my life, my coffee
issue 25 / summer 2011/12
THE UNIFORM OF PROGRESS
it’s the end of the world as we know it... or the end of the year, at the very least. are you ready to face 2012; the year of the roach? we certainly are. bring it on, baby!
The Publishing Partnership (Pty) Ltd. Executive Directors: Mark Beare and John Morkel. Advertising enquiries: Simon Tully (firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 488 5944) and Grant von Willingh (gwillingh@ tppsa.co.za or 021 488 5959). Editorial address: PO Box 15054, Vlaeberg 8018, +27 21 424 3517, www.tppsa.co.za. Copyright: The Publishing Partnership (Pty) Ltd 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without prior permission of the editor. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of vida e caffè, the editorial director, the publisher or the agents. Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of its contents, the information published is for information purposes only and cannot be relied on as the opinion of an expert. vida e caffè, the publisher or the editor cannot be held responsible for any omission or errors or any misfortune, injury or damages that may arise therefrom.
04 my life | 08 stuff we like | 10 a modern man’s guide to the apocalypse | 12 funny thing, that | 16 rock paper plastics | 19 year of the roach | 24 the hardest working man in design | 26 that inking feeling | 29 keeping his cool | 33 p.h.fat says you all gonna die | 36 music for mass hysteria | 38 vox pops | 40 chris’s column
ILLUSTRATION: MORAY RHODA / COVER: KRONK
apocalypse now now editor annie brookstone | art director tina reddell | contributors chris roper, zane henry, paul white, jon monsoon, andy lund, moray rhoda, kronk, riekie human | advertising enquiries simon tully: email@example.com; +27 (0)21 488 5944 and grant von willingh: firstname.lastname@example.org; +27 (0)21 488 5959 | vida e caffè grant, lloyd, papa, paul and sarah
MY LIFE Pauling striped V-neck jersey, R599
Navy striped tee, R299
GET NOTICED! This summer’s stylish offerings from Canterbury are sure to turn heads. (Disclaimer: Should not be worn when hiding from zombies.)
Dark slim denim, R499
Check boardies, R299
FRESH FROM VIDA peckish? enjoy a chocolate croissant, brownie, chocolate treat or oat cookie with your next cup of vida coffee. shweet. tea drinkers, get your fix with mint or chai tea, now avalaible in vida stores. hello angola! vida e caffe’s first angola store is about to open its doors. more vida new stores in eden on the bay, hout bay and tygervalley.
A DIESEL HIGH Loverdose is the new fragrance from Diesel; a scent so irresistible you might just feel like the last woman on earth. This spellbinding combination of warm vanilla infused with ambrox and creamy liquorice liqueur mingled with woody scents makes for an addictive experience. Want to get caught up in the allure of Loverdose? Stand a chance to win a bottle by emailing us at competitions@ obrigado.co.za with your name, the name of your closest vida and the subject ‘Loverdose’.
OLD KHAKI, NEW DEVELOPMENTS Old Khaki is on the up and up. Not only have they introduced seven new stores this year, including Fourways, Cresta and Cape Gate, but they’ve also launched their very own fashion and lifestyle blog, Unrestricted Living. From fashion and trends to music and lifestyle, it’s the blog to visit for all things hot this summer. Check it out at unrestrictedliving.wordpress.com.
END-OF-DAYS MUST-HAVES Future’s bright, man (regardless of what 2012 brings). Find the spot with the best view, settle back and enjoy the show with the (rather aptly named) Ray-Ban Meteors. Inspired by Ray-Ban Wayfarers, this ’60s-styled icon is all you need to keep your cool when everyone else is losing theirs. Girls can opt for the Ray-Ban Laramie, a head-turning tribute to the model-turned-icon-turned-survivor. Hot. THE CITY IS MINE Survey your kingdom from the rooftops or shout it from the streets – the city is mine! We’re all proud of the cities that make and shape us, and so is Lee Jeans. The launch of their ‘The City is Mine’ campaign is not only about the hottest clothing (although there’s plenty of that), but also about how we live, love and play in our cities. It’s as much about those hidden gems that dot the familiar streets as about the spectacular sights that we all have imprinted on our psyches like postcards from a lover. Lee wants you to be passionate about your city: your style, your streets, your own.
BACK TO NATURE Civilisation? What’s that? Get in touch with your wild side with Weylandts: their detailed Anemone hanging lamp and eyecatching Bloom chair will bring outside inside – and in style.
