ISSUE 17 founder ¦ editor-in-chief giuseppe russo
features editor ¦ copy editor sarah jayne fell
assistant editor ¦ assistant copy editor jessica manim
architecture/design editor annelie rode
advertising & sales michael littlefield
distribution assistant rachel basckin
samnorval.com art director giuseppe russo @ one small seed stylist lauren livesey @ rock paper scissorstheory & laura matthews hair & make-up bianca hartkopf model milfred du toit location blackboardstudios.co.za
jon monsoon, annelie rode, sarah jayne fell, jessica manim, lucy heavens, yusuf laher, jess henson as jezebel, rudi cronje and fanny mcgina as HEADLINE payoff, kelly berold, wordy rock guy, marita nortje, tamlyn grey, genna gardini, nick matthews, xander ferreira
sam norval, adriaan louw, deborah rossouw, ian engelbrecht, sydelle willow smith, sian lloyd, troels jepsen, ferdinand reuss, milfred du toit, zeno petersen, johan wilke, michael sheyel, johan conradie, john hogg, antonia steyn
oss tv crew (ryan christian & karen nass (coza productions), remmert malan (editor) and kiyla benecke (assistant)), pietro russo, jimmy strats, howard simms (hammer live), bruce wright (mnemonic), the book lounge, biblioteq, alphen country house hotel & cloete’s restaurant, sam norval & lauren livesey, gavin goodman, candice (M1), jenna (fusion), tarryn (outlaws), luisa rodrigues, caroline godfrey (infidels), roscoe & sivan miller
issue 16 corrections
jared aufrichtig was the photographer for ‘Triplet of Bellville: Make Some, Break Some’
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EDITOR’S letter Dear readers, Yes, I know. I hope, at least, that you had a good laugh. Since this edition of one small seed is our wild issue, I thought I may as well join the theme with a fitting editor’s picture. Enjoy it, as I hopefully won’t be making a fool of myself like this again anytime in the near future! With that, I welcome you to our 17th issue. Throughout these pages you will see that in one way or another, an element of the wild – from the literal (wildlife) to the figurative (all manner of crazy subjects) – is present. To accentuate the theme, we had the mad idea of creating a magazine within the magazine. So, in place of our features section, you will find a completely new 32-page magazine called ‘The Wild Side’. Here we’ve put together something a little crazy for you to read. It’s a collection of features that are short, entertaining and interesting. ‘The Wild Side’ is specially printed on matt paper, just in case the sun reflects off our glossy paper too much while you are browsing through it at the beach. Please send me your feedback concerning this new section. Who knows – if you like it, we might keep the concept, adapting to each issue’s particular theme. You probably also noticed the strange-looking character on our front cover. I introduce Milfred du Toit. Milfred is a special personality who will feature in several one small seed projects in the imminent future and work closely with one small seed tv as an original showmaster and much, much more. Keep an eye on the site (www.onesmallseed.tv) and you’ll soon find out what we have in store. In this issue of the magazine, Milfred will be your personal tour guide through The Wild Side. Enjoy the ride! Other features can be found in our jam-packed section of artist profiles. From Bruce Cowie to Gregory Maqoma, each creative talent showcased gives the word ‘wild‘ a whole new understanding, and we hope you’re inspired to join their foray into creative extremity. In our music section we catch up with hot local talents the BLK JKS as they pop back to our sunny shores from their world tour, before heading on again with their mission of global domination. We also investigate oncewere-wild acts The Prodigy and Boo! and see where they’re at today, before taking a close-up look at the explicit new music
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video from local rockers Damn Right. On the other end of the spectrum we chat to emerging local indie band She Man Lion and see if they’re growing up to be anything like their name suggests. For our fashion spreads, we’ve put together a selection of tantalising summer threads in some sizzling and sexy photo shoots. It’s a section in which you’ll find inspiration to liven up your summer wardrobe. Check out one small seed tv to see the making of all our local fashion shoots. Something else to keep a look out for is the Picture This exhibition that will be launched soon. It will feature some of the best selected images from our online photography magazine, Picture This, that showcases some of the top work from our www.onesmallseed.net members. We hope you all have a fantastic summer and do not forget to visit Joe Bubble and see what he has selected for you this December on www.joebubble.com. Thank you for supporting one small seed magazine. Giuseppe Russo Founder | editor-in-chief
49 FEATURE: THE WILD SIDE
55 FEATURE: MARK WHALEN (KILL PIXIE)
22 PROFILE: FRANÇOISE NIELLY
68 FEATURE: UNTAMED ARTISTS
28 PROFILE: NANDIPHA MNTAMBO
77 FEATURE: MIX N BLEND VS P.H.FAT
30 PROFILE: SINDISO NYONI
34 PROFILE: GREGORY MAQOMA
37 FASHION: SOUTH BEACH
82 MUSIC: SHE MAN LION
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45 FASHION: JUST SWIMMINGLY
84 MUSIC: THE PRODIGY
87 MUSIC: DAMN RIGHT MUSIC VIDEO
92 MUSIC: BLK JKS
CONTENTS FEATURES (THE WILD SIDE):
FASHION: TATTOO SHOOT
WELCOME TO THE WILD SIDE
SOUTHERN INK XPOSURE
Brought to you by SixLove Events of Cape Town’s International Tattoo Convention.
Milfred du Toit introduces The Wild Issue.
We pay tribute to a lifetime of wild, embodied by the Godfather of Punk, Mr. Iggy Pop. MUSIC
OFF THEIR ROCKERS
Snapshot moments from the craziest rockers of all time. WILDLIFE
THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS & DOGS
HERITAGE & CULTURE
LOVING THE ALIEN: THE DOGON TRIBE
Head deep into Mali and discover the ancient beliefs of the Dogon people.
ADIDAS FIVE-TWO 3
SHALL WE SWING: INSIDE A DJ TOUR
Hop on the band wagon of a rampant DJ tour featuring Mix n Blend vs P.H.Fat
More than you knew about the vanguard of the wild side. INDIE ELECTRO-STEEL INTERNATIONAL ARTIST
MARK WHALEN (KILL PIXIE)
Future-gazing at the psychedelic visions of Mark Whalen.
SHE MAN LION
GAZELLE: THE GOLDEN RULE
New leaders of the Afro-chic. LIFESTYLE
Taking wild to new limits.
Underground SA artists delve into the risqué.
BRUCE COWIE: DESIGN IS A GOOD IDEA
DAMN RIGHT MUSIC VIDEO
RETURN OF THE MONKI-PUNKS
AFRO PROG ROCK
WILD YOUNG THINGS
68 ZIMBABWEAN ACTIVIST ARTIST
SOWETO DANCE WONDERBOY
DEPARTMENTS: IN STORE BOOK REVIEWS CD REVIEWS DVD REVIEWS
PAGE 8 PAGE 12 PAGE 100 PAGE 104
SUBSCRIPTIONS NOW SHOWING DIRECTORY THE LAST WORD
PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE
106 109 110 112
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DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY Annelie Rode (AR) & Jessica Manim (JM)
DUREX PLAY ‘VIBRATIONS’ Durex has brought a quiver and kink to a supermarket near you. You can surreptitiously slip this nifty little gadget in between the milk and the bread as you head to the till; what you slip it onto later, however, is up to you. The new ‘Vibes’ collection from Durex guarantees good vibrations for up to 40 minutes. The range is waterproof, reusable, and can – and should – be used with a condom. Alone or with your lover, they’re sure to hit the spot every time. (AR) www.durex.com
‘BUG’ ROUND SIDE TABLE by Egg Designs www.eggdesigns.co.za
TROLL CHAIR by Lund & Paarmann www.designisagoodidea.com
‘WOOFERS’ SPEAKER SET They won’t eat your slippers or bring you the paper, but your neighbours might still complain about these Woofers. Dutch designer Sandra Mulder intended the pun when she turned man’s best friend into functional kitsch, as their bark is certainly bigger than their bite. Available as a co-axial speaker system (two dogs) that can be added to your existing sound system. (AR) www.designisagoodidea.com
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swing – leather by Egg Designs www.eggdesigns.co.za
NIKE ‘CAPE/BURG’ A new edition to the Nike Air Max 1 campaign, Cape/ Burg illustrates how a selected group of local artists, musicians and athletes run the streets of their cities. Printed on 100% recycled paper, the pages are split in half to create an unusual flip-book experience. Insightful interviews, stunning photographs and juicy tidbits (like pull-out postcards) means this limited edition book provides hours of enjoyment. (JM) www.nikesportswear.com
PAPERCRAFT 1:1 AK47 ASSAULT RIFLE Available at Bibilioteq www.biblioteqbooks.com
‘ILLUSION’ SIDE TABLE This is no smoke and mirrors act but rather a cleverly crafted side table. Handmade using 3mm acrylic, designer John Brauer used the structural strength from folding the material to form these magical creations. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and they’re available in a variety of colours. (AR) www.designisagoodidea.com
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DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY Annelie Rode (AR) & Jessica Manim (JM)
‘DOMSAI’ DESK PET by Matteo Cibic www.designisagoodidea.com
WOODEN sunGLASSES by Marius Koen www.darme.co.za
‘TEA TIME’ PORCELAIN TEA SET by Jorine Oosterhoff www.designisagoodidea.com
‘WE-VIBE’ hands-free vibrator Available at The Bedroom www.thebedroom.co.za
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NOMI TANG ‘BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE’ DESIGNER VIBRATOR Available at Whet Sensuality Emporium www.whet.co.za
‘cat lash’ MASK & WHIP Available at The Bedroom www.thebedroom.co.za
BEE WATCH More art collector’s item than functional timepiece, this bee watch by jewellery designer Marius Koen is handcrafted from resin, crocodile leather and wood. Set in the resin dome, hovering above the sunshine-yellow watchface, is a perfectly preserved bee, watching time tick away. And if you unhook the inconspicuous latch on the side, it pops open to reveal a secret chamber where you can hide tiny trinkets and secrets. (JM) www.darme.co.za
VON ZIPPER SUNGLASSES Style: Elmore - Raspberry Sorbet / Lunar Chrome www.vonzipper.com
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DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY Lucy Heavens
BOOK REVIEWS PAPERCRAFT
edited by R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, B. Meyer Gestalten
First drool over, and then feast on the endless possibilities of the paper renaissance explored in Papercraft. A lovingly gathered collection of extraordinary creations crafted out of paper. Folded, cut, bent, coloured, sculpted, glued, embossed, paper… paper… PAPER! The book presents small objects and figures, as well as large-scale art installations, urban interventions, and three-dimensional graphic sculptures from a vast spectrum of artistic disciplines – ranging from character design, urban art, fine art, graphic design, illustration and fashion to animation and film. The book also includes a DVD with fun printable templates for creating characters and toys, as well as a curated selection of the best paper-based stop motion animations.
edited by R. Klanten, L. Feireiss Gestalten
This book leaves a thousand bees buzzing inside your brain… the ideas, the plans, the schemes! Build-On is a brilliant collection of architectural transformations, add-ons and renovations that bring new life, and new purpose, to already existing structures. Tradition and transformation, history and advancement; beautifully executed again and again in the exceptional examples presented in this book. Industrial wastelands, bunkers, abandoned churches, forsaken rural centres and obsolete underground systems, as well as creative transformations of smaller residential buildings from all over the world, are showcased. Build-On is an inspiring read, but also serves to affirm this way-cool field of innovation and design.
HIGH FASHION CRIME SCENES by Melanie Pullen Nazraeli Press
Murder meets la mode for the coffee table. This is a collection of restaged crime scenes by American modern photographer Melanie Pullen, based on ancient photographs excavated from deep in the bowels of the LAPD and NYPD. Pullen’s photographs, however, are devoid of ugly victims, who are replaced here with vogue models in haute couture. The photographs are (apparently) highly detailed recreations of their originals in terms of sets, light and mood. Set builders, set dressers, make-up artists and stunt crews were all in Pullen’s employ for many of the shoots. The series features quite a diverse range of moods, from the jocular to the woebegone and sometimes not-quite-anywhere in between. 12
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Books available at Biblioteq
TRAGIC KINGDOM: THE ART OF CAMILLE ROSE GARCIA by Camille Rose Garcia Last Gasp
Shiny, glittery polar bear kingdoms of yore. This is a catalogue of Camille Rose Garcia’s solo exhibition held at the San Jose Museum of Art in 2007. It showcases the LA-based lowbrow artist’s paintings, sculpture, drawings and installations on heavy, translucent vellum-type pages. Garcia’s work is illustrative, gothic and cutesy; the kind you put on t-shirts. She cites influences including Disney, Disney, and Disney! And a lot of punk music, Philip K. Dick and Takashi Murakami. Japanised cartoon-like characters akin to those of Yoshitomo Nara depict dark tales of greed and humanity’s terrible destruction of flowers and fish. The best part is actually the illustrated chronology of Garcia’s life, which is particularly funny.
by Pieter Hugo Prestel
Not exactly an objective exploration of Nollywood; this pleather-bound glossy is more an interpretation of it. Nigeria has an awesome reputation with regards to its prolific churning out of flicks made on its own terms. With witchcraft, vampires, voodoo and other super-fun stuff, it makes for killer subject matter. Portraiture by photographer Pieter Hugo is weird and macabre, and bound to be controversial what with all the deep, dark, devilish (often blood-soaked) Nigerian actors on recreated Nollywood film sets. Included in this photo-book are essays and a short story by novelists, academics and allround interesting people Chris Abani, Stacy Hardy and Zina Saro-Wiwa.
SKETCHBOOK: CONCEPTUAL DRAWINGS FROM THE WORLD’S MOST INFLUENTIAL DESIGNERS by Timothy O’Donnell Rockport
There are many collections of sketchbooks that intend to reveal the processes, preoccupations and strategies that lie behind the finished products of artists and designers. What sets this one apart is the brilliant editorial work of Timothy O’Donnell and the designers chosen for this collection: a truly unsurpassable group. Another element adding a new dimension to this concept is that it follows illustrators and designers on real projects as well as showcasing their final products. Organised into four chapters, ‘Rough’, ‘Refined’, ‘Random’ and ‘Revealed’, as well as including a compelling Q&A with each designer, this book provides a hugely engaging, personal and idiosyncratic insight into the work of the world’s best designers. Available at The Book Lounge one small seed
PROFILE: LOCAL DESIGN 14
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DESIGN IS A GOOD IDEA
So much more than a design store: Design is a good idea is a Möbius strip of good ideas. ANNELIE RODE chats to master instigator Bruce Cowie to keep us in the loop.
