a jazz repertoire. The band was remarkable, exchanging satisfied smiles with each other, really enjoying and feeling the music. They each gave each other a chance to do an improvised solo; it flowed so smooth-
ly from one to the other. Darren English commanded the room, everyone in it, the music itself. You couldn’t help but stare, trying to stop your jaw from dropping. He played with an ease that can only be mastered by someone truly gifted. By the time the band finished, every section of The Wizoo was packed, a buzz of conversation hung with the smoke. After a brief interlude the jam session got underway. An ensemble was organised and once again you were transported to another time and place. Different musicians played at different times, offering a pleasing amount of variation. Many of the performers switched between instruments, from trumpet to drums, making it look so easy and natural. Some of the musicians included Tumi Pheko, Jo Kunnuji as well as Marco Maritz on flugelhorn and trumpet. Marco, another musical phenomenon, has competed in numerous prestigious jazz competitions. At one stage all three jammed together, playing fiercely into the one microphone. You could feel the vigour, the beauty of the music slamming into your chest and radiating outwards into your bones. The night continues into the small hours, the music irresistible, and the energy relentless. If you’re looking for an authentic jazz night, this is it. With no cover charge, affordable drinks, and great pizzas and at a wonderful location, there’s simply no reason not to check it out.
WORDS BY DONOVAN HOGG
n 31 July 2015 Nature’s Way backpackers in Mtunzini Kwazulu Natal hosted Hidden Festival, an event which is set to take place once in a blue moon, just off the tar road somewhere near the ocean. Whether it’s the music, the decor, the atmosphere, the venue or simply the combination of the latter which creates be the perfect environment to let loose and escape “reality” for a weekend… Every festival needs a wow factor to make it special. Hidden Festival is respresents the very essence of the Underground movement. Numerous crews worked together to create a musical escape for likeminded, free spirited souls. DJ’s contributed their services free of charge and fellow stompers got involved to ensure that the dance floor was transformed into a colourful and comfortable playground. An added special effect from Mother Nature was the blue moon which kept the gathering well lit and fully charged.
fOnce ESin Ta blue I VA L moon The dance floor was set in the middle of a thicket of coastal bush and over growth. Maize-like paths laden with quotes and symbolism from Alice in Wonderland led you to the Dance Floor. Pulsating along these paths were colour changing fairy lights which shed a dim glow, leaving a slightly befuddled and off-balance sensation while moving along. The stage and DJ Box where craftily constructed out of recycled pallets and tree stumps. Another really affective little trick the organizers pulled out their sleeve was the use of a layer saw dust as a cushy surface on the Dance Floor which certainly served well to tired feet towards the end of a good stomp Musically there was a very nice variety. Friday night kicked off with Tech House and Techno which progressively got harder and by midnight the Psy Trance
was in full steam. Then there was what my camp site dubbed “The Equalizer” The music was switched off not by authorities but rather as a strategic move by the organizers not to upset the local birding community to early in the weekend… True story and the following week it turned out that this plan had played its role successfully! Saturday morning a Mad Hatters Tea Party was held in a shady little vegetable garden next to the camp site…. yes a vegetable garden… very well catered for with tea on arrival and biscuits and munchy stuff on the numerous garden tables available to sit around while enjoying the most appropriate Trip Hop set. The volume of the music was not over powering and set off a splendidly playful little bounce to the morning. The Dance Floor then opened at 12:00 with a Deep House set to bump off the afternoon and was then brought right back down with a Deep Balearic Groove until just before sunset. Then things started getting serious and the Techno came out. The rest of
the night was laden on with some deep thick Techno beats and then a well-placed Deep Progressive House set for a smooth transition to midnight. That is when the Stomp came out…. and they gave us PsyTrance to close. In conclusion I feel it was a very well balanced line up which smoothly progressed into a solid stomp! No profit was taken by the organizers and proceeds of the event where sponsored to the Zini Zebras which is a charity fund for the free roaming Zebras in Mtunzini. As an avid festival goer, it certainly is refreshing to see small intimate gatherings like Hidden Festival still popping up. The kind of environment where you arrive as a stranger and leave with friends. Well done Hidden Festival we certainly hope you have another something special hiding around the corner in the not too distant future.
WORDS & IMAGES BY SHERENE HUSTLER
tuart Reece, a singer-songwriter, guitarist that hails from the “windy city, Port Elizabeth. Stuart moved to Jozi late 2014 to further his music career. I saw him playing live for the first time at Mama’s Shebeen in Greenside, it’s also where I saw his half sleeve tattoo as he strummed his guitar. Little did I know what was hiding beneath his T-shirt. Here is his story,... “I got my first tattoo when I was 20. A guy that i knew had just started a tattoo shop, he called me and asked if I wanted to get a tattoo done. I didn't think too much about it, I said yes and he said cool, come round today! I quickly put something together, it was all very
spontaneous. I was going through a religious phase in my life at the time and decided to get the word ”faith” inked on the right side of my torso. I remember it being so painful, a 7 out of 10 kind of burning pain. The next tattoo opportunity came along when a couple booked me for a gig, they also happened to own a tattoo shop in Port Elizabeth. They gave me the option of paying me or getting a tattoo for the equivalent of the gig fee. So I thought about what I wanted to do, I had always wanted to get the figure of God, a bigger power or someone to look over me. I got Zeus done on my chest, which kind of solidified the theme for all the rest of my tats.
After a little while I began thinking about my next tattoo. Zeus had crept over onto my shoulder so I wanted something that would fit into the theme of Greek Mythology. I thought what about the place where to pray to this higher power, after a little bit of research I read about Delphi and the Oracle of Delphi. I found some images and took them to the same artist that did Zeus. Her name is Kirsty, she guided me with the process of design. Instead of doing an oracle
of sorts, we went for a womanangel type figure. A couple months later I was feeling that the space was a little empty, so I was thinking what else can i get? Sticking with the theme of Greek Mythology, I began thinking of what would attack your God or your place of peace? Something good but also evil. Medusa came to mind. I found some images and went back to Kirsty. So now I had half a sleeve. Once again, after some time that same feeling came up again, it feels like it’s empty! I wanted to get something else, another angle or female figure and I wanted to put in the words “without Darkness there can be no Light”. It’s just something i
believe. I found something and another couple booked me for a gig, so I got a quote for the tattoo and passed it on to them, they paid me and I went and got it done on my forearm. Half a sleeve on your forearm just looks weird, so I chatted to Kirsty and said let’s pulled this thing closed and just make it a full sleeve.
The next part of the story is on my right hand chest, I wanted to get something like a protector to live next to Zeus. I chose Aries who is the God of War and a bad ass sort of guy! I then wanted to get a rib piece, I decided on Poseidon who is the God of the Sea. I put him just below Zeus as he is the God of the Sky and Thunder. Above and Below. I was thinking of getting Hades, but I didn't want anything dark on me so I chose Leonidas . I watched the movie Sparta and I thought he was a great character and he sort of fitted the role of protector as well. I put him on my back. This one above faith, because it was my first tattoo I was rushed and never really sold on the quality. My tattoo artist, who has done all my current ink decided to put another mythological creature on, coming out of the word faith. Why Greek Mythology? It kind of happened by default because I wanted a picture of Zeus, of God the Higher Power. For me Zeus is the coolest picture of God, he is strong and he has got lighting. The next piece that I wanted tied in with God, Delphi and by then the theme was set.