CHECK IT OUT The bluesy strains of Dan Patlansky followed by the hippest house from Liquideep played in the birth of the new Ben Sherman Sandton store at the end of November. Bringing the ‘Englishman in New York’ theme to life with their spring/ summer 2011 collection, Ben Sherman is the final and only destination for gentlemen of distinction. Visit the store in Sandton City or contact them on 011 784 1019.
HAVE FAITH Make 2012 a spiritual experience with a pair of True Religion jeans. True Religion’s vintage-look Phantom Range explores a sleek look with new fabrics and finishes for that authentic badass look – while making your ass look great, of course. Look out for the red, white and blue custom identification seam. We’re converted.
apocalypse when? CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Modern meets vintage with Diesel’s gents’ chronograph (DZ4210), R2 999; Time flies: the Zeppelin 7696-4 with chronograph and alarm function, R4 995; Party time: Nixon’s bold Dial may not turn back time, but it will turn heads, R999; The ladies’ Skagen 233XSTTM – a lightweight titanium watch with a hardy attitude, R1 795; Quality time: the limited-edition Storm Dualmec – only 3 000 pieces were made, R1999; Time is precious – the Skagen UltraSlim Titanium, R1 795; Minute details: the stylish Nixon Banks, R3 999; Watch out! The bold Diesel gents’ red analogue watch (DZ1462), R1 699.
a modern man’s guide to the Apocalypse Contamination suit up – 2012 is just around the corner and, once again, mankind is (maybe) facing extinction. By Paul White
Remember one of your earliest life lessons:
Point at the person next to you and say, ‘It was him!’ (Or ‘her’ – use your discretion on this one.) Most end-of-days scenarios seem to be retribution for doing something wrong in the eyes of some supernatural father figure – and no-one wants to be in the apocalyptic naughty corner.
Pick the winning team. There’s no better time to be one of the chosen few. However, this can be difficult to get right, as there are thousands of different religions in the world and deities can smell it when you’ve been praying around.
Dress to impress. Your mom probably told
you to always wear clean underwear, in case you’re ever in a car crash. Yes, when you’re walking the fine line between life and death, these things matter. The same goes for the end of the world. Do you really want to be wearing that old team-building T-shirt you got in 2007?
Don’t panic. When the people around you
hear the world is ending, chances are they’ll all be a little bit upset. This is your chance to keep a cool head, rally people around you and be a hero – or find a small hole in which to hide.
Say all the things you always wanted to
say. Not just the soppy ‘remember to tell people you love them’ thing. Phone your boss and tell him what you really think of him. The networks will probably be down, so you might have to do this in person. (It is, however, advisable to hold your tongue if he’s a 150kg rugby player or if his epic zombie killing skills could come in handy.)
Perfect the art of camouflage. Depending
on the type of apocalypse we’re talking about, acting like a non-human is a great way to avoid detection. Practice lying very still or invest in a big
gorilla costume if you’re serious about avoiding certain death. If you’re in a bind, try rolling yourself up in a carpet.
Stock up on energy. Balance is essential
here – you need to be fast enough to outrun cannibalistic crazies, but also have fat stores for those so-called lean times. Once the fabric of society breaks down it’ll be every man or woman for themselves: No-one’s going to give a shit if your bum looks big in those pants. So have that extra doughnut – but remember to keep fit.
Keep this magazine. Once the power grid
goes down we’ll be without heating (and cold coffee’s a bummer). Keep this mag and a box of matches on you at all times and you should have everything you need to start a fire (once you’ve finished reading this article, of course). It’ll also double up as a nifty fan come fire and brimstone.
Do the Bee Gees thing and stay alive. It
seems obvious, but – let’s face it – most people will get this one wrong. If you can’t live without your BlackBerry you’re already screwed. Man up! Disclaimer: This is only a guide. There are no guaranteed ways to survive the Apocalypse, or even to ensure it doesn’t happen. If it’s coming as a punishment for humanity’s deeds, we’re way past the point of no return. But if it’s going to come at our own hand, there are a few ways we could try to make it better. I’m sure you all know what those are.
