ISSUE 20 founder ¦ editor-in-chief giuseppe russo
advertising & sales michael littlefield ¦ firstname.lastname@example.org
editor sarah jayne fell
traffic manager hailey jade koch
designer katrien scott
interns caitlin bracken, tamara arden
music editor jon monsoon
south african distribution ezweni distribution
fashion editor giuseppe russo
distribution assistant (durban) rachel basckin
assistant copy editor sarah claire picton
international distribution pineapple media ¦ www.pineapple-media.com
cover 01 ‘banana republican’ | artist trevor paul @ firebrand design| collage with hand drawn elements |thanks to linden.g for the insect photos | www.onesmallseed.net/profile/trevorpaul cover 02 ‘one small seed hatched’| artist sj van zyl @ pixelicious design & photography studio, fourways | photography and editing sj van zyl | one small seed logo creature created by derek ballantyne | www.onesmallseed.net/profile/sjvanzyl cover 03 ‘clown’ photography & styling anya kovacs | makeup genevieve eyre | model genevieve joubert | www.onesmallseed.net/profile/anyakovacs inside cover ‘birthday’ photography kevin goss-ross and xavier boris vahed | styling & art direction kevin goss-ross and xavier boris vahed | model kim smith | www.onesmallseed.net/profile/kevin | www.onesmallseed.net/profile/xavierborisvahed editorial contributors sarah jayne fell, jon monsoon, yusuf laher, sarah claire picton, genna gardini, batandwa alperstein, daniel friedman, andrei van wyk, meg de jong, tamlyn grey, adrian davies, rudi cronje & paul white as headline payoff, max barashenkov, simon hartley, tamara arden, annelee joubert photographers fabrizio rainone, sam norval, kope/figgins, ian engelbrecht, adriaan louw, kevin goss-ross, xavier boris vaher, sivan miller, anya kovacs, tom beard, sian kate lloyd, sean laurentz, josh sternlicht, jared smith, taheer mullins, samantha christy, ryan roake, yusuf laher, sarah jayne fell guest illustrator
shaun gardner (hello nasty)
special thanks shaun blompkamp @ one small seed productions, pietro russo, jimmy strats, jenny ehlers & ryan mcarthur @ kingjames rsvp, kingjames group, howard simms @ hammer live, bruce wright @ mnemonic, henda scott, rowan larkin, shaun gardner, blaise janichon & pierre coetzee @ the assembly, mandima qunta, juan martin lahore, tamara arden, hailey koch, aiden david hadfield photography, a store, nick herbert @ shelflife, karl anderson @ just music, greg donnelly @ sheer sound, melissa williams @ revolution, jacana media for all the books, and vida e caffè for all the coffee! editorial address: wembley square north, 3rd floor, mckenzie street, gardens, cape town tel: +27 (0) 21 461 6973 ¦ fax: +27 (0) 86 545 0371 email: email@example.com subscription I back issue enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org ¦ www.onesmallseed/subscriptions2.htm publisher designed04 ©2010 ¦ september/october/november issue
The small print: No responsibility can be taken for the quality and accuracy of the reproductions, as this is dependent on the quality of the material supplied. No responsibility can be taken for typographical errors. The publishers reserve the right to refuse and edit material. All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. No responsibility will be taken for any decision made by the reader as a result of such opinions. Copyright one small seed South Africa. All rights reserved. Both the name ‘one small seed’ and are copyright protected. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written consent from the publisher. one small seed does not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. This is a quarterly publication. ISSN 977 181 6896 033.