”These days, you have to be all over the place in order for people to take notice. We’re online, on Facebook, on Flickr; we have blogs, the store and the showroom.” It would be hard not to ‘StumbleUpon’ Design is a good idea, the brainchild of Joburg-based designer Bruce Cowie. Bruce Cowie’s Facebook profile simply reads: “Designer, musician, thinker and doer.” The subtext suggests a creative man with clear-cut ambition, although he left out the part that reads “with dexterity”. Bruce is preoccupied with solving a Rubik’s Cube of good ideas, and so far he has managed to match up just about all of the sides. Graphic designer by trade, Bruce is first and foremost a lover of great design. ‘Design is a good idea’ came about as an unassuming Facebook group that Bruce started for creative individuals to upload their work and share their ideas and inspirations. It also doubled as a platform on which his own work gained recognition, opening a myriad of new doors with exciting opportunities. One of these was the concept of a shop that stocks designer items, books, and other artful treasures. Bruce wanted to create a shop “specifically aimed at people like me, who are huge fans of every aspect of design, and cater to their interests, no matter how obscure”. The resulting store stocks the kind of stuff you’d salivate over on the ‘Designboom’ website or yearn to bring home from your holiday trawling the streets of London or Tokyo. But Bruce of nimble mind did not just create another online shop. He created a Möbius strip of good ideas. Monthly he comes together with other creative individuals and puts together an online ‘shopfront’ – and it’s a veritable visual feast. This offers a glimpse of the designer goodies he sells in his real shop that recently opened in the über-cool 44 Stanley arcade in Milpark, Johannesburg. The shop is a wonderworld where Bruce exhibits, rather than just stocks, items of creative desire. In turn, the shop is also his design studio from where he offers a new batch of eager creatives the chance to show their prowess in the following month’s shopfront,
thereby perpetually bringing good ideas and great design together. Bruce extends the loop by spreading the word on all the interactive platforms and networking sites available to him, bringing the creative cycle of idea generation full circle. Soon it will all take another turn when he opens the shop for launches, screenings and exhibitions. When asked why he doesn’t stock more locally designed products, we broached some sore points about the state of good design in South Africa. What frightens Bruce most is “people who are frightened of the future. I worry when I see young people in bands that are pretending that it’s the eighties, instead of looking to the future and inventing something new.” Perhaps a pertinent concern. Although we have good designers in the country, they seem to prefer designing in clusters that either create curios or produce copies of each other’s work. Very few designs speak of the zeitgeist. Where is the innovation; the originality? Of the few great designers we do have, Bruce often cannot stock their work because their representatives choose to do so solely in their own outlets. A hard attitude to swallow considering the climate is already stifling our creative economy. This exclusivity could end up being an expensive lesson for these designers to learn. If good local design is not made more readily available to us, soon exact copies will be, but with a label attached that reads ‘Made in China’. And that is not a good idea. Create global, shop local, where design is a good idea. www.designisagoodidea.com
Bruce Cowie on himself: “A wild night with Bruce Cowie would probably involve a Stanley Kubrick marathon, followed by noisy electronic music and then bedtime with my fiancée and our pet bunny, Momo.”
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PROFILE: PUBLIC INSTALLATIONIST
ARNE QUINZE 18
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A MESSAGE FOR/FROM THE FUTURE Arne Quinze is part Tommy Lee, part Bono but without the sanctimony. He possesses all the qualities of a rockstar: wild, sexy, rebellious and outrageous; yet his work is erudite and visionary. Through his art, he constantly challenges himself to find solutions for a society in peril as it hurtles towards the future. From wild to wildly successful in less than ten years, Arne has risen from the streets as graffiti artist to company director and creator of “a world without borders, literally and figuratively”. He now employs more than 80 people, from architects to urban artists, in headquarters that cover 10 000 square metres in his home country of Belgium. From here he runs his furniture design company, Quinze & Milan, and Studio Arne Quinze, the design, architecture and art laboratory that also functions as gallery, showroom and creative cell for research, urbanology and communication; the list is continuous. Primarily, however, Quinze remains an artist, and the freedom that this successful creative platform has given him has allowed him to create everything from shoes to gigantic sculptures and even a prototype Ferrari. He calls his space “super-energetic chaos – we’re a beating heart”. And it’s with this beating heart that he brings his visions to life. Arne challenges accepted norms and reigning minimalism, reuniting the world of art and architecture to a point where they become so visually exciting and intertwined that they depend on each other for existence. His work is proof of the essential part art has to play in architecture because of the power it has to instil emotion and evoke a response. He deems the modernist terms ‘order’, ‘function’ and ‘form’ to be archaic, preferring to work under the freer confines of chaos, energy and passion.
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Arne Quinze gained global recognition for burning his giant installation ‘Uchronia: A Message for/from the Future’ created at the annual Burning Man festival in 2006. Burning Man is a harmonious temporary society where around 40 000 inhabitants, or ‘burners’, come together for a week to celebrate art, music and freedom of creative expression in The Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The area consists of a dry lake bed in the Great Basin, an expansive terrain known as a playa. The aim of the festival is to create a community devoid of dogmatic authority and commercialism, allowing social structures to develop organically. Essentially, it is a social experiment in self-governance. The climax of the event is the sacrificial burning of a giant effigy, the ‘burning man’, at the end of the week to celebrate freedom. Quinze’s colossal artwork was one of the spectacles at the festival in 2006. ‘Uchronia’ formed a gigantic organic structure gently morphing out of the surface of the playa, part spacecraft, part mythical beast. It embodied a giant speech bubble gushing forth from the base of Arne’s creative gut, representing all that he believes in and simultaneously holding true the ideals of Burning Man. On closer inspection it was a collision of a million timber battens put together in a seemingly chaotic manner, 30 metres high and 60 metres wide. The result was awe-inspiring, bringing people from afar to gather and experience this piece of frozen chaos. The behemoth held its breath with the past, and it exhaled the future. With technology developing at an ever-increasing trajectory, Arne believes that as we evolve through time we are either being left behind or blown away, and our delicate social structures are being dissolved in the process. He believes we cannot survive alone and need to find solace in each other through new ways of coming together. In his work he aims at creating an environment through which we can converge and engage in dialogue. The masses of
entangled timber battens sculpted together breathe their interconnectedness onto the viewers. The scale creates an overwhelming space under which thoughts are reset and individuals become a united community once again. The volatile structures “take the viewers on a voyage that transcends space and time and offers us a glimpse of what can be expected of the myriad of mutagens awaiting us”. Similar themes run though all of Arne’s work. ‘Cityscape’ created a similar intervention on a smaller scale, reviving a neglected neighbourhood in Brussels. ‘The Sequence’, also in Brussels, represented a physical connection between two neighbours, the Flemish parliament and the House of Representatives. Smaller offsets are now happening all over the world. All the timber used in his installations is recycled or counterbalanced by the planting of new trees. Arne is driven by a belief in the realisation of an idealistic society in which we are allowed to accelerate with the times, are free to express ourselves, and “all individuals are communicating and interacting” as equals. He ultimately dreams of creating a city from scratch, allowing his philosophies to filter through from the ground up. I happened to be at Burning Man the year of ‘Uchronia’ and have first-hand experience of the impact of these ideals so I know them to be true. Arne Quinze has my vote for mayor of the future. Hell, let’s make that president. IMAGES:
courtesy of michael shevel, johan conradie and brusselspictures.com one small seed
FRANÇOISE NIELLY 22
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It’s a select few that are brave or insane enough to dedicate their lives single-mindedly to the one thing that drives them wild. Françoise Nielly is one such individual: passionate, eccentric, driven. As SARAH JAYNE FELL discovers, this artist’s unabashed celebration of life is the magic ingredient for this degree of creative brilliance. Françoise Nielly’s immense painted portraits exude a striking fieriness that lures you like a moth. Her paintings possess a visible energy, not just in the vibrancy of their luminescent colours or in the intensity of the characters captured in thick, saturated oil paint; it is tangible particularly in the way that the artist herself is so prominent in her final products of frenzied magnificence. Each flash of colour in Françoise’s work evokes an impression of speed, passion, eccentricity. A charismatic Julie Delpy look-alike stands at her easel confronting a two-metre-wide blank canvas. She is armed with a single painting knife and a table-sized palette of paint that “looks like coloured mayonnaise”. No forward planning, no methodical deliberation. “It’s a very instinctive and impulsive work. There is no thinking about it, just the doing, with the energy and the mood that is present,” says the artist. Then comes a flurry of awe-invoking madness: fluorescent paint is haphazardly slapped across canvas with a trowel-shaped palette knife and cut, diced and smeared like some kind of culinary extravaganza. “It’s only at the very end that I need to step back and evaluate the work to balance colours or volumes if needed. But when I do that, the canvas is already filled up. It cannot be undone, just touched up.” Realising that the ease with which she throws together a masterpiece is a little disconcerting, if not completely mind-boggling, she adds: “Creation is a very natural process for me. I don’t have to torture myself to create.” So, who is Françoise Nielly? One could hardly expect the standard response from such a colourful creative (born here, grew up there, studied this, worked doing that). “I am an artist and a passionate one,” Françoise begins. “I am everything and its opposite: orange juice and red wine, exceptional and dull, fashion victim and desert island, lover and child, black and white, but never in between, always in the extreme.”
And her driving force? “I am an image devourer. I eat them. I breathe them. I absorb them through my eyes, my skin and all my perceptions. Everything I see feeds my inspiration: faces, books, landscapes, the way clouds move or the reflection of neon colours…I am full of pictures, light, vibrations…and from there my inspiration spurts from inside.” Growing up between Cannes and Saint-Tropez and now based in Paris, Françoise is never far from the quality of light, the sense of colour and the pulsating atmosphere that permeates the south of France. Creating art full time for more than twenty years, she is inspired by life, by love, her love for life, and particularly, her love for what she does; this is a woman who is artist prior to everything. “I am a passionate woman and I am passionate about my life, about living my life with intensity. That is the way I approach painting,” she explains. “Somehow, painting may be the love of my life; and as with every romantic relationship, it’s a moving territory with highs and lows, fights, weariness, desire, fire and water. It can be exhausting, exhilarating, boring, fun, sparkling… Whatever I go through with it, I just can’t stop loving it. Art is my life, my whole life. I just can’t imagine not being an artist. It is the core of my life.” Talk about never working a day in your life, Françoise Nielly is the epitome and the total extreme of what life, to many, should be all about. Someone once said, “If you don’t know what your passion is, realise that one reason for your existence on earth is to find it.” Françoise, in all her passionate eccentricity, is a person to be learnt from. Not only from the truly inspirational work she produces, or from the way she captures the life of her subjects and translates their and her own energy through the medium of sizzling fluorescent paint onto canvas; but from her life philosophy, which is a dazzling work of art in itself. www.francoise-nielly.com
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WORDS: genna gardini IMAGE: ©nandipha mntambo.
courtesy of michael stevenson, cape town
Swazi-born artist Nandipha Mntambo first caused a stir in the art community while still a student at UCT‘s Michaelis School of Fine Art. Working with cowhide, which she tanned and cured herself, the 2007 graduate (and vegetarian!) produced strange, visceral sculptures of the female form modelled on her own body, and they won her instant fame. Now, the undisputed wunderkind of the SA art scene is translating her love for all things bovine into the digital. In her last two exhibitions for Michael Stevenson gallery, The Encounter and Umphatsi Whemphi (very loosely translated as ‘the general charged with overseeing the battle’), Mntambo has branched out from her sculptural roots to explore the possibilities that photography and video have to offer. In her new work, Mntambo places her concerns about femininity and the use of animal skin into the realm of the legendary. ‘The Rape of Europa’ shows her taking on the famed Picasso sketch of the Minotaur caressing a woman, and reinterpreting it on her own terms. This version involves Mntambo herself posing for the camera, playing both the hirsute Minotaur and the submissive Europa. In an accompanying photograph, she tackles Caravaggio’s painting of Narcissus, putting herself (dressed as Zeus in bull-form) in the famous reflection-gazer’s place. Clearly, Mntambo is not an artist afraid to go toeto-toe (or hoof-to-hoof) with the great masters. Neither is she afraid of taking on history; her video Ukungenisa, which harkens to the Hindu legend of Nandi the bull, is set in Maputo’s now-deserted Praça de Touros, the arena once used by Portuguese settlers to force black Mozambicans to participate in bullfights. Mntambo strides into the ramshackle monument, taking on the roles of both bullfighter and bull by wearing a bolero that is, of course, made from her signature cowhide. In her digital work, Mntambo continues to rethink what it means to inhabit opposing concepts - embodying both the hunter and the hunted, the masculine and the feminine. These haunting pieces deal with malicious acts and the stains that these moments leave behind. The photographs are poised before disastrous action, promising menacing consequences, while the video takes place in the quiet horror after something terrible has happened. There is a sense that Mntambo does this to regain the power wrenched away in these situations. As the artist explains: “Through the interpretation of my own body, I have taken control of their representations and directed the way… viewers encounter these forms.” Mntambo has had honour after honour heaped upon her, including the prestigious Brett Kebble Art Awards Curatorial Fellowship and being one of only five young artists to participate in the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2006. She was recently awarded the latest Wits/BHP Billiton fellowship, and will be artist-in-residence at the Wits School of Arts early next year. With her foray into the digital proving that she can transcend almost any medium, Mntambo’s journey of investigating what it means to master the arts does not seem to have an end in sight. And we’re happy to follow her. All information is courtesy of the Michael Stevenson gallery.
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PROFILE: MULTIMEDIA ARTIST 28
the rape of europa (2009) 100 x 100 cm photographic composite: tony meintjies
Xenophobia poster (2007) 59.4 x 24 cm
PROFILE: ACTIVIST ARTIST
SINDISO NYONI 30
FREE ZIMBABWE(AN) Born in the 1980s, the early days of the now highly controversial Mugabe rule of Zimbabwe, Sindiso Nyoni is heavily influenced by the politics of his country. JESSICA MANIM retraces his roots, and uncovers a body of artwork that puts message first and aesthetics second. Sindiso Nyoni’s creations strike their viewer in the gut, delivering a shockwave of reactions directly to the core. Immediately it’s clear there is more to this artist’s images than just pretty colours. First and foremost, they carry a message; a message more important than their aesthetic qualities. Sindiso was born in the late 1980s, during the now much-publicised Matabeleland Massacres. The Massacres grew out of Zimbabwe’s deeply complex colonial past and liberation struggle. During the Rhodesian Bush War (1964-1979), the main liberation force was the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), but in 1963 a more militant group split away, naming itself the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). Despite their common origins, they grew apart as ZANU pursued its militant agenda while ZAPU renounced violence in the struggle for liberation. ZANU recruited members from the majority Shona population: while ZAPU recruited from the minority Ndebele regions. When Zimbabwe gained independence and ZANU member Robert Mugabe won the presidency, the deep mistrust between the parties could not be dissolved. In an early show of paranoia, ZANU suspected ZAPU of plotting a coup. At least, this was the Mugabe presidency’s justification for its brutal torture and slaying of 8000 people in the predominantly Ndebele region of Matabeleland between 1980 and 1988, events later named the Matabeleland Massacres. Although Sindiso was too young to fully comprehend the Massacres, the scars on the population remained. And it wasn’t long before he faced discrimination himself, based on his Ndebele heritage. This, and the worsening situation in Zimbabwe, fostered a strong political conscience in the young artist, seen in his anti-dictatorial ‘Free Zimbabwe’ posters. Due to his strong anti-ZANU PF sentiments, Sindiso soon left his native country in fear of reprisals for his vocal works. He relocated to Johannesburg, where he completed a degree in Graphic Design at the University of Johannesburg, and then to Cape Town to intern at the renowned Am I Collective agency.