f you’re alive and reading this, I salute you. This means you’ve survived the end of the world – or at least the threat thereof the end of the world (and probably more than once). Thankfully, the oceans haven’t swallowed us, nor has Table Mountain blown its top. We do still have Christmas to deal with, but that always feels like Armageddon. Ever since we, as mankind, have been evolved enough to point at the horizon and go, ‘Ooh, looks like something bad is coming over the hill, best stay inside’, we’ve had to deal with the prospect of doom, damnation and a world overrun – apparently – by only cockroaches. This hasn’t happened yet, but millions of years of survival so far don’t set a real precedent, do they? Bearing this wisdom in mind, it’s worth having a contingency plan in place. One doesn’t want to be caught unawares as the very fabric of reality is torn asunder. As we suspiciously welcome in 2012, if you do happen to find yourself in a situation where the world is actually ending (and I hope it hasn’t already, so you can read this first), put down your coffee, stop screaming and do the following immediately:
Drawing on inspiration from all over the Mediterranean, Sotano (Spanish for “cellar”) is a casual eatery that concentrates on using fresh, seasonal produce to create simple but delicious dishes. In the warmer months enjoy beautiful views of the Mouille Point promenade and tuck into flatbreads, beef tartare, grilled calamari or fresh
fish. Joining us for the autumn or winter? No problem. Grab a seat inside by the fire, order a glass of red wine and try out hearty comfort food like lamb tagine, fish pie or French onion soup.You don’t need to have a huge meal though, with the tapas menu providing a great way to have a quick bite and relax with a few friends.
As the name suggests, there is a strong emphasis on wine, with a good mixture of boutique wineries and more established farms. Having been responsible for the much-loved Caveau restaurants, the operators pride themselves in choosing wine that will satisfy a wide range of tastes and budgets.
SOTANO BY CAVEAU Mouille Point Cape Town www.sotano.co.za
funny thing, that 2012 is upon us and Siv Ngesi is feeling a little funny. Words: Zane Henry Pics: Andy Lund
iv Ngesi is black. He’ll tell you this often and loudly. It’s kind of his thing. But don’t worry – he makes it interesting enough. You probably know his face from a bunch of movies, ads and his one-man comedy shows. He’s been in big stage productions like Les Miserables, acted alongside Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman in Invictus, brought the house down in stand-up shows like Dekaf, and is currently wrapping a film with Rob Van Vuuren. He’s a big fan of stand-up, but acting is the blood that runs through his soul. He also loves Josh Groban far more than any man of any colour should, gets a kick out of being a black guy who can swim and loves his mom. Like, a lot. Follow him on twitter – @ iamSivN – and he’ll love you too. How would you spend your last day on earth? I’d spend every last cent to my name. I’d eat the best food, go to the coolest places, drink the most expensive booze… You get the idea. And, of course, I’d try to find the most beautiful pair of boobs to cuddle up to when the end finally comes. How do you think you’d fare in a zombie uprising? I don’t know, hey. I have too much rhythm to do that thing they do in the movies where the survivors shuffle around like zombies. I’d run. Us black guys, we run away from danger. Not like white people, who go towards it. twelve
Which song would soundtrack the end of your world? ‘Let Me Entertain You’. Who would you watch the last sunset of the world with? I’d go and eat livers with my mother in Gugulethu. Simple as that. She’s the most important person in my life and who I’d want with me at the end. You can take only one item into the afterlife with you. What is it? My BlackBerry. Straight. It’s heaven so there’ll be chargers. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the world doesn’t end after all – what lesson would you take away from the narrow escape? To always go to sleep cuddled up next to a pair of beautiful boobs. If there are any survivors, who should rule what’s left of humanity? Anyone but Julius Malema. Unfortunately, as human beings, we’d need someone to lead us. I’d like to think that there’d be a democracy, so it would be great to have a cabinet of people from all walks of life representing as many diverse cultures as possible. And if zombies need to be represented too, my vote would go to Michael Jackson. At the end of it all, you run into God who’s orchestrating the whole destruction thing on his BlackBerry. You only have time for one question. What do you ask? For his BlackBerry PIN. What’s the last thing people should do before the world ends? See my one-man show, The Race Card, in 2012. It will be even bigger than Dekaf. It still deals with stereotypes and stuff, but there’ll also be other things I’ve experienced and have been thinking about. Details will be everywhere soon enough.
rock paper plastics
The Plastics are young, fresh and alarmingly down to earth. Best keep an eye on them. Words: Zane Henry Photographs: Andy Lund H&M: Shanaaz Alexander
Above, from left: Karl Rohloff, Pascal Righini, Arjuna Kohlstock and Sasha Righini. The Plastics are currently working on their second album, due for release early in 2012.