EDITOR’S letter “Phone Adriaan about Haezer pics, follow up on Puma shoot, cover competition, research ‘Did You Know’, choose the paper, add international price to the cover, phone the ANC...” Huh?! Well, that was the start of my to-do list in mid-July, that’ll give you some idea of what one small seed’s been up to these last few months! This edition, being our fifth anniversary issue, has had a lot of pressure since its very conception to be, well, just completely awesome. Our meetings were mayhem. Let’s have a cover competition! Let’s have not one but five different winners. No four, or two, or just one... The theme will be Celebrate! So let’s have a DVD, a party, some kind of music collaboration. Make the cover look like a present. No – too cliché. Okay, a hard cover, with extra-glossy paper. And inside, too... Hey, now we’re talking! I’m always amazed how it all comes together. Our inhouse team constantly has far too much to do, but somehow we make magic happen. While this is my second edition with the official label of editor, I’ve been with one small seed two years now, so I’ve watched the magazine grow, just as I’ve seen our team do the same. I think Giuseppe will agree that we now have one of the strongest teams one small seed has seen to date. The point? The magazine reflects this. It’s a very human creation, and it’s hard not to put whole chunks of ourselves into the magazine, in the form of our ideas, passions, and pure aesthetic tastes. But also, the fact is we’ve achieved almost all of what was on those lists above – and, undoubtedly, it’s due to our enthusiastic and dedicated team. So, as a tribute to our superhuman team of ten, this is now the final list of what you can expect this issue: We held a cover competition to give our network members (of www.onesmallseed.net) a chance to create a one small seed cover, and eventually, we went with the best three winning images to say thanks for all the fantastic contributions – to this competition and to the site in general. The traffic and the quality of work on the site have skyrocketed, and it’s been so rewarding for us to witness. We’ve changed the paper to glossy, made the cover extra-gloss, and made this edition a collector’s item hard cover. With multiple cover options – in case you want to buy them all! We have a free DVD – one small seed TV DVD, volume one – filled with some of the most entertaining videos from one small seed TV. We’ve had to leave off all the PG-rated stuff, unfortunately, so be sure to go to www.onesmallseed.tv for more!
The music collaboration... is in its humble beginnings, but we’ve set something up with the notorious independent label African Dope Records. They’ll be giving us exclusive tracks to make available for download on www.onesmallseed.net (starting with Jam Jar in September – but you’ll read all about that later in our extended feature on South African electronic music). The future promises even more exciting event collaborations with African Dope, but for now that’s still a secret. Shhh! The parties... well, we don’t have a name or a date, but something’s on track, so sign up to our newsletter on www.onesmallseed. com to be sure you don’t miss out. We will be involved in the Loeries’ Creative Week Cape Town as well, hosting some hybrid exhibition-DJ events, so keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on your inbox! The international price you see on the cover is there because, yes, one small seed is now available for sale internationally, throughout the USA and the UK, as well as in Germany, Cyprus, Auckland, Hong Kong, Taipei, Montreal and Brazil (so far). Now, you’re wondering why on earth I had to phone the ANC, aren’t you? Sorry, I’m out of wordcount! You’re going to have to read on and figure it out for yourself! Sarah Jayne Fell editor Congratulations to the team for a great magazine. We hope you all enjoy our 5th anniversary edition! Giuseppe Russo founder | editor-in-chief
26 PROFILE: LINN OLOFSDOTTER
34 PROFILE: ALEXANDFELIX
46 PROFILE: THE LOERIES & CREATIVE WEEK CT
82 FASHION: PORTOBELLA
96 MUSIC: LEON BOTHA AKA DJ SOLARIZE
40 FEATURE: CAMERON PLATTER
88 FASHION: PUMA ARCHIVE FOOTWEAR COLLECTION
64 PROFILE: MARCHAND
52 FEATURE: THE PLASTICS vs CAPTAIN STU
94 FASHION: MPUMALANGA FASHION WEEK
98 MUSIC: BAND OF SKULLS
100 MUSIC: TREE HOUSES ON THE SEA
56 FEATURE: DBN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE: SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
SA MIXED-MEDIA ARTIST
SWISS ARTIST DUO
ALEXANDFELIX: 13 QUEENS
SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
Mixed-media artist Cameron Platter contemplates transvestite killer zebras from outer space, and other stories. Peer in to discover a sense of humour so dark it’s almost antimatter!