Despite the commercial demands of his profession, Sindiso feels a strong calling to work on social communication projects. “I feel it’s valuable for creatives to know that they have the tools and the ability to effect massive change,” he explains, “which is why I do not use my skills to support brands that have a negative impact on the world.” Although Sindiso works in both traditional and digital mediums, he’s strongly aware that each serves a specific purpose in the process of communication. “The use of traditional media reminds the viewer of the connection that exists between an artist and his subject or message,” he says. “This gives the work a raw human quality, which is important in evoking emotion. On the other hand, digital media allow for your message to reach many more people, which is why my style is ultimately a combination of the two.” Sindiso has been invited to participate in the International Biennial Poster exhibition, to be held in Mexico in 2010. The theme will be ’Voices in Freedom‘, a call to interrogate concepts of freedom, better life options and sustainable development. Sindiso’s work will form part of a collection of activist-orientated posters from around the globe, sharing wallspace with the likes of Zimbabwean Chaz Maviyane-Davies, Israel’s Yossi Lemel and French artist Alain Le Quernec. In many ways, these artists share Sindiso’s philosophy, represented through his moniker, Guerill(art): a belief that a small, independent entity can go up against one much larger than itself, in true David and Goliath fashion. Concluding our discussion, Sindiso remarks, “As creatives, we have a duty to contribute to our communities using art that addresses social issues and advocates awareness and change.” In a time when it’s all too easy to copy-and-paste from other artists and create bland wannabe-art, there’s something in the simplicity of Sindiso’s work that is ineffably powerful. Long after your eyes have left them, the images remain throbbing on your retina. www.behance.net/guerillart one small seed
LEFT 4th Reich 1 (2007) 59.4 x 24 cm RIGHT 4th Reich 2 (2007) 59.4 x 24 cm
PROFILE: CHOREOGRAPHER 34
INSIDE THE MIND OF
The Soweto dance wonderboy tells Marita Nortje about shaping the movement of his soul as a weapon to awaken the senses … where the stage becomes a haven for free flight and equal balance with the audience. I was brought up in Soweto by conservative parents who allowed me to experiment and gain experience, to be free but also live by the rules. Soweto is like that: a wild cat, but one that can be tamed. This is reflected in my work where there is a discernible element of roughness executed with care. There is also an essence of speed and unsettlement, and this echoes the transitionary nature that is Jozi. My wildness comes from what people make of the dance, the dancer and the dance-maker. My creativity has been built over years of collaboration and encounters with different artists, people who inform and shape my knowledge. I use dance as a metaphor to express my ideals as a citizen of the world and also as a South African. I’m aware of the traditions and evolving cultures that I succumb to as part of my identity. I am motivated by evolving African politics, the shift in our landscape, and our deteriorating cultures as a result of human greed. I bring all these complexities into the open for public discussion, and I bring these stories with love, lightness, humour and honesty. My recent works include Rhythm 1.2.3, a piece from 1999 that I recently revived. It is set against the background of Johannesburg and deals with the realities of poverty. I’m asking now, ten years later, what has changed? Ecology and science have also become huge in my work. My latest work, Skeleton Dry, is about the unknown, about what existed before humans and the possibility of eternal life. In 2005, in Beauty Trilogy, I depicted the earth in a process of decay, showing that our way of living is effectively burying ourselves. 34
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The stage is my haven, the safest place for my conscious exposition. It’s a place that frees my spirit, allowing me to fly to places I can’t normally reach. Onstage I represent me and you and our environment; the soul, the mind, the body and nature. I continually strive to reach a point of understanding, of equal balance with my audience. I want them to forget while I am with them, forget about themselves and be transformed and transferred. I’m extremely sensitive to my audience. I take care of them. Therefore I invite them to join me in the journey by breaking the fourth wall. I use dance as a weapon to awaken our senses that have been sleeping for some time. I want the audience to leave thinking about what they’ve just discovered. I’ve adopted the slogan ‘Tell it as it is’, making the work speak directly and not hide behind movements and/or words. In my movement and aesthetic choices, I am free of any form that prescribes. I like to submit to my thoughts and allow my body just to be, to speak honestly without adhering to manmade rules. Freedom in art is essential. The good thing about dance is that it is the euphoria of our fantasy as you’re constantly experiencing something new with every movement. Have I achieved artistic freedom? I don’t know, but I do have a free mind that refuses to bottle memories of the past and prefers to share them instead. www.vuyani.co.za
an online photography magazine by one small seed network
one small seed will soon be hosting its very first art exhibition, showcasing the work of photographers who have been featured in our online photography magazine, Picture This. The exhibition will take place in Cape Town and limited edition photographic prints will be on sale. Join our mailing list at www.onesmallseed.com to find out more details as theyâ€™re unveiled.
PHOTOGRAPHY: SAMNORVAL.COM STYLIST: CALLY PALMER @ MAX MODELS STYLIST’S ASSISTANT: JUSTIN JURD MAKE-UP: SANDY SEALE @ SIX LOVE PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANTS: ALBERT BRUN & JADE VAN DER SPUY PRODUCTION, CONCEPT & ART DIRECTION: LAUREN LIVESEY @ ROCK PAPER SCISSORS-THEORY MODELS: BRYCE @ ICE MODELS, CELESTE @ ICE MODELS & NUGGET
Bryce wears swimwear I Craig Port @ YDE golf top I X&O
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Bryce wears shoes I Havaianas swimwear I Craig Port @ YDE sunglasses I Diesel
Bryce wears headphones I Nixon underwear I modelâ€™s own sunglasses I Spitfire
Bryce wears handbag I Miyu flip-flops I Havaianas underwear I Miyu sunglasses I Spitfire gold rosette I Miyu neon orange t-shirt I Miyu
Bryce wears white shorts I Craig Port @ YDE shoes I Craig Port @ YDE Nugget wears pink leash I Dogâ€™s Life purple bow I Miyu
Bryce wears shorts and vest I Craig Port @ YDE Celeste wears sequinned dress I Michiko London bangle I Claireâ€™s
PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHAN WILKE STYLIST: JUSTIN JURD & BETINA LOUW HAIR & MAKE-UP: BIANCA HARTKOPF MODEL: BETINA LOUW @ FAITH MODELS
Betina wears swimsuit I Second Time Around white swimming cap I Annie’s Wardrobe
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Betina wears shoes I Second Time Around swimsuit I Annieâ€™s Wardrobe
Betina wears swimsuit I Annieâ€™s Wardrobe
Betina wears suspenders I Second Time Around boots I Second Time Around swimming cap I Annieâ€™s Wardrobe
one small seed
I’m Milfred du Toit, and as your tour guide through the wild side I’m here to help you decide: What is wild, really? Is it the untamed and animalistic? Is it brought about by personalityaltering substances – the effect of the unholy trinity of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll? Is it barbarian behaviour, tracing back to ancient cave-dwellers who knew not such terms as ‘civilised’ and ‘decent’? Or is it a natural state lying dormant in each one of us, triggered when the right neural explosion happens at the right time, driving us ‘wild’ in whatever shape or form it deems fit?
It’s a shifting concept, that’s for sure. What would have had you burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages wouldn’t raise an eyebrow 100 years later. And the way cultural evolution has fast-forwarded to today, what was considered wild even in the eighties wouldn’t see an eyelid batted now. So instead of trying to explain what it is (because deep down, you all know), I’ve decided to put together some prime examples, a selection of the wildest of the wild from all ends of the spectrum. It’s a subjective state of affairs and so maybe you won’t think it’s overly wild; or you may just think I should be charged on twenty counts of wildicide. Who knows where your wildometer is at! All I know is that at some point in history, someone thought that what follows is really, really wild.
DID YOU KNOW?
Like the inside of a giant Chappies wrapper being read by an annoying niece, we’re happy to present you with our enormous list of WILDLY amazing and crazy facts to wow and bore your friends
In 1609 a corpse was found in Bologna with two penises. Since then there have been around 1000 documented cases of this condition, known as ‘diphallia’. In Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45-second shower scene, which took seven days to shoot. Commercially available since the 1930s, television was banned in South Africa until 1975 because the Apartheid government viewed it as dangerous. The skin needed for elbow transplants must be taken from the scrotum of a cadaver. In 1998 at a soccer game in the DRC between Bena Tshadi and visitors Basanga, every player on the Basanga team was struck by a fork bolt of lightning, killing them all instantly. Anton LaVey, founder and high priest of the Church of Satan and author of The Satanic Bible, used to play organ in LA burlesque houses. During this time he allegedly had an affair with the then-unknown Marilyn Monroe, who was a dancer at the Mayan Theatre. From 1950 to the early ‘90s, some 35 000 books, periodicals and pamphlets, mainly pornographic, were banned in South Africa. According to an ex-staff member of the SA Library, the Claremont police station was the only place that pornographic material could be borrowed from in Cape Town during this period. In 1974 American television news reporter Christine Chubbuck committed suicide during a live broadcast. At 9.38 a.m., eight minutes into her talkshow, she drew out a revolver and shot herself in the head. Tweety used to be bald until censors made him have feathers because he looked naked. The possession and sale of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is still illegal in Germany and Austria due to anti-Nazi laws. The phrase ‘Always a bridesmaid, but never a bride’ actually originates from a 1924 Listerine advert. American author Tennessee Williams died in 1983 when he choked on an eyedrop bottle cap in his hotel room in New York. He routinely placed the cap in his mouth, leaning back before placing eyedrops in each eye. Williams’s lack of gag response may have been due to the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. 101 Dalmatians, Mulan and Peter Pan are the only three Disney cartoon features where both parents are present and don’t die during the movie.
“When I’m in the grips of it, I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like that? When you just, when you just, you just couldn’t feel anything, and you didn’t want to either. You know, like that? Do you understand what I’m saying, sir?”
one small seed pays tribute to a lifetime of wild, and salutes ‘the Godfather of Punk’ and truly eccentric living legend. isting rock ‘n roll’s original wild sons, the roll call of honour would include such rock royalty as Ozzy Osbourne, Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison, AC/DC’s Angus Young, Sid Vicious, Slash, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, The Who’s Pete Townshend, ZZ Top rocker Billy Gibbons and Alice Cooper. The name Iggy Pop would undoubtedly be in the top five. And so it was that the legends of music from across the globe gathered in London in early November to celebrate their industry and crown one of their own a ‘Living Legend’. The winner of the prestigious title at the 2009 Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards was none other than the aforementioned Mr. Pop. The 62-year-old Iggy (a.k.a. ‘the Iguana’) – famed for exposing himself onstage – began his acceptance speech by saying, “It’s been a long dinner, so I’m not gonna whip out my dick.” He
went on to thank everybody with such strong feelings about music “that when you hear something you don’t like you wanna fucking kill somebody, and when you hear something you do like you wanna fuck everybody!” It seemed like a most justified award for the singer who reminded journalists that, for him, being wild and making music “was never a career thing, it was a life thing”. Simply being alive after four decades of ritualistic abuse both on and offstage is in itself testament to the rock ‘n roll spirit. Born James Newell Osterberg, Jr. in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1947, young Iggy Pop (‘Iggy’ from his first band The Iguanas, ‘Pop’ after the leader of a gluesniffing high school gang leader who Iggy admired) was inspired to adopt music as his weapon of choice after seeing The Doors rock out in his hometown back in ’67. Jim Morrison’s stage antics and fuck-you attitude struck a powerful chord with Osterberg and his trailer-park pals and would be the inspiration for his own stage persona. Soon Iggy Pop was fronting his own power-chord and guitar
distortion band The Iguanas and later on The Stooges (“We were on LSD when we named the group”), rolling around in broken glass, covering himself in peanut butter, whipping his cock out for the crowd, vomiting on request and pulling poses like a human pretzel – taking a sledgehammer to the fourth wall between crowd and conventional performer. Indeed, Pop would be credited with inventing the stage dive after hurling himself into the crowd at a gig in Detroit. “I always felt that in rock ‘n roll, something’s gotta happen. If it wasn’t going to happen in front of me, I was going to make it happen,” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “The day I got out of high school…I bought a bottle of Clairol Ultra Blue, dyed my hair platinum and started playing in a rock club full time: five sets a night, six nights a week. I started going wild… getting drunk... borrowing cars and crashing ‘em. And I was listening to two albums: Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones’ Now!”
Forty-two years in and while the cracks might be starting to show (“I have a dislocated shoulder. I have a lot of cartilage lost in my right hip. Both knees are about to go. I have one leg about an inch and a half shorter than the other…a fall I took dancing on an amplifier left me with my spine twisted and a slight limp.”) he shows no signs of putting on the brakes, passing off his now limited physical ability to a life of misadventure but in no way letting it slow him down. “(These days) I’m a much more remarkable person mentally than physically,” he admitted to Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke in 2007. Rock is certainly not short of style icons of self-destruction. Where others (e.g. Sid, Jim, Kurt, et al.) died in imitation of excesses enjoyed and`– most importantly – that were, most importantly, endured by Iggy Pop, a lifetime achievement award is a statue well-earned by only the wildest living punk in musical history.
*WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP AND HEAR THE INTERVIEW WITH IGGY POP AT THE 2009 MARSHALL CLASSIC ROCK ROLL OF HONOUR AWARDS EXCLUSIVE TO WWW.ONESMALLSEED.TV
During an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Iowa in the ‘80s, a bat was thrown onstage. Stunned by the light, the bat lay motionless until Ozzy picked it up, thinking it was plastic, and bit off its head. Immediately the bat started flapping its wings and he realised it wasn’t a fake. Ozzy later described this as “one of the most horrible, painful experiences of my life”. According to some, this is one of the many myths in rock ‘n roll trivia that never actually happened. The masked rockabilly frontman of Martin Rocka and the Sick Shop is none other than the guitarist from that other Johannesburg rock band, Wonderboom. Jimi Hendrix was inspired to pen ‘Purple Haze’ after dreaming that he could walk underwater. The ‘you’ Paul McCartney sings about in his song ‘Got to Get You into My Life’ was in fact marijuana.