I hate being asked about what it’s like to be a rockstar,’ says Pascal Righini, lead singer and guitarist in The Plastics. ‘We aren’t rockstars. We’ve never been the trendiest or coolest guys around. We’re just four guys who really enjoy playing music together. There are no TVs through windows or cars in the pool. And our girlfriends will be glad to know that there aren’t any groupies either.’ Good guys till the end, The Plastics, and mad keen on making sure you have a good time. In fact, there’s little else Pascal, his brother Sasha on drums, bassist Karl Rohloff and guitarist Arjuna Kohlstock want from you. ‘We just want to make people dance and have fun, so they leave the shows tired and sweaty and happy and smiling.’ The Plastics have been dishing out the indie fun to more and more people and have built up a sizeable following, helped along by a warm reception for their debut album, Shark. Initially sounding a hell of a lot like the Arctic Monkeys, they’ve moved
past merely being a sum of their influences, winning new fans along the way. It’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm, especially at their live shows. This ��� along with catchy tunes and a solid sound – has seen them play some big stages this year, including Rocking the Daisies and Synergy. ‘Ja, it’s been a good year for us,’ says Pascal. ‘Synergy was one of the highlights. We weren’t at our tightest, but I think that the crowd could tell that we were having a good time. A lot of cool things have been happening for us in terms of our following and gig attendance. Most of all, we’ve really enjoyed playing and have found what we want to do with the next album. ‘We had this empty house in July and August where we brought all our equipment and set up the most amazing jam room, like, ever. We spent each day playing for six or seven hours. We’d dig in and do these expansive 45 minute jams. That helped us so much – the feel and the sound is coming together. At the beginning of the year we had no clue what
we wanted to do, but now we know where we’re going. It’s a good feeling. ‘Also, we’ve been hanging out a lot with other bands and that’s been helpful too. We’ve learnt a lot, made some good friends and are closer to knowing where we fit in. I think people see us a bunch of guys who are doing interesting things.’ One of the interesting things they’re doing at the moment is putting together their second album at Dreamspace Recording Studio in Woodstock. Details are tricky to extract from Pascal. ‘It’s hard to talk about it since there are so many ideas being thrown around. For me, I’m really into the idea of doing a long album. Like with interludes, instrumentals and some lengthier tracks; and not being restricted. I know that the world doesn’t listen to music the same way anymore and albums aren’t as viable as they once were, but we’re artists, not businessmen.’ What would I regret if the world was to end tomorrow? he says. ‘That we hadn’t finished the album.’ seventeen
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the hardest working man in design Kronk’s all-consuming creativity keeps him pushing design boundaries and exploring uncharted graphic territory. By Paul White
ome may call him an enigma, working alone in a darkened studio until late at night. His mom (and the government, probably) knows him as Kris Hewitt, but to us normal folk he goes by Kronk. In the wee hours of the morning, fuelled by music, coffee, cigarettes and an ungodly urge to create, he’s spawning some of the freshest and most interesting design work coming out of South Africa today like some veritable visual Frankenstein. One of the first times I met him, we were working on a project together and had hit a bit of an obstacle. So what did Kronk do? He lay on the floor, put his head in a cardboard box and rolled around screaming. That’s when I knew he was on another level. The right level. For Kronk, enough is never enough. He’s constantly pushing himself and those around him, and exploring his work from every angle, no matter how ‘out there’ it may seem. The result? Creative output that not only speaks volumes about his apparent hatred of free time, but also his prodigious talent. Whether it’s animation, advertising, corporate identity and websites for corporate clients or comics, twenty four
clothing, vinyl toys and even watches, there’s a unique energy that sets Kronk’s work apart. For him, it’s about finding a new South African design language defined more by a feeling than a specific aesthetic. It’s about the feeling of Africa and its inherent potential; the depth of colour and that electric buzz in the air on a hot day. This was especially apparent in his work for Nike, designing the South African FIFA World Cup 2010 collection, which was sold worldwide. Currently based in Johannesburg, but very firmly rooted in Cape Town, Kronk is after nothing short of world domination. His first love is vinyl toys and some of his most recognised work is being done with Kid Robot – an American-based company that primarily produces limited-edition designer vinyl toys. He designed his first toy for them in late 2006 and by the end of 2011 will have worked on an impressive 14 of
their funky collectables – with even more in the pipeline. Toys are not where Kronk’s killer collaboration with Kid Robot ends though – he’s also designed clothing for them, as well as contributed towards the design of their major retail stores in Miami, Los Angeles and New York. With his own line of clothing just born, and more toys and a comic in the pipeline, Kronk is someone to watch – if you can keep up. And while the rest of us are lying in our beds late at night, dreaming about the weekend, Kronk will be sitting at his table; drawing, tweaking, inking, thinking, scanning, pushing, crafting and imagining while listening to music, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. And maybe rolling around with his head in a cardboard box and screaming. Because that’s what he does.