THE LOERIES AND CREATIVE WEEK CAPE TOWN
Welcome to our extended feature on South Africa’s electronic music scene. We identify key movements, genres and people, while giving you a crash course on its jargon.
SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
EDITORIAL SOUTH AFRICAN CREATIVE EVENT
AND THE BEAT GOES ON
Introducing the celebrate issue, and here’s telling you why. Plus the randomest randoms about what you didn’t know about what you didn’t know you didn’t know.
HAEZER: 70 RENEGADE OF ELECTRO ANARCHY Cape Town electro DJ Haezer mixes most of his own tracks, tearing up dancefloors one slutty bassline at a time!
SOUTH AFRICAN ILLUSTRATOR
MARCHAND & HIS HORROR-COMEDY CIRCUS
THE PLASTICS VS CAPTAIN STU
We challenge two bands to a budget clothing dress-off!
CELEBRATING SOUTH AFRICAN STORIES 82
PUMA ARCHIVE FOOTWEAR COLLECTION
THE CLYDE REINVENTED
The Durban International Film Festival has a phenomenal impact on South Africa’s film industry. We look at some of this year’s key characters, whose stories tell uniquely South African tales
We chat to Durban writer-director of the cellphoneshot Palace of Bone about her films, her phones and her addictions.
DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
MÉLODIE ABAD: GREEN CARDED SOUTHAMPTON GARAGE ROCK
SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
JAM JAR: SOME OTHER KIND OF SHIT
It can be dubstep, sometimes its kwaito and in moments it’s big beat: glitch-rap duo Jam Jar are MC Bakaman and DJ-producer Soundproof, together creating some dirty syncopated love.
Another feature on the festival is Cape Town film Visa/Vie. We talk to its lead actress, Swiss/French star Mélodie Abad, about shopping for husbands with a European visa.
BARRIER-BREAKING DURBAN HIP-HOP
T.H.O.T.S: TREE HOUSES ON THE SEA
SYD KITCHEN: FOOL IN A BUBBLE 60 South African folk singer and poet Syd Kitchen is the stuff of legend: he stars in the documentary Fool in a Bubble that tells of his remarkable life parallel to his poignant music.
MYSTICAL DECK WIZARD
BAND OF SKULLS
SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
SASSQUATCH: FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE (TO INDIE ELECTRO) Pretoria-born indie electro DJ Sassquatch, aka Ben Rausch, tells us about the Johannesburg-Pretoria scene and how it rates on the global scale.
DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
LEON BOTHA AKA DJ SOLARIZE
CLAIRE ANGELIQUE: 58 IN LOVE WITH THE UNATTAINABLE
SOUTH AFRICAN FASHION WEEK
FAITHLESS: SAVING FAITH
SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
BISCOPE: DUBSTEP BROTHERS GONNA WORK IT OUT
Comprising the notorious Richard the Third and his younger brother, Twelv, these Jozi kids are making serious waves as one of the only SA acts to create original dubstep for live performance.
88 DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
MPUMALANGA FASHION WEEK
From the concrete jungle of Mitchell’s Plain to the sonic jungle of Fiction’s dancefloors, Niskerone is preparing his drum ’n bass beats for bigger things.
DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
SA ELECTRONIC MUSIC
NISKERONE: DRUM ’N BASS – IT CAME FROM THE JUNGLE
IN STORE BOOK REVIEWS SELECTED CREATIVES CD REVIEWS
PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE
11 16 18 103
DVD REVIEWS THE LAST WORD DIRECTORY SUBSCRIPTIONS
PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE
106 108 110 111
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY sarah jayne fell
ADIDAS PING PONG SUPERSKATE Finally – an obsession-taken-too far over a different brand of ball sport: table tennis! This new spin on the Superskate Mid is not only inspired by the sport (with side panels made from the same rubber on table-tennis rackets – in alternating red and blue) but they also come with their very own set of mini-rackets and ball. Another fun concept from adidas Originals, available at Shelflife and adidas Originals concept stores (Melrose Arch and V&A Waterfront). www.adidas.com
CASIO G-SHOCK CLASSIC available at Shelflife www.shelflife.co.za
ENJOI ‘BONER’ CAPE available from Revolution stores www.revolutiononline.co.za
SHELFLIFE SUPER PERMANENT MOP MARKER These graffiti markers are an original Shelflife product that come in a whole range of bright colours for decorating walls. Clever too – they have a set of stickers to paste over the label, saying: ‘ABC Bingo Pen: Safe For Kids! Washes off with Water! non-toxic, non-permanent, chalkbased’ – to keep you out of trouble. Not that we’re condoning any illegal behaviour, hell no! www.shelflife.co.za
IN STORE DIANA MINI LOMOGRAPHY FILM KIT Cult legend of the swinging sixties, the Diana camera is famous for its dreamy lo-fi images. New from Lomo, the mini Diana is the perfect lomo starter-kit. It allows you to shoot square format or half-frame pictures using standard 35 mm film, and comes complete with flash, a pack of plastic colour gels that give you the option to add shades of colour to your snaps, and a Diana plug-to-hotshoe adapter to use the flash on any standard hotshoe camera. Available from A Store. www.astoreisgood.com
PRADA ‘LINEA ROSSA’ SUNGLASSES Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Collection available from Luxottica (021 486 6100) www.prada.com
GIVE IT BAG We love the beautiful designer bags handmade from recycled materials by South African social entrepreneurs Give It Bag. They create all of their products using leftover packaging from bags of rice, salt, sugar, beans and other transported produce that’s made its way to SA from all corners of the world. The shoulder bag and laundry bag here are the latest items in their collection, available from their showroom in Canterbury Studios in Cape Town, or from dealers worldwide. www.give-it-bag.com
‘PATCHWORK’ NIKE DUNK HIGH These ladies’ Nike Dunk Highs in the new patchwork colourway are made from quilted squares of multicoloured fabric. They’re available from Shelflife. www.shelflife.co.za
AIAIAI ‘TRACKS’ HEADPHONES These on-ear headphones, inspired by the function and design of the old iconic walkman headphones, come from the Danish collective AIAIAI. They come in peach, black and cream. Available from A Store. www.astoreisgood.com
HALDANE MARTIN FURNITURE South African contemporary furniture designers Haldane Martin have created a quietly sophisticated range of around 30 unique pieces, all original in their design and locally produced. As seen in Cape Town’s swanky 15 on Orange Hotel, pictured here are the stainless-steel-and-feather Fiela Feather Light, the leather Songologo couch (available in one- or eight-seater) and the Zulu Mama Café Chair – all inspired by their African milieu. The furniture can be purchased online or through select interior design businesses and boutique retailers in South Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada and USA. www.haldanemartin.co.za
IN STORE FUHRER T-SHIRT Cape Town t-shirt company Fuhrer is the brainchild of our guest illustrator for this edition, Shaun Gardner, along with friends Jason de Villiers and Sean Metelerkamp (our cover photographer for issue 18). Their red and black graphic-novel-inspired designs are uncompromising and raw, underground yet accessible. Order yours directly from them, or pick one up at A Store. email@example.com | www.fuhrer.co.za
SHARPEST SPRAYER MINI-FIGURE SERIES available from Shelflife www.shelflife.co.za
DOLCE & GABBANA 2010 OPTICAL SUN COLLECTION available from Luxottica (021 486 6100) www.dolcegabbana.com
VERB SKATEBOARD DECK design by Kronk available from Revolution stores nationwide and online www.revolutiononline.co.za
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY SARAH JAYNE FELL (SF) & JON MONSOON (JM)
Soweto by Jodi Bieber, introduction by Niq Mhlongo Jacana Media (in association with the Goethe-Institut)