Keith Moon of The Who gained such notoriety blowing up toilets in hotels that he was banned from all Holiday Inn, Sheraton and Hilton hotels. His destruction bills total an estimated $500 000. During one incident, Moon was asked to turn down his cassette player because The Who were making “too much noise”. Moon asked the manager up to his room, lit a stick of dynamite in the toilet, and shut the bathroom door. Following the explosion, Moon informed the startled manager, “That, dear boy, was noise.” Moon then turned the cassette player back on and proclaimed, “This is The Who.” Boy George is famous for saying he preferred “a nice cup of tea” to sex.
Psychopath Charles Manson wanted to start a global race war, fuelled by ‘hidden meanings’ in The Beatles’ White Album, particularly ‘Helter Skelter’. Eventually these ‘messages’ instructed him to brutally murder actress Sharon Tate and six others in their Hollywood homes. Ironically, the Manson clan wrote the words in blood on the walls, but incorrectly spelt the Beatles hit ‘Healter Skelter’. The Who’s Pete Townshend has smashed more than 90 guitars in his career, including at least 23 Fender Stratocasters, 12 Gibson Les Pauls and 21 Gibson SGs. Since their inception, Guns N’ Roses have had 21 full-time band members… and counting. The story that Marilyn Manson had some of his ribs removed so he could perform auto-fellatio is another high up on the list of rock ‘n roll’s mythical trivia. When Manson was asked about it, he commented: “If I could suck myself, do you really think I’d ever leave my house? Besides, I looked into it after I heard this rumour and it’s just too expensive.” Queen was widely criticised in the ’80s for breaking a United Nations cultural boycott (of Apartheid) by performing a series of shows at Sun City in 1984.
While still performing as
Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, Manson attempted to “re-
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. He has had it legally changed to Sir Elton Hercules John. Among the many pseudonyms Elton has worked under are Lord Choc Ice, Rockaday Johnny, Redget Buntovan, Nancy Treadlight and Dinah Card. Elton became renowned for performing in wild costumes, one of the most famous being a Donald Duck suit.
iterate the lesson of Willy Wonka” during their shows. Above the crowd he’d hang a donkey piñata with a sign attached saying: “Please, don’t break this open. I beg you not to.” Human psychology being what it is, kids in the crowd would invariably grab the stick and smash the piñata apart, forcing everyone to suffer the consequence; which in this case was a shower of cow brains, chicken livers and pig intestines. Johnny Cash’s campervan ignited while he was drunkenly camping in Los Padres National Forest in 1965, triggering a fire that burned 2 km of wildlife refuge. Cash defended himself, saying: “I didn’t do it, my truck did, and it’s dead so you can’t question it.” To date he is the only person to be sued by the US government for starting a forest fire.
...off their rockers
Nominated for the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, KISS rose to prominence in the mid-‘70s, famed for their face-paint, wild outfits and elaborate live performances involving fire-breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars and pyrotechnics. According to frontman Gene Simmons, he has “never been high, drunk, or smoked in [his] life”. For a legend of rock ‘n roll, that’s almost the hardest piece of rock trivia to swallow!
When The Rolling Stones played the Altamont Speedway outside San Francisco in 1969, Meredith Hunter, a young black teenager in the crowd, was set upon by the Hells Angels who attacked him with a knife, and when he drew a gun, he was hacked and stomped to death. In 1975 the Hells Angels plotted to murder frontman Mick Jagger for publicly blaming them for the violent incident. The conspirators reportedly used a boat to approach a residence where Jagger was staying on Long Island, New York. The plot failed when the boat was nearly sunk by a storm.
During Mick Jagger’s intermittent acting career, he auditioned for the part of Dr. Frank N. Furter in the 1975 film adaptation of The Rocky Horror Show, a now iconic role eventually played by the original performer from its West End run, Tim Curry. The film was banned in South Africa, but not before some 250 000 viewers had seen it, starting a strong cult following. At age 47, The Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman began dating Mandy Smith, aged 13. Six years later they married, but divorced a year later. Not long after, Bill’s 30-year-old son, Stephen, married Mandy’s mother, aged 46. That made Stephen a stepfather to his former stepmother. If Bill and Mandy had remained married, Stephen would have been his father’s father-in-law and his own grandpa. one small seed
The Truth About Cats & Dogs In the wild, female penguins engage in prostitution (even when in a committed relationship), exchanging sexual favours with males for pebbles to build their nests. On some occasions the prostitute penguins trick the males. They carry out the elaborate courtship ritual, and then, having bagged their stone, they run off.
Necrophilia has been documented among animals. The most well-known incident was recorded by Kees Moeliker of the Rotterdam Natural History Museum between two male mallard ducks. According to Moeliker, the ducks were engaged in rape flight (a common motif in duck sexual behaviour) and collided with his office window. “When one died the other one just went for it,” he said, describing the event as “homosexual necrophilia”. Problems with encouraging pandas to mate in captivity have been very common. However, showing young male pandas ‘panda porn’ is widely credited with a recent population boom among pandas in zoos.
one small seed
Female porcupines have been observed using a stick as a dildo. Holding one end, they walk around and straddle it as it bumps against the ground, vibrating against their genitalia. Masturbation has also been observed among primates, deer, killer whales, kangaroos, dogs and penguins – both male and female. It seems the notion that animals don’t have sex for pleasure is fast becoming a myth. There are plenty of animals who masturbate when they have nothing better to do.
The 2009 winner of the
Ig Nobel Prize for Veterinary Medicine went to Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, UK for showing that cows with names give more milk than cows that are nameless. Argonaut is a weird species of octopus. The male produces a ball of sperm in a tentacle called a hectocotylus. When meeting a female it fancies, the penis-arm shoots out of its sheath and swims by itself to the female.
Current research reveals
interspecies sexual activity was responsible for the evolution of entire new species. Analysis of human and animal genes in 2006 indicated that after humans diverged from apes, interspecies mating occurred regularly enough to change certain genes in the new gene pool: “The X-chromosomes of humans and chimps diverged about 1.2 million years after the other chromosomes.” This indicates there were two splits between the human and chimp lineages; the first followed by interbreeding between the two populations, after which a subsequent split occurred. “If this theory is correct, it means modern man is descended from something akin to chimp-human hybrids.”
Nine out of ten sexual pairings among giraffes occur between males. Seahorses, long upheld as monogamous and mating for life, are identified as “promiscuous, flighty, and more than a little bit gay” according to research published in 2007. Despite the common weather report that ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’, frogs and fish are the animals most likely to rain from the sky. The most recent showers of frogs occurred in 2005 in Serbia, and it rained frogs in London in 1998. In 2006 it poured fish in India, while Wales got the fish-drop in 2004. In November 2009, scientists at Wits University announced the discovery of a new dinosaur in the Northern Free State. The dinosaur is an estimated 195 million years old and is a momentous discovery as it links the earliest, bipedal dinosaurs with the large, quadrupedal plant-eating sauropods. It has been named Aardonyx celestae, meaning ‘Earth Claw’ (aard - Afrikaans for earth; onyx Greek for claw) – an appropriate name given that the large, earth-encrusted foot claws were some of the first bones to be discovered at the site.
MARK WHALEN is...
Meat (2009) acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
13 x 20 cm
one small seed
Ceremonies (2009) acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
23 x 29 cm
acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
152 x 114 cm
acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
34 x 45 cm
toryteller, future-gazer, social analyst and political advisor: Mark Whalen (kill pixie) is more than just an artist. Each of his paintings tells a story; some of things passed, some of those to come. Their message points towards dynamic new strategies necessary for survival in the manmade era. With a wicked sense of humour and an uninhibited imagination to foot, kill pixie imparts his sparkling pearls of wisdom through a channel of magnified psychedelic future-visions viewed through an ice-cream-coloured kaleidoscope. As SARAH JAYNE FELL discovers, that – to Mark Whalen – is exactly what his artworks are.
Mark Whalen is an Australian artist living in the cultural hub of Los Angeles. Originally working on the streets of Sydney as a graffiti writer with the street name ‘kill pixie’, he moved to LA in 2008 to further his career in the nucleus of what has fast become the contemporary Western art scene. Now that kill pixie no longer spraypaints walls, he works as a full-time fine artist under the title ‘Mark Whalen (kill pixie)’. And in the short space of time since changing his trade, he’s been named Sydney’s ‘Best Visual Artist’ at the inaugural Sydney Music, Art and Culture Awards and has exhibited across the world, from his native city to London, Berlin and the States. This 26-year-old is certainly climbing high on the international hot list of young artists to keep an eye on. Since his transition from street to fine art, Mark’s newly adopted medium of choice is ink, acrylic and gouache on paper, mounted on wood and sealed with resin. His colour palette is made up of bubblegum and
ice-cream. His characters are androgynous and masked, some part animal, part machine. Mark is influenced by folk art and his work is largely driven by narrative. Some paintings are tales of complex human behaviour, mirrored in a style that is equally intricate. Others predict what the future holds for mankind. Not simply alluding to our inevitable doom, however, but directing us towards innovative survival strategies, their intention is didactic as well as descriptive. And with a wit that could cut through solid brick, Mark’s work is as side-splittingly entertaining as it is sharply incisive. The themes Mark deals with range from mass consumption and economy-driven narratives to self-exploration and discovery, human identity, space and technology. In his latest series, masked humanoid characters wallow in celestial pools and spas in a futuristic bathhouse where gravity has no meaning. Narratives point to the absurdity of excess as ice-creams and bear-headed slippers are mass produced and served to the
humanoids on shiny platters, while characters worship gambling and the almighty dollar. “The masks represent different people,” Mark explains. They allude to the complexities of “human identity and different personalities” as well as pointing to “people’s hidden agendas”. They also make it difficult to distinguish whether his characters are male or female; servant or master; animal, human or machine; or some strange hybrid combination. Devoid of recognisable identities, the characters lose all sense of autonomy making them puppet-like and robotic, beyond all sense of rationality or self-control. Suddenly the scenes are elevated to a disconcerting level of ambiguity as their narratives become as ungrounded as the buoyant figures suspended in water, and all moral bearings are lost. Mark’s outlook is neither negative nor positive, however, but perhaps that of a realist looking for creative solutions rather than dwelling on problems. “My works represent the universal human struggle between our antagonistic instincts for freedom and control in the contemporary era,” Mark relates. There is also a marked sense of “the indomitable spirits of creativity, resistance, and the power of adaptation” among the human race, which seems to reflect his own pragmatic outlook.
In ‘Ceremonies’ a giant animal head with a deity-like semblance is the subject of bizarre sacrificial offerings (from suicide to gifts of shoes). Mark offers his impetus for the work, saying: “The animals’ heads represent a god-like structure. In this particular piece they are presenting an offering to this statue. It’s another piece that shows our antagonistic instincts and search for higher power – with a humorous twist.” The intricacy in Whalen’s work extends from its narrative element to its detailed patterning, another aspect of his painting that draws on traditional folk art. Surfaces of objects are made up of smaller objects, adding purely visual complexity as well as layer upon layer of symbolism that could leave you scrutinising one single image for ages. The overall effect is what Mark describes as “the impression of a kaleidoscope opening up into ever more intricate worlds”; worlds made up of geometric shapes and bubblegum colours, futuristic humanoids, ice-creams, dollar bills and animal heads. “What’s up with the ice-cream?” I ask him, “Some kind of fetish?” “Maybe,” he laughs, “ice-creams are awesome!”
www.killpixie.net Mark Whalen (kill pixie) is currently showing his solo exhibition, Supreme Beings, at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Berlin.
Ceremonies (2009) 45cm x 35cm I acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
LEFT Self Service (2009) 35 x 46 cm acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
RIGHT Future Living (2009) 35 x 45 cm acrylic, ink, gouache and resin on paper on wood panel
one small seed
comrades, lend me your ears.
i understand you are disgruntled since you didn’t receive your free washing machines.
- xander ferreira - nick matthews
dj invizible sangoma
yolanda from youth on top cultural organisation
driver and photographer
written by nick and xander www.yogazelle.com
what are we going to do?
the people are upset, we’ve lost their support…
i have a plan. we need a new distraction!
one small seed
sangoma, i’m in deep shit. we need a new puppet to distract the people!
jallala!!! pap en vleis hier gaan ons
but wait! i have something even better…
wow! he’s even gold! and we know the people love gold!!!
an expensive, brand new,
gold government mercedes!
where politicians always pimp and the people follow blindly…
one small seed
Did You Know....................?
EXTREME BEHAVIOUR 62
one small seed
While touring with Motley
Crue, Ozzy Osbourne snorted a line of ants to prove to Nikki Sixx, in their ongoing competition to outdo each other, that he would “snort anything”.
& singer Rick James demonstrates that rock ‘n roll excess can often be more frightening than celebratory. In 1991 he and his future wife were accused of holding a 24-yearold woman captive for six days by tying her up, forcing her to perform sexual acts, and burning her with a crack pipe during a week-long cocaine binge. James was acquitted of torture charges but convicted of assault and kidnapping.
T he Doors took their name
from Aldous Huxley’s 1954 book, The Doors of Perception, which details his experiences while taking mescaline, and extols the use of hallucinogenic drugs.
ric lapton grew up thinking his mother was his sister.
n 2008 Switzerland adopted the legal principle that plants have dignity.
very time Beethoven sat down to write music, he poured ice water over his head.
he money Sid Vicious used to score the heroin that killed him was given to him by his dear old mum, under the impression that he was going to use the money to “just buy cocaine”.
In January 2009 Robert
Mugabe’s wife, Grace, attacked Richard Jones from the British Sunday Times when he tried to photograph her near a luxury hotel in Hong Kong. According to Jones, Mrs Mugabe ordered her bodyguard to hold him down. Several punches later, her diamond-encrusted rings left Jones’s face badly cut and streaming with blood. Grace left Hong Kong directly afterward.
I n 1981 Jeff Dailey, a 19-year-
old gamer, became the first known person to die while playing video games. After achieving a score of 16 660 in the arcade game Berzerk, he succumbed to a massive heart attack.
In the 1950s, British military
men were given LSD to test if it would improve effectiveness in combat. The results speak for themselves: “One hour after taking the drug, with one soldier climbing a tree to feed the birds, the troop gave up, admitting that he could no longer control himself or his men. He then lapsed into laughter.”
The winner of the Darwin Awards for 2007 was ‘The
Enema Within’, where a man died of alcohol poisoning after having three litres of sherry inserted anally.
Alexander McQueen’s latest
runway creation are a monster pair of 12-inch, python-skin stilettos.
Sergey Tuganov, a 28-year-old
Russian, bet two women he could have sex with them both continuously for twelve hours. Several minutes after winning the $4300 bet, he suffered a heart attack and died – the result of ingesting an entire bottle of Viagra.
In Germany in 2001, BerndJürgen Brandes was volun-
tarily stabbed and eaten by Armin Meiwes, later dubbed the ‘Cannibal of Rothenburg’. Meiwes had placed an ad online looking for someone to eat, and Brandes explicitly consented. As is known from a videotape the two made, Meiwes amputated Brandes’ penis and the two men attempted to eat it together but could not because it was “too chewy”. Brandes then sautéed the penis in a pan with salt, pepper and garlic, but by then it was too burnt to be consumed.