It’s about finding a new South African design language defined more by a feeling than a specific aesthetic
Clockwise from left: a skateboard deck Kronk designed for AIGA Colorado; ‘where the magic happens’, working on the Danny Dynamo campaign for Ad:Dynamo; a limited-edition Dunny vinyl toy Kronk designed for Kid Robot; the packaging art for Kid Robot’s Yankee Pig Dog Labbit; one of a series of ‘Oh, the horror’ posters. Opposite: Kronk’s clothing (top) and Kronk displaying some of his art (below).
that inking feeling
Every year come the end of January, Cape Town gets a lil’ bit more colourful thanks to the Cape Town International Tattoo Convention. Words: Jon Monsoon Pic: Andy Lund Also known as Southern Ink Xposure (S.I.X.), the Cape Town International Tattoo Convention is the largest convention of its kind in the southern hemisphere, attracting tattoo aficionados, works-in-progress and curious virgin-skinned locals, as well as some of the world’s biggest names in skin ink to the V&A Waterfront’s Pavilion complex. Organisers and convention originators, Allan and Manuela Gray, explain that hosting an event of this scale is a blast, but not as easy as you ink. What inspired you to start a tattoo convention in Cape Town? M: As a tattoo artist myself, I was travelling to a lot of overseas conventions and really just wanted to share the experience with everyone back home, while helping to elevate the industry. A: Not being a tattoo artist, I initially got involved because I was eager to find a project to work on with my wife. As we got more into it, I realised that we were going to stage an event unlike anything this country had seen before. What makes S.I.X. special compared to other tattoo conventions around the world? M: It’s not fair to compare, but I’d say the personal touch, as well as putting a big focus on local art and music. And the overseas artists love Cape Town! A: We’ve always had two goals. First is to underscore the artistry inherent in tattooing to the general public. The second is to create a show centred around the artists, where artists can hang out, share ideas and enjoy one of the world’s greatest cities together. The number of artists we accept is limited, but then they’re treated like special guests.
S.I.X. 2012 is running from 27 – 29 January. Visit the official S.I.X. website: www.capetatttooconvention.co.za, join the Cape Town International Tattoo Convention page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter (@CapeTattExpo12).
What has your event done for the local tattoo industry? M: I think it has brought a greater appreciation and awareness of tattooing to
the public and has put tattooing in South Africa on the international stage. How many people work on the event each year (excluding tattoo artists)? M: We’re a team of about eight. Do you get to chill after the event, or do you begin work on the next one immediately? A: We review the venues we use, the hotels we put our internationals up at and all of the events in general immediately after each show. Then we start thinking about the art campaign and the website for the next year’s event. M: We always say we’d like to take a few months off right after the convention, but that never happens. I’m always so inspired afterwards that I start planning the next one straight away. This time, though, I’m planning a long surf trip afterwards – somewhere exotic! What advice would you give to someone wanting to get work done at S.I.X? M: Do your research: go to our website and check out the artists to familiarise yourself with the awesome talent available. What is the one thing you’d most like people attending to be able to take home with them (besides a fresh tattoo)? M: An appreciation for the art of tattooing. A: We’d like them to feel as if they’ve been granted access to a world they’ve never been a part of, that they’ve seen a variety of different artistic styles, and that they experienced a damn good show! Where to from here? A: I’m not sure we want the convention itself to grow, but we do want to continue to attract the world’s best tattoo artists. We really want to be the one convention that you have to attend if you’re a top international artist.