This photographic essay by South African photographer Jodi Bieber journeys into the shanty town of Soweto, covering 7000 kilometres to acquire the 100-plus shots for this extensive, medium-sized glossy volume. Jodi tells a new variation on the kind of tale of Soweto that’s been heard before. There’s a pointed positivity in the work, and an obvious attempt at conveying normalcy; she captures Sowetans of all ages and vocations, in all kinds of ‘everyday’ scenarios. Also, accompanying the photographs are essays in which Jodi recounts her fascinating experiences of Soweto and Sowetan author Niq Mhlongo relates her own colourful upbringing in “the heartbeat of South Africa”. In an attempt to break stereotypes of this infamous South African township, Jodi’s body of work is uplifting and celebratory – telling a tale that’s ultimately a human one. (SF)
Tangible: High Touch Visuals edited by R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, M. Hübner Gestalten
This large-scale picture book entertains the notion that humans have an innate urge to express ourselves in tangible forms, and the need to be inspired by things with a tangible, physical presence. “It’s all about vitality and validity, about reminding us of our human nature and that what we produce will remain human after all,” the preface tells. Amidst Tangible’s exploration of material, there’s a keen sense of humour at play in the work displayed in its pages – whether in everyday objects being replicated in surprising materials or existing in confusing contexts, in the form of bizarre sculpture and fashion, disarming street and land art, and much more. From kitsch to quirky to downright mindblowing, this weighty tome of design manifested in the three-dimensional will spend more time off your coffee table than on it. (SF)
Urban Interventions: Personal Projects in Public Spaces edited by R. Klanten & M. Hübner Gestalten
Another hefty hardback by Gestalten, Urban Interventions documents over 200 art projects by a new generation of urban creatives whose canvas of choice is their city. At the core of this practice is a quiet subversion of given norms, a creative rebellion and reappropriation of a controlled space – one while once being foremost a centre of business has increasingly gained import as a living space, and so is being redrafted by its inhabitants to ‘make it their own’. The creative endeavours depicted here also reflect a shift in contemporary art, partly towards 3D space in general, but particularly towards a comedic, theatrical understanding of public space. The examples shown range from street installations to flashmob-type performance art to truly ingenious ad campaigns – all of which reinvent the cityscape in the most delightfully imaginative ways possible. (SF)
*Aavailable at A Store and good book stores
The Boombox Project: The Machines, The Music, and The Urban Underground by Lyle Owerko, foreword by Spike Lee Abrams Image, New York
New York filmmaker-photographer Lyle Owerko is no stranger to our pages – or those of global pop culture. You may recall his Samburu tribe series featured in issue 12 of this magazine, his album cover for American Hi-Fi, or his career-turning photograph on Time magazine’s cover for their September 11 issue in 2001. In this 2010 collection, Lyle marries his passions for photography and music, documenting the life of the boombox through his own and others’ photographs and stories. Featuring portraits of vintage models of the walking boombox, documentary photographs of people who gave it life, and anecdotes from artists, journalists and others about their love affairs with this icon of the 1970s and ‘80s, this is a history book like no other. Another great touch: the spot illustrations by Cape Town collective One Horse Town. (SF)
Futuretainment by Mike Walsh Phaidon Press
This book makes for essential, inspiring reading for anyone involved in the fields of entertainment and advertising or with even a remote interest in consumer behaviour and the way modern technology shapes our future as a species, and vice versa. Utilising simple but effective visuals, author Mike Walsh (sought-after media commentator and trend analyst) demystifies past, current and future trends in human thinking as applicable to entertainment (with special emphasis on music, television, film and electronic media). In Walsh’s world, human behaviour is rapidly changing, driven primarily by the advances in interactive digital mediums. He examines the power of the global ‘Audience Network’ as the arbiters of cool, and the nail in the coffin of established television networks, media houses and major record labels. Embrace this book as gospel, and welcome to the future. (JM)
Pappa in Afrika by Anton Kannemeyer