South Africa’s Apartheid
regime banned a number of classic books; in 1955, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was banned as “indecent, objectionable, or obscene”. Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, a story about a horse, was also banned – merely for its title.
n 2005, 28-year-old South Korean Lee Seung Seop collapsed of fatigue and died after playing the videogame Starcraft online for almost 50 consecutive hours.
ime magazine’s Man of the Year for 1982 was the computer.
he vibrator, a common sex toy for women, was originally designed in the nineteenth century to combat the anxietyrelated symptoms of ‘hysteria’. Nowadays hysteria is no longer considered a legitimate diagnosis – but its 1880 ‘treatment’ is still highly regarded worldwide.
British taxidermist Reid Pappard
makes use of the city’s leftovers by taking animals commonly viewed as pests and turning them into fashion accessories like purses and headwear. More art than product, however, don’t expect to find these in your local boutique.
Sunday Bloody Sunday
began with “Don’t talk to me about the rights of the IRA” but was ultimately changed to “I can’t believe the news today” because U2 was afraid that their peace calling would be misunderstood.
ock standard ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple refers to a Frank Zappa show in Montreux, Switzerland in 1971 where someone accidentally fired a flare gun into the ceiling and burnt the place to the ground.
n his youth, Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis’ babysitters included Cher and Sonny Bono.
n 1843 a Parisian street mime got stuck in his imaginary box and died of starvation.
M arilyn M anson was first
arrested in Florida on 27 December 1994 after a concert at Jacksonville’s Club 5 for “violating the adult entertainment code”. Manson was detained for 16 hours before being released without charge. Bizarrely, police believed Manson had performed oral sex onstage with a man, and then thrown either his or the man’s penis into the crowd. It turns out it was actually Jack Off Jill vocalist, Jessicka, wearing a fake penis.
M otley Crue’s Nikki Sixx’s
hardcore heroin addiction cost him his life. Well, almost. In 1987 he died from an overdose only to be miraculously brought back to life. After his heart had stopped beating for two minutes, paramedics administered two shots of adrenaline to bring him back from the brink. The incident inspired the song ‘Kickstart My Heart’.
n 2008, Boy George was convicted for the assault and false imprisonment of Audun Carlsen, a male escort, in his East London home. He was released on home detention curfew in May 2009 after serving four months of his custodial sentence.
n December 1999, P. Diddy and J-Lo were at a midtown Manhattan nightclub when gunshots were fired. After a police investigation, Diddy and fellow rapper Shyne were arrested for weapons violations. Diddy was acquitted of all charges, but Shyne was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment, an outcome that raised eyebrows about the influence of fame.
y 1977 The Sex Pistols were banned in most of the UK, so in August of that year they toured as ‘SPOTS’ (Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly), surreptitiously playing gigs under various pseudonyms.
rno arstens’ first performance with side-project New Porn at the Cape Town music venue Mercury Live in 2001 saw Arno pogo himself straight through the stage. He finished his set in the hole.
Discotheque Couture: Wild Young Things
PHOTOGRAPHER: MILFRED DU TOIT STYLIST: MARGRETT MAKE-UP: EVA HEDENSKOG PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT: MARY-ANNE GROBLER CLOTHING: ALL FROM YDE MODELS: DONNET, AGNES & ELLENIE (ALL @ ICE MODELS)
*check out the video exlusive to www.onesmallseed.tv
DORETTE KRUGER Dorette Kurgerâ€™s highly sensual, salacious images are born out of the extremity of emotion. Just as the poet inscribes these to the page, so Dorette crafts them with light and flesh. Heavily conceptual, she makes striking visual statements in black and white photographs, dipping them in red tones on only the rarest of occasions for the polarised reactions the tone bestows (at once warm and inviting, and yet alarming and urgent). From sex to bare bums and intimate closeups, Dorette is zealously candid in her exploration of the human form.
www.eyerizpoeticphotography.blogspot.com IMAGE: Ballad of the Cyclops
UNTAMED ARTISTS While the lion’s share of SA’s homegrown talent roams the safe side of the fence, there’s a definite dollop of artists embracing the licentious, the savage and the offbeat. Generous helpings of fake blood, meathooks, latex and chocolate genitalia are the order of the day among this breed of creatives who are instinctively drawn towards all that is raw and a little more eye-popping than makes most comfortable. Lock up your offspring; SA’s troupes of untamed artists are on the rise.
SWEET NAUSEA PHOTOGRAPHY Well-known for kicking down the doors of convention, Clare Foxcroft Williams – the name behind Sweet Nausea Photography – will graduate from The Ruth Prowse School of Art this year. With series titles such as Pain Ritual and Flesh and Blood, she’s most certainly a photographer with a taste for the wickedly erotic, and her works, tinged with a gothic-grunge sensibility, breathe a palpable sense of sex and elegance. Tattoos and piercings, rope bondage and body suspension, Clare’s work is anything but tame.
www.sweetnausea.tumblr.com IMAGE: Play Piercing Puppet (2009) PIERCING BY: Lliezel Ellick of Wildfire
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LILLITH LEDA The name ‘Lillith Leda’ is perhaps better known for belonging to one of the most breathtaking fetish, pin-up and art photography models South Africa has produced. Recently Lillith reversed the lens and now works as a photographer herself. Her vintage-styled photographs are startlingly delicate and chilling in their emotiveness, offering a quiet sensuality. She believes that as much as images offer an escape from reality, so do they reinforce it, immortalising moments in time, recording both past and future. While lacking in the overtly explicit sexuality and violence that characterises other ‘underground’ artists’ work, Lillith’s portfolio is nonetheless fierce in its brazen self-assurance.
www.lillithleda.com IMAGE: For Her the Words Didn’t Matter (2009)
SIMON SUBROSA American horror-erotica artist Chad Michael Ward once exclaimed that Simon Subrosa’s work “skates the fine line between cutting and bleeding-edge. Dark, sexy and dangerous, his art is like a trance you can’t break.” A photographer, digital artist and entrepreneur, Simon never sought to record life; he’s happier immersing himself top-to-toe in the ever-present moment. His haunting, carnally orientated images touch on the allegorical, journeying to dark realms brimming with demons and gods, tattoos and bondage. Vibrating with a chaotic energy, Simon’s work bridges the divide between digital manipulation and photography.
www.neographis.com IMAGE: Cat (2008)
Nicola Deanne, a conceptual artist married to artist-provocateur Aryan Kaganof, is perhaps best known for her controversial performance piece Home Economics (2002). Performed at the KZNSA in Durban and subsequently in Paris in front of packed galleries, Nicola carefully created latex moulds of her spotlit vagina before filling them with melted chocolate, crafting edible replicas of her genitalia. The piece is said to engage the audience in the debate surrounding the separation of artist from artwork, as well as exploring serious considerations around the commodification of sexuality, particularly that of the female. Shocking to some and illuminating to others, Nicola’s work quite simply cannot be ignored.
www.kaganof.com/kagablog IMAGE: Home Economics (2002)
DR-BENWAY Thomas Dorman – better known as DrBenway, the maker of things bizarre and maniacal – has been the creative sort all his life. It’s only been through photography, however, that he’s found the perfect outlet for his deliriously decadent fantasies. From film noir to expressionism and mythology, each influence filters through his work, crafting a darkly twisted realm. Yet his images are compelling, both drawing you in with their ghoulish allure and repelling you with their nightmarish playfulness. Call it ‘fringe art’, call it ‘dark art’, call it whatever you like; one thing’s for certain – it is definitely way-out-there-wild art.
www.dr-benway.com IMAGE: Hanging Art #1 (2009) MODEL: Annie Brookstone MAKE-UP: Gabbi Katz, Riette Hayward HOOK SUSPENSION: Lliezel Ellick, Nicci Britt
SOUTHERN INK XPOSURE
SixLove Events presents Southern Ink Xposure (SIX) a.k.a. the Cape Town International Tattoo Convention – Africa’s only international tattoo festival (and one of the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere). The second annual Southern Ink Xposure will be held from 22-24 January 2010 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). It will comprise a series of exhibitions, live collaborative art events, world-class music concerts and, of course, the convention itself with more than 80 top artists from more than a dozen countries, each element celebrating global tattoo culture and lifestyle. onesmallseed.tv will be beaming exclusive updates ‘n vids from now until the event and at the convention itself. Join the Facebook group and check out www.capetattooconvention.co.za for more info. You can also watch a personal interview with Manuela Grey from Wildfire Tattoos in Episode 12 of ‘What’s Your Story?’ only at www.onesmallseed.tv - brought to you by Jameson Irish Whiskey.
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PHOTOGRAPHER antonia steyn | CONCEPT & DESIGN inka & manuela | STYLIST nico nigiri | MAKE-UP amy | TATTOOS wildfire tattoos MODELS shelly, derek, mark splendid, allan, lliezel, ian, rupert, jonathan, russel, johnny, manuela & raoul
Tamlyn Grey headed deep into Mali in search of the astronomical beliefs and wild religion of the ancient (but vanishing) Dogon tribe.
IMAGE: Ferdinand Reuss
hen it comes to tales of myth and legend, few countries in the world can match the sheer abundance of those found south of the Niger bend in the West African country of Mali. Bordered by seven other third-world states of relative insignificance (mythologically speaking), Mali is home to the mysterious desert city of Timbuktu and the spooky village of Djenné (‘Devil’s Place’). A bone’s throw from the Niger riverbank lies the magnificently awesome Falaise de Bandiagara (‘Cliff of Bandiagara’), which shelters one of West Africa’s most fascinating tribes – the Dogon. Numbering only about 300 000, the Dogon are a cliff-dwelling tribe, forced to flee the fertile flatlands of Mali’s plateau region some thousand years ago after refusing to adopt Islamic rule. In their flight, they found the precarious walls of the
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Bandiagara escarpment offered ideal shelter and protection against the marauding ‘Mossi’ crusaders, and they have remained there to this day. Anyone with spare time and the right inclination can now visit the Dogon; there are numerous tour options available, each offering a different voyeur’s view into the day-today life of a tribe virtually untouched by modern influence. What you probably won’t learn on a tourist visa, however, is anything about the tribe’s supposed outer space ancestry. The origin of the tribe is shrouded in mystery. Dogon oral tradition tells of the tribe’s creation by gods who descended from the sky aboard alien craft. It is more widely believed that the Dogon were ancient Egyptians and that they took with them the sacred knowledge of the stars, handed down by an-
cient priests when they left the region, which would explain the tribe’s deep knowledge of cosmological facts that we’ve only known since the development of modern astronomy. For instance, the Dogon have known about the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, as well as Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings, for thousands of years. The Dogon are an intensely spiritual people. Their religion is based on the worship of ancestors and of spirits they call the ‘Nommo’. Amphibious beings, the Nommo were supposedly the ones in the spaceships who came down to Earth from the Sirius star system. The Dogon call the Nommo variously ‘The Monitors’, ‘The Teachers’, ‘Saviours’, and ‘The Spiritual Guardians’. Evidence from the earliest Egyptians tells how Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky (8.6 light years from the Earth), was believed to be
the place souls went to after death. Sirius is linked to the Egyptian goddess Isis. It is also known as ‘the dog star’ and further evidence of the Dogon’s advanced astronomical knowledge lies in the fact that they long ago marked the orbits of the stars encircling Sirius. More mysteriously, the Dogon also identified one of our solar system’s smallest stars, known to us as Sirius B (or Po Tolo in the language of the Dogon, po meaning ‘smallest seed’ and tolo meaning ‘star’, with ‘seed’ being a reference to human creation). It took NASA’s powerful Einstein X-ray satellite years to confirm the existence of Sirius B. While intriguing to many, the Dogon’s cosmic knowledge is questionable to others, and there are those in Western society who glibly pass off the tribe’s mysterious knowledge as hearsay and coincidence. Either way, the secrets of the Dogon shall always remain just that.
FEATURE: LOCAL MUSICIANS
Mix n Blend vs P.H.Fat 77
If music is the brandy of the damned, then sending a bunch of Cape Townâ€™s most in-demand party-starters on the road to rock places seldom rocked is akin to mainlining double Klipdrifts at an open bar in hell. JON MONSOON dodges the hangover.
images: DEBORAH ROSSOUW
PICTURES SHOT ON LOCATION AT ALPHEN COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & CLOETE’S RESTAURANT. www.alphenhotel.co.za Earlier this year, the party purveyors Mix n Blend (Jon Arnold, Kevin Ribban and Ross Fink) and stage-sharers P.H.Fat (Naartjie, Mike Zietsman and Disco Izreal) heeded a call to go forth and enrich the lives of the East Coast citizenry with their brand of dope beats, ill rhymes and otherwise twisted electro tomfoolery. Ostensibly the tour fell under the guise of promoting African Dope Records’ 14th release, Cape of Good Dope 2, an eclectic mix of deeply delicious dubstep, roots dub and dancehall; wobble swing jazz and funk cutz; scribbly scratches; and a sprinkling of filthy electro. Each gig featured performances by the formidable touring team of Mix n Blend, P.H.Fat, DJ Honey B (DJ/ tour manager), Dank & Liver, Chamber Concept (Bakaman & MC Flo), Hyphen & SFR, Spekta and Six-Six-One. They packed their samplers in a suitcase and headed out on what the flyer called the ‘Wild West’ on the East Coast Tour.
The African Dope Records’ artists dug up the Garden Route on their way to the 2009 Grahamstown National Arts Festival, stopping for toilet breaks and performances along the way in previously disadvantaged places – like Wilderness and Port Elizabeth. It gave the merry party pranksters a chance to reinvent the somewhat trite ‘sex, drugs & rock ’n roll’ mantra in true DJ-style while challenging the adage of ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour’. Besides looking forward to escaping the narrow confines of the Cape Town party-slash-music scene, the boys of the beats had a noble mission in mind – to make a music video. P.H.Fat frontman, Mike Zietsman, recalls, “We agreed that most other music videos are too soft cock – random band members playing their instruments or posing as if they’re not really in a music video, while not actually doing any cool shit. We thought: ‘Fuck that!’ We had all
these plans to film ourselves doing some cool adventure stuff, but in the end the only time the camera came out was when we were blind hammered. So we ended up with useless drunk footage.”
JON: Some guy spotted Kevin’s car, with all the African Dope stickers on it, parked outside the venue so he left us a demo CD with a full bankie of weed attached to it stuck under the windscreen wiper.
Ten days, ten gigs. We’d like to think it would have all been rather civilised. What unfolds is an endless blur of mad gigs, groupie sex, crap drugs and funky beats. Police, piss, puke and The Parlotones. Aah yes, Mix n Blend and P.H.Fat go down like animals.