TRIGGER STREET PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
WITH KEVIN SPACEY
keeping his cool
It’s a brave new world out there; one where bloggers like Dan Nash are redefining what’s cool. Words: Zane Henry Pics: Andy Lund H&M: Shanaaz Alexander
There’s just this thing about blogging,’ muses Dan Nash. ‘It sounds so… so… dickish. I hate getting introduced as a blogger. I think it sounds shit. I just say I do online stuff. I don’t know. I try not to take myself too seriously. People who are trying to sell this cool image of blogging; it’s all bullshit. I’m not a journalist. I do my thing and I write about stuff and if people dig it, cool.’ Nash is the founder of and sole contributor to Bangers and Nash, his wildly popular blogspot where he dishes up daily servings of his take on his favourite things: beer, girls, parties, waves, music and other vagaries of 20-something Cape Town life. It all started out inauspiciously about four years ago when he would write stories about the weekend exploits of his friends, which he would send around via
email, before deciding to put them up on the Net for the general public’s enjoyment. Friends of friends started reading it and it buildt up a bit of a following – it’s currently generating an impressive 50 000+ unique views a month and 130 000+ page views a month. ‘For the life of me I can’t remember what it was called back then, but I do remember that it was something super-lame,’ he says. ‘Comments started coming in, which is always good for the ego, and I started writing more and more. Then about two years ago I started Bangers and Nash. I like the name, but sometimes I hate it too. I thought of it when I was younger and sillier, but it’s cool that people have kind of latched onto it. I’ve made peace with it.’ The goal from the outset was to provide fresh, daily content, which went on to
prove popular enough that he won a runner-up award in the SA Blog Awards two years ago and is steadily building on his hit-rate. With any success of this nature though, comes commercial pressures and that dirty word: advertising. ‘It is an issue,’ he says. ‘I’ve tried for two years to keep banner ads off the site; as long as I’m keeping the content fresh and strong, I’m happy. I come from an advertising background, so my view’s a bit skewed. Like, I can’t understand why a brand would want to throw themselves into the mix with so many other brands in a space as small as a blog. They could do better things with their money. But hey, it’s their choice. My goal is still to give my readers the best, unfiltered content.’ The Net can be a lawless land. Anyone with a keyboard and an internet konekkie twenty nine
‘People always think that bloggers have beef with each other’
can share themselves with the world and the capacity for people who are able to make a living from it is tiny. Nash is realistic about the strangeness of the curious, feral blogworld. ‘For some reason, people always think that bloggers have beef with each other,’ he says. ‘It’s weird. People come up to me and start trashing someone and I’ll be like, “Hey, that guy is actually pretty decent, so just chill out.” So many people are just downright mean to each other. The “blogosphere,” man... It’s a weird place.’ He’ll be ok though. Nash has mad survival skills. ‘Of all the ways for the world to go to hell, a zombie apocalypse would be the best,’ he says. ‘You have this very definite enemy: zombies. I love me some zombies. They’d be easy to dispose of too – they’re so slow. We’ll all meet on a farm in Wellington and have a survival party. A zombie apocalypse might be good anyway. This world is getting too full and too crazy, and humans are causing too much damage.’ thirty
You all gonna
P.H.Fat says don’t die
Come the end of days, P.H.Fat will be what you might call the New World Disorder – and they’re proud of it. Words: Zane Henry Pics: Andy Lund H&M: Shanaaz Alexander
here are interviews and then there are interviews. An audience with P.H.Fat falls firmly into the latter category. Our time together was brief, but glorious, with the traditional Q&A format discarded early on and any earnest questions about their upcoming EP and the state of electronic and rap music melting away like mist in the nuclear flare of their idiosyncrasy. ‘This is not olive oil,’ DJ Narch Beats says, shaking his head at the oil he’s drizzled over his salad. He aims his fork at my face. ‘Here, just taste this and tell me if that’s olive oil. This is not olive oil.’ ‘We don’t mind what you write,’ MC Disco Jesus says. ‘Just make us sound handsome. Or insane. Whichever you like.’ ‘The new EP is called You All Gonna Die,’ MC Smooth Mike concedes. ‘It’s a bit more serious than our other stuff. Maybe a bit more grown-up. It’s all about mortality and shit.’ ‘It’s all about the big questions. We’ve conducted extensive research into the debate about whether everyone now living will someday die and we’re here to tell you that, yes, you will die someday. It’s pretty conclusive,’ Disco says. ‘I’m telling you, it’s fucking sunflower oil.’ They’re a strange but endearing group, this P.H.Fat. Disco is shaggy and hungover. Mike is clever and loquacious. Narch is taciturn and disappointed in the oil. They’ve built up a devout cult of fans in South Africa thirty three
and further afield with their mongrelised electrorap vibes. Go to a P.H.Fat gig and you’ll see Mike and Disco panting and bouncing around the stage like pogoing spaniels spitting out surreal rhymes while Narch imperiously holds court behind his beat-deck, pouring forth beats thicker than week-old ProNutro. You’re also bound to see people in animal costumes. ‘It’s a thing,’ they say. They opened for Public Enemy in Cape Town in December 2010 and have played stages, festivals and clubs around the country. Their debut album, Dinosaur Blood, was released in February 2011 on US label Muti Music and they’re currently working on their follow-up, You All Gonna Die. They also travel a lot, which is fraught with its own set of problems. ‘We had a gig somewhere else in the country but couldn’t get hold of Disco before the flight,’ Narch says. ‘He wasn’t answering his phone, so we had to go around to his place. We knocked and knocked but nobody heard us over the Jay Z that was being blasted at top volume. Eventually his flatmate opened up and we found Disco, passed out with somebody from the night before. We had to carry him to the airport.’ ‘When we got there, he regained consciousness in the line for boarding long enough to point at me and shout, “He has drugs! He has drugs in his bum! He has drugs and a bomb in his bum!”’ Mike relates. Disco shrugs. ‘We’re all going to die.’ ‘We’d do really well in a nuclear apocalypse,’ Mike says. ‘I think we’d probably be kings.’ ‘And establish a new religion,’ adds Disco. ‘If I had one day left before the end of the world, I’d go around saying sorry to all of the people I’ve been an asshole to,’ Mike says. ‘I’d have sex all day. Like, all day,’ concludes Disco. The real question though, come hellfire, brimstone and all those other apocalyptic accoutrements, is which member of P.H.Fat would make for the best eating? ‘If I was forced to eat one of us and he’d be okay with it, I’d probably eat Narch,’ Mike says. ‘Definitely Narch. He’s nice and meaty,’ agrees Disco. Narch just stares down at his salad. thirty four
‘I’d go around around saying sorry to all the people I’ve been an asshole to’
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music for mass hysteria Words: Annie Brookstone
ISOCHRONOUS – INSCAPE JACK PAROW – EKSIE OU
BRAIN WARMTH – LOOK AT MY GUN
It’s only my second listen, but I already feel this urge to describe everything as kak, litter my sentences with profanities and suip brandy and Coke… But Jack Parow’s new aural assault, Eksie Ou isn’t all that kak and I don’t have brandy or Coke. It’s about as catchy as crabs in a trailer park, at least twice as fun, and only half as embarrassing. From the insta-singalong chorus of ‘Hos Tokolosh’ (featuring Gazelle) to the hipster hating hymn (‘vintage fokken klere lyk soos ’n homeless shelter’) that is the title track, Meneer Parow seems to have found his niche and is unlikely to go changing his leopard print anytime soon.
Mike Zietsman (P.H.Fat) and Alex van Rensburg (3CPU, Mosth’enth, Boomslang, ScarCream) are the brains – or is it the warmth? – behind Brain Warmth; a mutant electronic rap experiment gone slightly demented. Zietsman and Van Rensburg have dug into their creative toy boxes to construct a monster tacked together by odd samples, near stream-of-consciousness rhymes, and quirky beats – and while it’s kind of strange, you still definitely want to play with it. Get your frontal lobe aglow with standout tracks ‘Rae Gun’, ‘Bloodnose’ and ‘Floaty Girl’. Download ‘Look At My Gun’ for free at brainwarmth.com.
VAN COKE KARTEL – WIE’S BANG? ‘Ons hoor dit oor en oor en oor en oor/dit gaan die einde van die wêreld wees/ons sal altyd die einde vrees/dit gaan die einde van die wêreld wees,’ sings Francois van Coke in ‘Einde van die Wêreld’. Now here’s a band who’s ready for 2012. Preceded by the Wie’s Bang? series of graphic novels (which sees the band battling to recapture their souls under the guidance of Kurt Cobain’s ghost), the album sticks to what VCK know best: solid Afrikaans rock that hits you like a klap to the back of the head and lingers like a Klippies hangover. But in a good way, of course.
Whenever someone describes a band as inoffensive, people immediately get miffed. What do you mean they’re not offensive?! However, give Pretoria boys Isochronous’s third studio album Inscape a listen, and you’ll see that inoffensive isn’t such a bad thing. The album is far from bland – it incorporates all the best elements of pop music, while retaining a razorsharp edge. It’s the kind of album you can recommend to your buddies without having to worry that you’ll lose your rock credibility or your friends. Richard Brokensha’s almost pretty (yes, ‘pretty’) voice draws you into opening track The Tempest and before you know it you’re thinking, ‘Hey, this isn’t so bad’. And it’s not. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with mass appeal. Nothing. IMAGE: GALLO/WWW.GETTYIMAGES.COM
KELLY, 33, EVENTS MANAGER Final destination: Sunday morning, in bed with my husband, tea, the newspaper and a soft breeze blowing through the window. Top apocalypse flick? Planet of the Apes. With whom would you spend your last night? My husband. Zombies are attacking your city and you need to make a quick getaway. Which three items do you take? A hammock, photos and a single meia de leite, wet with a touch of sugar. Last meal: A vida BLT.
PEGUY, 31, ASSISTANT MANAGER Final destination: California. Top apocalypse flick? Armageddon. With whom would you spend your last night? My friends. Zombies are attacking your city and you need to make a quick getaway. Which three items do you take? My wallet, house keys and phone. Weapon of choice when battling aliens: Whatever is stronger than their weapon. Last meal: Makayabu (dry fish).