KEVIN: I thought it was another fancy party flyer or something. So for three days I drove around with a bankie of marijuana stuck to my windscreen, never even realising what it was. I just think it was so obvious that no one actually noticed it.
JON: The whole idea of the tour was pretty crazy to start off with… MIKE: I remember Kevin saying, “Listen up ouens. There’s no money to do this, you’re coming because you want to play your music to some crazy people in crazy places…like Grahamstown, and Port Elizabeth.” ROSS: They did warn us though.
MIKE: Then Disco went and stuck Jonas Brothers stickers all over the rented van and blamed it on The Parlotones, who were also playing in Grahamstown. KEVIN: If I had known he had taken so much MDMA, I would never have given him that acid. MIKE: He was never quite the same after that, for the rest of the tour…
Go to www.onesmallseed.tv to read the full interview with P.H.Fat and Mix n Blend and see the tour footage, compliments of the bands.
In the end we're all Jerry Springer Show guests, really, we just haven't been on the show. â€“ Marilyn Manson
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MUSIC: INDIE ELECTRO-STEEL 82
Rocking The Daisies Red Bull RADAR winners are (almost) wild and they want you to listen. IMAGE:
sydelle willow smith
Ross, Graham, Treve, Ryan and Tofer are a bunch of friends who would make Zolani Mahola (Freshlyground lady) president if they could. They like to stretch and dance and tell each other how awesome they are before a show. JEZEBEL found out whether this yearâ€™s Rocking the Daisies Red Bull RADAR competition winners are wild, or just wanna be.
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g tin n u ha , y ch t ca
d un o s of
e on s d in m re
It started with spaghetti. No, it started with a keyboard that belonged to Jesus. Ross says She Man Lion is “not a choice but a conviction. A conviction disparate from an abstract notion of place, but rooted in an experience of a place that is the Cape.” Come again? These cubs evidently still have some curveballs to catch, but their sound is an evolved one − a catchy, haunting kind of sound that reminds one of a happier Joy Division. So which one of them danced in their underwear in front of the mirror when they were small(er)? Ross goes first – “All kids do that.” Treve is trite. “Everyone does that or at least everyone with access to underwear and a mirror.” It must be all about the music then. What does it do for them? For Ross it’s “a chance to experience something real to me within this world that is being starved of feeling”. The others agree it’s special because, “It is our own.” Which is why they’re playing it for you, I guess. They’ve been practising for a while now. It started with Ross’s purchase of a second-hand keyboard that weirdly had ‘Jesus’ written in masking tape underneath it. That was a blessing to Ross, and, together with Ryan, they fiddled about until sometime mid-2006 when Treve arrived to play drums for them, along with bassist Tofer and vocalist
er pi p ha
” n. o i is iv D y Jo
Graham. I ask them why they choose this unusual sound. “Why make ’Electro Steel’ music?” replies Ross. “Well, because it’s new. New sound is beautiful. Cape Town is like a beautiful new world.” Treve continues, “Cape Town is indigenous, global, foreign and local; a hybrid of all and some, and more. Our music is a product of this experience, of us as individuals, and the dynamic relation between the two.” They’ve played almost 20 shows since they formed, and are inspired by Rocking the Daisies’ green approach. If they could create their own ecologically ethical stage, Ross would erect rusting, bent steel loops vibrating around the stage platforms and into the audience, pulsing with the frequencies of the sound. The others would prefer “a larger-than-life, recycled-steel, mechanical lion, which would be deployed into the audience to detect and spit fire on anyone that wasn’t doing their nut for She Man Lion”. That’s wack. Now what if they could choose a wild African animal to be? “We are a wild African animal!” they chorus back in sweet unison. See if you like their scratches. one small seed
MUSIC: POST-RAVE FIRESTARTERS 84
courtesy of ASP records
THE PRODIGY ONCE WHEN WE WERE WILD... It’s the end of 1999 and three 20-something techno-anarchists from Braintree, Essex are being hailed as the ‘The Most Important Band of the Decade’ and ‘Greatest Live Act of Their Age.’ This in part due to the fact that live, no other act can top them when it comes to delivering full-on, sonic firepower, while offstage they are equally as colourful. Ten years later they look (and sound) much the same as they did back then. JON MONSOON checks the sell-by-date on postrave’s twisted firestarters. Rewind the record to the late 1990s and find music being made in bedrooms on PCs to be spun on turntables (because even God was a DJ), live music is a second stage sideshow to clubland’s pharmacopeia currency, and the culture of ‘aving it (rave-speak for ‘getting royally fucked-up’) prevails. Since rave music was never about meaning (no lyrics, no meaning), but more about feeling, The Prodigy went all out to put on a show. Where rock music told about an experience, rave music was the experience, and The Prodigy took that to heart, onstage and off. Their debut album (1992’s aptly titled Experience) would push the sonic levels of rave into the arena of the manic, fuelled by producer Liam Howlett’s techno-punk freakbeats and spine-bending bassline, and personified in the made-for-mayhem persona of the band’s photo-scary mascot: the side Mohawk-wearing, tattooed, multi-pierced dancer-slashemcee Keith Flint. I asked him in a rarely granted interview back in ’99 to sum up his persona in two parts, and he put it to me using the Zen model of Ying and Yang – where, if Ying is sitting quietly crossed-legged in mediation, he is Yang. But whilst tales of wild times in a rock band might sound contrived, The Prodg have always been at pains to point out that their lack of restraint stems from who they are: it’s in their genetic make-up. When asked to define the source of their natures, beats maestro Liam Howlett proclaimed, “It’s not like we think we’re dangerous or wild because Keith spikes his hair up and looks a bit scary, that’s bollocks! That’s not what it’s about.” He’s quick to add, “It’s more about the fact that we will take risks; we will do a song that goes against the grain of dance fans. It has to be dangerous within our band, just to keep the vibe.” The fact that they’re onstage expressing it means we notice it more than we would one small seed
in anyone else. “We’re anti-stardom,” explained Liam Howlett back then. “I just think the whole (fame) thing is a load of shit really. We’ve had eight years of learning what that’s all about and learning how to steer away from it.” When Keith was chucked off an international flight for the alleged drunken assault of a cabin-crew member, the press went mad. “If I get on a plane and someone treats me like a twat and I have to tell them to fuck off, I will,” he explained.
written by them in any case, but sampled from hip-hop artists Ultramagnetic MCs. The Prodigy’s performance at the 1998 Reading Festival inspired once-untame classmates the Beastie Boys to request that the song be culled from the live set on the grounds that it could be offensive to victims of domestic abuse. Their request was ignored, and dancer Maxim introduced the song with the now immortal lines: “The way things go, I do what the fuck I want!”
The band’s third album, Fat of the Land (1997), took the art of music entertainment to the border of the disturbing. Full of rock aggression, the album’s first singles, ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, caused mass hysteria, especially (predictably) in the United States where the latter was almost banned following its video’s graphic depictions of insane partying and rampant drug-taking. The National Organisation for Women (NOW) complained about the song’s lyrical content, but Liam Howlett claimed it referred to “... being onstage – going for extreme manic energy”. That, and the line “Smack my bitch up” wasn’t
“They’re just scared, paranoid people,” muttered Keith at the time of the naysayers. “It’s good if it did fuck people off, good! Fuck ‘em. And I really mean that,” he growled. Ten years on and 2009’s album Invaders Must Die reported a top five debut in twelve countries in the first week it came out. “It feels fucking great!” laughed Keith Flint down the line from a studio in London. A decade in, can we expect more of the same from the band that officially killed rave? “We’re not into being retro,” came the reply. www.theprodigy.com
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MUSIC: UNCUT VIDEO
DAMN RIGHT 87
the making of a musical controversy WORDS:
Tattoos, train tracks, tits & tight jeans: Back in late 2008, Damn Right was the wildest band in South Africa. Their tour tales were the stuff of urban legend and rock ‘n roll excess. Like the bastard sons of a forgotten era, clad in beerstained, leather-studded, rock ‘n roll swagger both on and offstage, they were the embodiment of authentic rock ‘n roll. More Babylon than Bellville. More shock mock than cock rock. By dawn 2009, the tiny Cape Town music scene was notably void of events featuring the name of one of the most misunderstood bands in recent SA music history. Word on rock ‘n roll street was that the band had called it quits. In October they emerged to end the silence by filming a music video, with rumours of an album to follow. Featuring a cast of sinister and seductive characters, the storyline sprung from the lyrics “I’ve got blood on my boots and mud on my hands”, from a newly penned DR song called ‘Diamondback Black’. There are strippers! And crotch shots! And voyeuristic hotel sex! A terrific bar fight! And a bikini carwash! A race along train tracks. And the band in a laundromat! And a jail cell. And a slutty nun, in a cathedral! Where from does such video-visual eccentricity derive? In the director’s chair: the form of one passionately driven video-voyeur Matthew Griffiths of the Cape Town production company, Echo Ledge Productions. (If you’ve seen the new MacGyver Knife music video, that’s his work too.) A self-described “creative soul”, Matt is drawn to the unique and innovative, the provocative and the visually appealing. The new Damn Right video has all of these elements, in ample abundance. “We tried to set up a feast of imagery inspired by the music,” Matt tells us. Besides the music, the one thing that band and director share a common love for, is pushing things – like conceptions, and boundaries, and other people’s buttons. “Damn Right is the wildest band I’ve ever seen in SA,” testifies Matt as to the reason he chose to take on this project, the visual equivalent of a knuckleduster to the face: “They are the real rock ‘n roll deal. And they don’t mind getting their feet dirty!” he informs, with more than fanboy enthusiasm.
To elaborate: “We decided to go all out on this and get our hands and feet dirty, so that we could fulfil a creative vision and do honour to the song and the spirit of rock ‘n roll,” he explains. “It’s all about making people think, and react. I’m tired of watching videos of bands standing around, playing their instruments in a room or in a forest. We have an amazing country, we should go out there and use the imagery and the people on our doorsteps!” (Lord knows, overseas bands and companies caught onto this years ago!) In an age in which bands make pretty music videos to be shown on daytime TV, in between episodes of The Bold and The Beautiful, doesn’t it make all the effort of shooting a killer video that will be rejected by local broadcasters, if not banned outright, seem a bit of a risk? “We did deliberate over what would and wouldn’t be allowed on TV,” says Matt, “but we are keen to see where the boundaries lie − both for the broadcasters and the public.” So while the final version won’t be seen on local TV anytime soon, the uncut version will be made available virally, where the band’s real fans can check out the real music video. “The internet has opened up a ‘free zone’ where people can say and do things without necessarily being censored; however, I wouldn’t want an underage kid seeing the explicit version of this music video,” insists the director. So, while being really gritty with the subject matter and showing off some real rock ‘n roll in South Africa for a change, it’s not done to be gratuitous. “There’s a theme of guilt and conscience that runs through the video, more so as the band becomes involved in some dirty deeds,” adds Matt. So it’s like a rock ‘n roll tale – with a moral. That’s Wild. “I think most South African rock ‘n roll bands have a way to go before they’re wild enough to compete with Damn Right! I know the video is going to look amazing and it’s definitely going to grab attention, letting everyone know South Africa’s one true rock ‘n roll band is back. I’m stoked to be one of the team behind that!” cheerleads Matt, and we for one applaud their vision. Check out the music video exclusive to www.onesmallseed.tv
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Have you seen the new Damn Right music video?
“Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Boo!” “Boo! who?” “That’s no way to welcome them back!”
HOW DO YOU
MUSIC: RETURN OF THE MONKI-PUNKS
“Boo! didn’t part ways. If you resign from your day job at Debonairs Pizza tomorrow it doesn’t mean Debonairs Pizza no longer exists or has the right to, you dark-humoured bitch.”
If they were ever handing out awards for ‘Wild Band of the Year‘, Boo! would’ve claimed every one. The pretty pin-up boys for original insanity and wild, wild ways are getting back together for the first time since hanging up their wigs in 2003, for one gig only (maybe more), prompting the question: Is Boo! back? JEZEBEL looks under their skirts and finds they’re still as wild and bouncy as ever before. The original trio of travelling, fun-toting monki-punks – Chris Chameleon, Ampie Omo and Leon ’Princess Leonie‘ Retief – became underground cult icons of the ‘90s-slash-naughties with their wacky tunes and wild onstage antics that spawned a generation of devout fans going as Boo!-dists. Notorious for genre-splicing and crossdressing, Boo! inspired as much energy onstage as off, and when SA became too small, they toured Europe and the States extensively. They last Boo!ed in December 2004, but will return to play Ramfest IV on 26 February 2010. While the multi-talented and multi-faceted frontman, Chris Chameleon, is touchy about terminology, he’s right that the spirit lives on. Even if it is planning to dress less in drag and more in cyber chic… First off, Chris doesn’t think that Boo! ever left. “Boo! didn’t ‘part ways’,” he insists. “If you had read the press release at the time, you would have noticed the other guys ‘announced their resignation’. If you resign from your day job at Debonairs Pizza tomorrow it doesn’t mean Debonairs Pizza no longer exists or has the right to, you dark-humoured bitch,” he corrects me on my assumption that Boo! ‘broke up’. Original drummer, Leon, disagrees. “There is no reunion. Just a formation of Chris and Ampie with Riaan van Rensburg on drums. Of course I would like to think that only an original lineup constitutes a ‘reunion’, but they are the ones out there with their cocks on the block, so if they want to call it a reunion then that is their right,” he allows. “I have no doubt that Chris and Ampie will do a good job.” Whether it’s ‘disbanded’ or ‘resigned’, and whether it’s a Boo! reunion or a reformation of some of the original members, its probably wise party policy to leave the emotionally charged semantic arguments and philosophical debates to the music biz pros, and get down instead to the business of the boogie.
It’s been five years since the Boo! brand was out there. Do we have a twenty-ten taste for their cunning cosmic clutter on our musical palates? Chris points out that in punk, five years is a generation. “I’m keen to see if screaming like a banshee, jumping like a monkey, and bashing the living hell out of a bass guitar still constitutes punk,” he ponders. Leon predicts the challenge will lie more in winning over a new generation of music lovers. A breed who are increasingly younger, wiser and more demanding of the new and the novel. Un-Googleable, catchy lead melodies and a frontman in a corset could still cut it. “Things have changed a lot, and – in certain terms – Boo! was ahead of its time, but that too has caught up and surpassed the independent notions and philosophies of Boo! Having a wardrobe change is not enough and the younger generation will see through this. They would have to come up with a serious strategy and commitment to make it work,” speculates Leon, now the MD of an international music booking agency. Annually, Chris Chameleon has about 180 gigs in five countries to attend as a solo performer, singing songs your granny might like. In 2009 he and Ampie Omo won a KKNK Kanna and an Innibos award for production. Not much free time for wild partying. Leon remembers some of the best. Touring with Zita Swoon in Holland in the early days, Boo! rushed from a show in Holland to a show in Belgium. They got lost and looped six times around Brussels’ inner-city circle and eventually played five encores to “the craziest bunch of people ever”. No doubt many Boo! fans have their own sordid tales. One psycho fan, known to the band only as ’Creature‘, was at nearly every gig. He brought the band ‘presents’ and a troupe of 20 friends every time, “many of whom became presents and left the gig with the band after the show…” And as for changes? “I think I might not work in a dress anymore,” muses Chameleon, “but I am big on alien androgyny and will definitely lean that way.” www.monkipunk.com
one small seed
MUSIC: AFRO PROG ROCK 92
HOMEBOYS TO ROLLING STONES South of the sun, rules yet unspoken are made to be broken and as JEZEBEL discovers, the indigenous, aptly dubbed BLK JKS are singlehandedly seducing the world by doing whatever they please. IMAGE:
image courtesy of just music
Like their botanical namesake, the BLK JKS (pronounced black jacks) are wild and sticky, and while Johannesburg is their home, they like to take their talents travelling. First stop: New York; next step, the world by tour.
On the topic of being South African poster boys, Mpumelelo is mildly amused. “Well, somehow by default we’ve found ourselves to be representatives. We don’t feel we are, but others − the more politicised – say we represent South Africa, or Africa.”
Run traditional African music genres through stock rock standards, take out the vowels and replace them with the names ‘Molefi Makananise’ (bass), ‘Lindani Themba Buthelezi’ (lead guitar and vocals), ‘Mpumelelo Mcata’ (rhythm guitar) and ‘Tshepang Ramoba’ (drums), and you have a sonic, global mix-and-match − they’re from South Africa, based in the States and now signed to credible, American indie record label Secretly Canadian Records. Even if you aren’t confused by their worldwide wanderings, the kings of calamitous compositions and calm fusion are notorious for a dense and riotous, delicate and ruminating mishmash of afro-jazz-prog rock that’s hard to describe and harder to place.
So why the move? “Someone once told us that we were gonna starve if we stayed here,” explains Molefi. A few years ago when we first interviewed BLK JKS (in Issue 02 of one small seed), they had around 200 hits on their MySpace page. “We’re still struggling,” said Linda at the time, “and we don’t know about any buzz around us.” Four years later, they have almost 300 000 profile views and a major international following.
We chatted to two of the homemade hopefuls − Molefi and Mpumelelo − between sets, and asked Mpumelelo why everyone struggles to describe them. “We don’t really try to do anything. We do us,” explains Mpumelelo. “We do ourselves. People will name things the way they want − to fit things neatly into a space. Those who’ve been to our live shows will see it’s a little more complex than that because we’re being honest and saying how we feel.” One of the obvious observations is the parallel between them and other black male music icons like Jimi Hendrix and Keziah Jones (Nigerian singer-songwriter-guitarist). Whether it’s the racially sensitive superiority complex of global media or the mere magic of musical talent obliterating perceived and projected social boundaries, outspoken men of colour mixing genres grabs attention. They’ve met Keziah, and Mpumelelo thinks “he’s pretty versatile. He’s doing his thing.” But Jimi sparks another thought on the issue of colour lines and song lines. “It goes without saying, when you talk about electric guitar you have to think about Hendrix. He set the precedent. We have to look at how relevant he was for his time and his space. Kids shouldn’t be thinking about redoing Hendrix’s style; he was breaking down barriers. It’s about looking around and feeling and seeing your own space honestly. And pushing upwards.” 92
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BLK JKS are not sold on the idea that their musical impact is entirely due to sensation, but Molefi admits, “You can’t deny all that coverage didn’t throw in a little something.” “The people who gravitate towards us gravitate towards the music,” adds Mpumelelo. “We’re open to what people have to say. We’re always looking forward to sharing, for the different reactions.” The bottom line? “I think it’s more the music we make.” For them, the best part of all these interviews is “just getting the word out. Being able to talk to more and more people.” “We’re very much into togetherness,” grins Mpumelelo. And together with The New York Times, the UK’s Guardian, our Mail & Guardian, Dazed & Confused and Rolling Stone (among others), the band have spread their message across the literate world and are currently on a global tour. Molefi gives an itinerary. “It’s gonna be an in-and-out situation. Our name is in New York, and SA is our home. We toured the States from September ‘til midOctober, coast to coast and did a little bit of Middle America. Then in late October ‘til November we do the UK and Europe. January 2010 is Australia. February to March 2010 is Asia.” So they’ll be back? “Ya,” promises Mpumelelo, “to regain the strands. Home is home. Home is where the party’s at.” www.blkjks.com
Black Jocks, Blek Jeks â€“ say it any way you like, the men in the BLK JKS are spelling out the future in global sound.
Five-Two 3 is the latest concept range to be developed by iconic lifestyle brand, adidas Originals. This new collection combines five contemporary style staples with five global lifestyle brands. Drawing inspiration from a compelling range of creative sources, from art and music to history, the natural world and urban living, each innovative concept is brought to life. The result is five invigorated footwear silhouettes: the Superstar, Stan Smith, Samba, Nizza and Forum. Introducing the five new members of the Originals pack, the all-new Five-Two 3.
First up is the legendary Superstar, which has converged with LA-based clothing store and line, X-Large. The street-savvy brand has breathed a Generation X-inspired vitality into adidas’s iconic forty-year-old basketball shoe. Created in 1969 by Adi Dassler himself, the Superstar was worn by three-quarters of all NBA players within its first ten years on the market. X-Large, known for its vibrant streetwear and edgy attitude, adds an electric touch to this classic silhouette with thick, alternating sections of lime green, purple, pink and blue faux snakeskin, broken up by the trademark 3-stripes in black suede and ‘X-Large’ in bold, white lettering. Both the heel tab and tongue display the two brands’ icons. With no less than six sets of candy-coloured laces available, all emblazoned with the ‘Getting no respect since ‘91’ slogan, this sports shoe is versatile enough to be worn both on the court and on the sidewalk. one small seed
Next up is the Stan Smith all-leather tennis shoe. Also created in 1969, it was originally endorsed by French tennis star Robert Haillet. Six years on and American tennis player Stan Smith’s career took off and the shoe was renamed after this tennis great. Maharishi, a strongly eco-conscious and technologically advanced UK label, brings a ‘decommissioned’ army influence to the silhouette, trading in the traditional leather body for sky-blue canvas. A subtle contrast is introduced with white stitching and a red top eyelet. Maharishi’s dragon emblem is embroidered on the tongue, and its logo applied on the heel, just below the adidas logo. A special ‘XV mahadidas’ sockliner completes this unique meeting of minds.
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The Five-Two 3 concept sees the distinctive Samba football-training shoe rejuvenated by Italian designer brand Stone Island, a label that is particularly popular among football fans in the UK. Stone Island brings its specialised colour research and design expertise to bear in this refreshed adidas classic. The first football-training shoe developed for frozen pitches, the Samba became the dominant sportswear choice for indoor football and is arguably one of the most recognisable football silhouettes in the world. The collaboration with Stone Island sees the brand defy convention and clothe this silhouette in its characteristic â€˜Raso Gommatoâ€™ technical fabric from the Stone Island archive. After several rounds of dyeing and colour corrosion, the stormgrey look, with serrated 3-Stripes detail, is complete. Asymmetrical zips replace laces, to reveal a tongue branded with the iconic logos of both adidas and Stone Island. Influential and significant, this training shoe is a favourite among footballers across the world.
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A second basketball shoe in the Five-Two 3 collection comes from YOSHIDA & CO. This well respected Japanese luggage company developed PORTER as a private label, on the basis that diligent porters the world over handle and know more about luggage and cases than anyone else. Together with adidas, this epoch-making label has unleashed a new-look Nizza Hi. This old-school 1970s basketball shoe trades in its regular canvas for black padded nylon and orange lining, giving a crisp, punk edge to Nizzaâ€™s simple panelling. The baggage theme is carried through to the finest detail, such as the original metal zipper that runs the length of the shoeâ€™s heel. The tonal 3-Stripes define the shoe as an adidas original. The logos of both PORTER and adidas are highlighted on the tongue, giving this exquisite representation of both brands a stamp of authenticity. Functionality and quality doesnâ€™t come any better.
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Completing the Five-Two 3 collection is the Forum, the result of the collaboration between the revolutionary Forum basketball shoe and New York’s premier underground clothier, creative collective Nom De Guerre. The collective’s ideas of fraternity and sublimation of individual identity to operate within a whole are made palpable in all of their projects. In this collaboration, military themes are brought to bear as the Forum is envisioned as a United States Military jungle boot look-alike. The silhouette’s hardwearing ankle strap and heel support designed for rough landings are built upon to reference military life. The result is a versatile new shoe ready to withstand any extreme conditions, from pumping nightclubs to rocky mountainsides.
With footwear that reflects not only adidas’s diversity, but the range and strength of the collaborators, the Five-Two 3 collection sees original new takes on classic silhouettes. Inspiring and fashionable, this innovative range from adidas elevates traditionally sports-orientated footwear into a whole new creative realm, giving Five-Two 3 a superior edge in design innovation. * The adidas Five-Two 3 collections will be available at adidas Originals stores (V&A Waterfront and Melrose Arch) and other leading fashion stores.
one small seed
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS by JON MONSOON (JM), Yusuf Laher (YL), WORDY ROCK GUY (WRG), Jezebel (JZ)
CD REVIEWS Kidofdoom
My Faith in War www.kidofdoom.co.za
The Resistance www.muse.mu
In spite of frontman Matthew Bellamy’s mistrusting Orwellian stance and his distaste for planet earth amid a theme of climactic disillusionment, he hasn’t given up hope just yet. “Love is our resistance,” he imparts in track two of the Devonian trio’s fifth studio album that – for Muse – starts off unexpectedly light and centred. ‘Undisclosed Desires’ is the most un-Muse-like song on the album, channelling Depeche Mode and trading drums and guitar for synths and programming. The monumental ‘United States of Eurasia’ is an over-the-top blend of Queen, the Middle East and European classical music, exemplifying Bellamy’s take on war and corruption. His rearrangements of Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 and Camille Saint-Saëns’s aria ‘Mon Cœur s’Ouvre à Ta Voix’ and the weighty tripletrack symphony of ‘Exogenesis’ show off Bellamy’s spacey, eccentric genius. The Resistance is overblown and theatrical, and decidedly one of Muse’s most focussed and deliberate albums to date. (YL)
Armed with a selection of new gizmos and sonic reinforcements, kidofdoom have taken “deep space champion pop” into Dimension X. On MFIW, the Pretorian instru-mentalists have popped a handful of red pills (each) and dropped so far down the rabbit hole that they may never return. Described as a “60-minute soundscape of the band’s interpretation of the apocalypse and the hope of life thereafter,” kidofdoom’s second full-length is difficult to digest at first, but later on it all starts to make sense. The weighty atmospherics and dark moods sink in, the spaces open up, and things become a bit more playful. Kidofdoom have expanded their universe. The songs are epic, darker and more developed. And, as always, hard-hitting drummer Johan Auriacombe is the lynchpin. Despite its many layers, collaborators and the mixed recording and production process, MFIW is a surprisingly cohesive voyage of (deep space) discovery. (YL)
Mean Everything to Nothing www.themanchesterorchestra.com
After Robots www.blkjks.com
After Robots’ sublime mix of contained calamity and textured mellowness redefines our understanding of roots-inspired rock fusion. Its embrace of diversity and insistence on synergy also makes this album the creative embodiment of our national constitution. It’s a melodic merger – blending generations of genres and layering indigenous effects. Everyone is having fun calling BLK JKS the ‘ambassadors of the future sound of Africa’, but theirs seems a much wider worldview, one that moves to the beat of the old, the new and the unknown, and instils its own exodus within every song. Expect dreamy, almost androgynous vocals, tetchy guitar, swirls of piano and intelligently syncopated, integrated percussion. Give it a chance, and the four guys who founded its unchristened sound will decorate your summer sky singing in tongues. If you don’t ‘get’ this album the first time round, take your time; it’s worth getting to know. (JZ) 100
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There’s an awkwardness about Manchester Orchestra that sticks to the roof of your brain. The kind of quivering, forcedto-scream-about-it indie rock realism that’s impossible to fake; think Sounds Like Violence, Fake Problems and a shyer, nerdier-sounding Jack White. Buried beneath their snarling, snot-nosed Southern twang lurks an elegant, atmospheric sophistication. It’s an intoxicating combination: raw and refined. In short, Atlanta, Georgia’s Manchester Orchestra are genuine art fags. Indie rockers without all the disco hihats and ’wah-ow-uh-ows’. Mean Everything to Nothing, their second official full-length, straddles the line between contained (in the garage) Eels and Weezer lullabies from suburbia and all-out, window-shattering Nirvana-esque rock. And vocalist Andy Hull’s son-of-a-preacher-man inner turmoil with faith and a Christian upbringing adds even more delicious angst to the brew. It’s sentimental and emotional, but it’s uncontained, unafraid to wail and unconcerned with cardboard box radio singles. (YL)
brought to you by musica megastore ¦ www. musica.co.za
Florence and the Machine Lungs
Live at Brixton Academy www.pendulum.com
Pendulum play the kind of drum ‘n bass that starts fights: Depeche Mode meets Linkin Park and The Prodigy for a brawl. You could be driving home from your grandma’s funeral, pop a tyre and run out of petrol, and you’d still stand around, fist punching the air as you wait for the AA to arrive. Including a live DVD was a smart move, because this Australian group uses real instruments to put on a proper electro-rock show. You have to be really into repetitive drum ‘n bass to appreciate them the same way with your eyes closed. Personally, I’d prefer more style and some vocals with feeling (or none at all), instead of endless “Bring the chaos!” and “Make some noise!” refrains. Fans, however, will appreciate the generous tracklist, energetic live show, extras and the Metallica/Prodigy covers (that really seem to get the crowd going). (YL)
Londoner Florence Welch is as cute as a button sewn over an eye. She’s beautiful like a haunted house, innocent and sweet like a nutcase clutching a pair of blood-stained scissors and the kind of girl you’d sleep next to with one eye open. Lungs, her astonishing debut with The Machine, mood-swings from haunting soul to murderous indie rock to menacingly playful pop and outright thirsting-for-revenge mantra music. The hype started in 2006 under the name Florence Robot is a Machine. She let loose a string of singles in 2008, followed by the EP A Lot of Love. A Lot of Blood in early 2009. So, by the time the album was released, critics’ knives were out, sharpened and ready to dissect. But Lungs digs even deeper than the straightforward-by-comparison earlier singles. Like a spellbinding curse, it has an eerie, demented sincerity. (YL)
Exploded Views www.newhollandband.co.za
Shaka Rock www.jettheband.com
Anyone hoping to find a comeback to the Ozzie rockers’ panty-wetter that was 2003’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ might be sorely disappointed to discover an entire third album of songs that sound like something someone else once did, only better. Not that they’ve reached the end of the ideas runway quite so much as tried to reinvent the wing; songs like album-opener ‘K.I.A (Killed In Action)’ could be the best song The Killers never wrote, while the reggae (gasp!) inspired ‘Beat On Repeat’ makes you want to do just that (with a large hammer in hand). By track seven, ‘Goodbye Hollywood’, you kinda think maybe the band wanted to try something different – namely borrow ideas from bands like AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and The Stones. If you’re gonna rock the halls, you better have the balls. And what’s with the album name? You’re not from Durban, dudes. (WRG)