AQEELAH, 20, SALES ASSISTANT Final destination: McDonald’s. Top apocalypse flick? The Day After Tomorrow. With whom would you spend your last night? My husband and kids. Zombies are attacking your city and you need to make a quick getaway. Which three items do you take? My phone, a car and a charger. Weapon of choice when battling aliens: A bazooka. Last meal: A triple Mac!
happy endings DENZEL, 24, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER Final destination: Heaven. Top apocalypse flick? Independence Day. With whom would you spend your last night? My girlfriend. Zombies are attacking your city and you need to make a quick getaway. Which three items do you take? Polo GTi; Sony Playstation 3 and my cellphone. Weapon of choice when battling aliens: Darth Vader’s lightsaber. Last meal: A Big Mac meal.
PETER, 43, COACH AND TRAINER Final destination: Cape Town. Top apocalypse flick? Ben Hur. With whom would you spend your last night? Sandra Bullock. Zombies are attacking your city and you need to make a quick getaway. Which three items do you take? A knife, GU (coffee flavour) and my sleeping bag. Weapon of choice when battling aliens: A laser sort. Last meal: Cordon bleu and French onion soup.
chats: arian thompson snaps: hamish niven
JESSICA, 24, WAITRESS Final destination: Thailand. Top apocalypse flick? I am Legend. With whom would you spend your last night? Ryan Reynolds. Zombies are attacking your city and you need to make a quick getaway. Which three items do you take? Lip ice, pillow and bikini. Weapon of choice when battling zombies? Hand grenades. Last meal: Sushi.
apocalypse later Oh, sure, anyone can throw an Apocalypse party in the first world. Chris Roper dares the Four Horsemen to try it here. cheap ‘I’ve been Raptured’ flags to fly from your car, and people in Soweto will finally have something to show deluded fans of District 9 who are on Prawn Safari. Pirates’ supporters will have a jolly old time exchanging crossed bones salutes with Death, who will be so
War won’t be able to get people to fight, because he’s not part of the right clique – and anyway, all the cool kids already belong to the Armoury Boxing Club. In the South African suburbs where the nouveau riche congregate, there’ll be a rash of
‘...angels with trumpets are causing rubbernecking on Jan Smuts...’ seduced by his popularity that he’ll start a small assassination agency in Pretoria called Die@BlouBulle. Some fat guy in a Beemer will make a fortune reselling his ‘Number of the Beast’ number plate (NDAZE 666 GP), and Nonhle Thema will star in a reality show called Mzansi Maggots (‘They eat flesh! Superhot naked flesh!!’) In Cape Town, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Famine, War, Death and, in particular, Toyota Conquest – won’t be able to find parking. And if they do, they’ll find it impossible to actually get anyone interested in their specialist areas. Famine will feel increasingly inadequate and frustrated as he realises that starving yourself is actually a lifestyle choice in Camps Bay, not a blight.
cool parents naming their kids Nostradamus (‘little Nossie is SO precocious! Don’t you just love the way his little head spins around!’), and Beelzebub (‘it’s not Billy, it’s BEELY! And if you even think about calling him Bubba...’). Let’s just hope the Apocalypse doesn’t start off in Durban, because then Francis Ford Coppola would have to make a movie called Apocalypse Later. We’re making light of a serious topic, though. And we haven’t even started to worry about what we’ll do if there’s a Zombie Apocalypse (which is like the normal religious Apocalypse, just more humane). The four Zombies of the Apocalypse are Itchy, Scratchy, Vegan and Lauren Beukes, and if they stumble into town – well, let’s just say you’ll miss Famine and Death.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisRoperZA, and visit his blog on chrisroper.co.za forty
n the same way that a former US governor allegedly refused to allow Spanish to be taught in schools because ‘English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas’, we tend to conflate grand myths with America. To move from the apocryphal to the apocalyptic: We’re all trained by popular culture to know what would happen if the Apocalypse finally went down. Two guys, virtually indistinguishable except that one is off-white and the other off-black, will blow away the Angel Gabriel with unnaturally large guns, plant the Stars and Stripes in front of the Pearly Gates, and start charging admission (dead children accompanied by a parent get in free on Sundays). But wait! What if the Apocalypse happens in South Africa? Things will be handled very differently. The obvious point is that many people in Johannesburg won’t notice. Aki Anastasiou’s traffic report on 702 will be business as usual. ‘Burning petrol tanker overturned on William Nicol, and traffic lights out at 12 intersections. Oh, and angels with trumpets are causing rubbernecking on Jan Smuts, so budget an extra 30 minutes for your journey.’ But there’ll actually be an upside to the Apocalypse too. Street vendors will start selling
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