With Exploded Views, Cape Town’s torch bearers for happygo-lucky indie pop grooves overcome that difficult secondalbum stigma with seemingly gleeful ease, either completely unaware of any expectations placed upon them or simply too gosh-darn busy having a swell time to care a twit what critics or anyone else may think. Good on them too, who cares! So long as it sounds good (production is seamless and gilded, with Neil Snyman on production credits), looks good (dig that trippy space-themed artwork chaps! And a separate CD cover for each song is inspired genius – though half of the covers flew under the car-seat the first time I listened to the CD. Messy!), and doesn’t make you want to kill your neighbour by track five. Track eight made me want to love my neighbour. And she isn’t easily loved. Dear New Holland, the restraining order was really worth it! (JM)
adriaan louw one small seed
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS by JON MONSOON (JM), Yusuf Laher (YL), WORDY ROCK GUY (WRG), Jezebel (JZ)
CD REVIEWS Guy Buttery
Fox Hill Lane
Growing up, I was fed hand-to-mouth on Yankee and Pommy folk heroes from a time when flowers were still powerful and so know well the simply splendid strings of Steve Newman et al. I would warn you that this (album) is an aural unfolding that doesn’t quite have a map. But then, true travellers throw theirs away, don’t they? Far from being monotonous, its building chords and fine fingering boast classical, blues and Maskandi elements. It includes colourful collaborations with accomplished icons Tony Cox, Nibs van der Spuy, Syd Kitchen and one or two musicians in a class of their own, like Madala Kunene and Ronan Skillen. A truly wild album, in a summery-KZN-hills-and-dales kind of way. In his own words it’s a “strange brand of guitar kak”. Those not attuned to rambling acoustic guitar solos and fusion sounds will probably agree. (JZ)
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix www.wearephoenix.com
These French pop stars have been making music and touring continents for almost a decade. But this year, launching their fourth studio album, Phoenix secured a place in the international pop cultural subconscious with a veritable clean sweep of late-night US talk show appearances, an ad deal with Cadillac and a number of film and TV soundtrack and trailer performances. To quote Brüno Gehard, they’re “so hot right now”. Raised on the same cheese-and-wine background as fellow Versailles locals Air and Daft Punk there’s a gentle synth-pop dynamic to Phoenix’s up-tempo, surprisingly atmospheric and nostalgia-inducing take on indie pop. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sounds like fresh air. It’s playful, sultry and retro while being timeless, emotional and distinctly Euro. It’s deeply considered without even a wasted second. Proof that you can write mainstream, hookheavy, pop music with soul and feeling. (YL)
Fruitbats & Crows www.farrylpurkiss.co.za
Mix n Blend
Look Mom, No Hands www.mixnblend.com
Woo-Hah. And I am not often moved to say that about a CD, but I’ll say it again: Woo-Hah. Cape Town’s beloved mixmaestro Muppets, Mix n Blend, finally get their shit together, put down the surfboards, hang up the headphones and come in off the dancefloor long enough to slap together an album of beats most delectable; and it is good. Not content to hog all the glory, they flung open their humble bedroom studio doors to let the love out and hauled in the sublime talents of both lesser and more well-known names on the local underground: names such as 340ml’s own Pedro, Bakaman, EJ von Lyric (Godessa), Farrell Adams, Ross Dabone & Lee Thomson (The Rudimentals), DJ Fletcher (African Dope) and Sindy Dondolo, to mention but a few. The results are startling and by the time it’s all over you cannot help but reach for another rollie and hit play once more. (JM) 102
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South Africa’s favourite crowd-pleaser and master of the chilled groove returns from lands afar with an album motivated by, among other oddities, the creatures of the Australian outback. It’s an accomplished body of work that is there for the times when the noises inside your head (real or imagined) become too much and you find yourself longing for something that offers quietude and soulsoothing freshness. Yep, if that sounds lame, you‘d have to try it to feel its magic work. If ‘magic’ sounds like too strong a word, then this album probably isn’t for you, so turn away right now and forget you ever read these words. If you’re still reading, then I shan’t try selling you on the merits of good music any further. Go and discover this album for yourself and then let me know if you’re disappointed. (JM)
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY KELLY BEROLD
dvd REVIEWS The Boat That Rocked (2009)
Directed by: Richard Curtis Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Tom Sturridge, Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd Category: Ensemble Comedy
It’s refreshing to see Richard Curtis steering away from the romcom genre and using his strengths as an ensemble director for the good of rock ‘n roll. The Boat That Rocked (retitled Pirate Radio for US release) stems from that nostalgic Almost Famous frame yet opts for a more stylised, glitzy approach. It doesn’t tick all the boxes of a great arthouse film: it’s somewhat contrived, a little too long and favours caricatures over characters, while sex and drugs are curiously absent despite being talked about ad nauseam. Though trimming off the excess storylines and subplots would have made it tighter, the film is so unselfconscious that it makes it all the more likeable. It’s Curtis’s mixtape for the sixties era: an escapist, jumbled and irreverent ode to rock rebellion and good, clean hedonism. It’ll make music lovers smile.
I’ve Loved You So Long
Directed by: Philippe Claudel Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein Category: French Arthouse Film
The brothers bloom (2009)
Directed by: Rian Johnson Starring: Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rinko Kikuchi Category: Caper Comedy
Given its particular breed of quirkiness, you’d expect the name behind The Brothers Bloom to be more along the lines of Wes Anderson and not the rookie director of neo-noir indie film Brick. The Brothers Bloom is a caper film about two brothers and partners-in-crime (Ruffalo and Brody) who live a life of successful conning before they cross paths with the infectiously charming, albeit ditzy, Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz). I have a feeling that this was a winner of a script, unique and slick in its conception, but somehow it fails to translate effectively. While Weisz and Brody wallow in the richness of their characters, Mark Ruffalo and Rinko Kikuchi are mere narrative accessories, not to mention horribly miscast (you’d think they could have saved a few million hiring a lesser-known actor with more personality). The film is visually stunning but muddled, with too many twists spoiling an otherwise enjoyable broth. 104
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Due to the unfortunate nature of literal translation, I’ve Loved You So Long sounds more like the title of a bad Danielle Steel novel rather than the masterful and fragile human drama that is Claudel’s directorial debut. The film opens on a closeup of Juliette (Kristen Scott Thomas) – lacklustre, sullen and soulless – the face of a woman released after a 15-year prison stint and sent, somewhat reluctantly, to live with her estranged sister and her family. Claudel withholds much of Juliette’s past from the audience, juggling suspense and pace in such a way that makes the film engaging as well as disconcerting. It’s an observant, uneasy portrait of broken ties and social rehabilitation. A stunning cast of unknowns and strong acting from Scott Thomas who, in all her bereavement and fluent French, astounds.
Directed by: Fernando Meirelles Starring: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover, Alice Braga Category: Apocalyptic Melodrama
The premise is awesome: society is ravaged by a pandemic of inexplicable blindness that infects all but one, and the world quickly descends into a chaotic dystopia where humanity and morality quickly fester. Based on the 1995 José Saramago novel, Ensaio Sobre a Cegueira, it was adapted for the screen by acclaimed City of God director, Fernando Meirelles. The flm is captivating for the first 30 minutes or so, before it unravels into a messy, contrived and pretentious attempt at artiness with an unwavering disregard for realism and disappointingly weak performances (particularly from Julianne Moore). The plot’s nihilistic thread overextends itself to the point that the film itself bears no real meaning. Visually beautiful at times, but you’ll be too emotionally drained to care.
Directed by: Julian Schnabel Starring: Lou Reed, Fernando Saunders, Sharon Jones, Antony Hegarty Category: Live Music Concert
The Baader-Meinhof Complex (2008)
Directed by: Uli Edel Starring: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek Category: Political Drama
The Baader-Meinhof Complex starts off on a communal nude beach populated by happy little left-wing Germans frolicking around in a mist of idyllic reverie. The rest of the film, by contrast, documents the volatile trajectory of left-wing terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, better known as the Baader Meinhof Gang. Director Uli Edel successfully avoids the tempting glamorisation of this outlaw narrative by keeping it earthy, raw and historically in sync. There are many noteworthy performances, particularly from Johanna Wokalek (Gudrun Ensslin) who, like an Aryan Eva Green with her high cheekbones and dark allure, woos young outcasts, homeless and love-drunk on communist romanticism. Bar the length, it remains a gripping, brutal and thought-provoking comment on romantic rebellion and European anxiety during the seventies.
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding Lou Reed’s third solo album, Berlin. Deemed a commercial and critical flop at the time of its release in 1973, Reed shelved the dark album for 30 years before agreeing to play it live in 2006 for director Julian Schnabel. The result is an intimate concert film (also known as Lou Reed’s Berlin and Berlin: Live at St Ann’s Warehouse) of unaffected, straightforward performances from a leathery old Lou and his band, while a projector flashes old video footage against the background to give the illusion of extra emotional weight. Berlin is an album with a lot of behind-the-scenes baggage that bears deeper scrutiny, so I was disappointed that there were no cutaways or interviews explaining all the secrecy. Don’t see it if you are not interested in Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground, but for die-hard fans it’s worth the watch.
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DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY JESSICA MANIM
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now showing SOUTH BEACH Since Issue 13 of one small seed, we’ve taken you behind the scenes on our shoots, exposing you to a world that very few have seen before. For Issue 17 we created a left-of-centre swimwear spread set on the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town, where the clear skies and sweltering sun set the scene as we played on conventional summer fare. It’s all neon Speedos, oversized sunglasses and small dogs. Check out the shoot on pages 37-43 and then see the footage on one small seed tv, brought to you by Jameson.
Discotheque Couture: Wild Young Things Our Wild Feature’s fashion spread, ‘Discotheque Couture: Wild Young Things’ (page 64-67), is the work of Milfred du Toit, a radical creative force who recently returned to South African shores after years working the European fashion circuit. The one small seed tv crew were allowed behind the scenes on his exclusive shoot that’s all sexy women, slinky dresses and overflowing champagne. We are proud to present you with all the footage, as well as an interview with the suave and styling man himself, only on www.onesmallseed.tv, brought to you by Jameson.
ROCKING THE DAISIES From 9-11 October 2009, thousands of music fans flocked to the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling. The reason? To party hard with some of the country’s biggest names in music and comedy at Rocking the Daisies, South Africa’s only eco-friendly festival. Split into three parts, this series rocks out in the sweltering days and keeps things pumping all through the frosty night. Turn up the volume and watch live footage of your favourite bands, before listening in to backstage interviews. Brought to you by Jameson, only at www.onesmallseed.tv.
PUMA: RUDOLF DASSLER PRESENTS MUSIC MACHINE Puma recently hosted the event ‘Rudolf Dassler Presents Music Machine’ on 30 October 2009, mixing fashion and music in an unprecedented form at Whatiftheworld and The Albert Hall in Woodstock, Cape Town. Puma celebrated the Rudolf Dassler Brand, a revolutionary label in their collection, with some of SA’s hottest music acts (including P.H.Fat and Richard the Third) and all of Cape Town’s fashionista-vanguard. Although it is a heritage label, Puma gives it a firmly modern twist, reinforcing the brand’s strong ties to music. Go to www.onesmallseed.tv to see the exclusive footage of the event. one small seed
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DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY HEADLINE payoff
THE LAST WORD
WILDE IS WILD. “Wild, crazy, animals, bright colours. Let your imagination frolic away.” This was our brief for this column. Right, now let’s be honest, not so much to work with there, innit? What makes this even harder is the fact that my usual partner in criminal activity, Pool White (Mr.), is away on holiday. No worries, though. Please meet Miss Fanny McGina – foul mouthed, awesome breasted, beer guzzling and all-round queen of Cape Town. So let’s dive right in and be extremely original by going for our favourite archetypal Urban Dictionary definition:
Wild -Adj. 1. 2. 3. 4. 4.
To have a bad case of rabies. To be full of fail. To be a wannabe hardcore wrestler in an e-fed. To be a total loser. “Dude, what is with you man? Don’t you get that girl is not into you? You’re totally being wild man.”
Our hetero favourite was: 5. Overtly homosexual, flagrant expression of homosexuality. “Elton John is very wild.” While Elton John is very wild, although perhaps not as wild as George Michael, he still does not jerk our wild chain entirely hard enough. If we look back (‘cause we should with George and Elton in the mix), the wildest of wilds has to be Oscar Wilde – a witty man that pissed off some, inspired others and managed to have a statue of himself erected in Dublin’s Merrion Square Park. The statue has been lovingly dubbed by locals, ‘The Fag on the Crag’. So, even though we firmly feel he has the worst surname ever and should be punched in the face and eaten by feral ducks, we can’t help but remember the importance of being earnest about him. (Funnily enough, Oscar and George have a lot in common. Both of them went to jail for cocking around with other men. WooHaaaah! Now we’re talking wild!)
Now, where were we? Colour. Indeed, colour can be very wild. “What is this bright colour? Oh my goodness, you look so stunningly wild in it!” Not quite. Sorry to burst your neon bubble. We thought the Urban Dic had summed it up nicely for you. But we’ll repeat: 6. To be a total brightly coloured loser. (Okay, so we added the brightly coloured bit, but you catch our gist.) Crazy is on a whole new level though. Using Internet Explorer 6 – now that is crazy. Seriously, do you even understand how difficult it is to work in this whole Web 2.0 palaver and still have to look after your wild dinosaurs? It’s like milking a giraffe with a bad case of rabies. It’s insane! On the topic of animals, yes, they are indeed wild. But only because we humans see ourselves as timid. We’ve seen many a human trying to act like an animal. We see it all the time actually. But taking a leak against a lamppost does not make you untamed, Dear Sir. Telling your boyfriend you enjoy group sex, on the other hand, is another story completely. (Fanny agrees with this statement by way of a self-assured nod.) So, I think we can assuredly deduct from our thorough and complicated deconstruction of ‘wild’, and the act of being said term, that it’s safe to say that Oscar was indeed the main man. The big peanut. He is the lion and your neon sunglasses the wildebeest. He is Firefox 12 million and you’re Internet Explorer .0001. He is Elton John and you are Will Young. Sorry, Son. Yours in wilde-ness, Rudi Cronje and Fanny McGina. HEADLINE payoff
one small seed
The South African Pop Culture Magazine.