Jacana Media (in association with Michael Stevenson and Jack Shainman Gallery)
The work of Anton Kannemeyer, aka Joe Dog of Bitterkomix fame, audaciously explores the Dark Continent, labouring to be as politically incorrect as he can! The irony, of course, is that in so doing, he emanates some of South Africa’s toughest socio-political commentary – with something to say about everyone from fearladen racist white folk to the corrupt new political elite. The joy of Kannemeyer is that he ventures where most do not dare, and every single artwork in this collection is a veritable conversation-stopper. Pappa in Afrika focuses on his more recent work, many drawing on the style of Hergé’s Tintin (from Kannemeyer’s 2010 exhibition ...A Dreadful Thing is About to Occur) or pseudo-news-clipping style, as well as some older gems in his harder, adventure-comic style. A must-have for contemporary art lovers. (SF)
elected Creatives is an initiative by one small seed network, launched in the previous issue of one small seed magazine. Bringing together some of our most talented and prolific members of the one small seed network, it allows our creative community to be involved in some of the content selection of this magazine, by giving them the chance to vote for who among themselves will have their work showcased in print in our glossy pages. Bringing in a record of over 2000 votes, our second instalment of Selected Creatives brings you these two very promising emerging South African photographers.
Samantha Christy is the winner of this edition of Selected Creatives, coming in at the top of the voting poll on one small seed network with almost 40 % of the votes. At just 16 years old, Samantha is still an emerging photographer. She lives in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape, the famous surfing location on South Africa’s Sunshine Coast Region, and is a grade ten scholar at Woodridge College. Samantha has always been creative and interested in the arts, and she has enjoyed taking photos from a very young age; even then, she says, people used to comment on her interesting perspective on everyday subjects that gave her photography a uniquely creative slant. “I often see beauty in things that others don’t,” is her simple explanation. She is thus far self-taught, but will be embarking on her first part-time photography course this December. After school her goal is to continue studying photography – either in Cape Town or Stellenbosch – and pursue her dream of joining the creative team of a magazine. All of Samantha’s photo shoots are unplanned and so her images all have an air of spontaneity and an unassuming naturalness. On a whim, she and her friends dress up, look for props, and take pictures sourced from inspiration that springs up along the way. The result is a series of photography that captures the essence of youth in its perfect blend of naïvety and fun. Samantha tells us how she feels about being the winner of Selected Creatives: “It was literally a dream come true to hear I had the opportunity to see my photos in print – especially in one small seed, my favourite magazine since I first bought it two years ago. From the time I read that one issue I have been hooked, and read every new edition that comes out from cover to cover. I am a huge fan of the amazing photographers that feature in its pages and never thought I could actually be one of them!” www.onesmallseed.net/profile/samanthachristy www.dirtyblonde.tumblr.com
Ryan Roake is our runner-up in Selected Creatives for this edition of one small seed. Ryan is a third-year photography student at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s ‘windy city’, in the Eastern Cape. Inspired by the creativity of the diverse cultures that exist in South Africa, he captures the lifestyle of the nation through his documentary photography. Ryan calls himself “proudly South African” and hopes that through his photography the world will also be able to feel and experience the warmth of his country as he does, and simultaneously understand what it means truly to appreciate and be grateful for what you have, even though it might not be much.
This series of Ryan’s photography shows the people of Missionvale – an area on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. Missionvale has an estimated population of 100 000 people. This area is known for its unemployment, malnutrition, and disease, particularly HIV and Aids. It is said to have an average of 75 % unemployed and 70 % affected or infected with HIV or Aids. Ryan’s aim with this body of work was to show the brighter side of Missionvale and its people. His focuses were children, in Smarty Town and the Missionvale Care Centre, and farmers of different kinds, both of whom, for Ryan, reflect the place as much as the people of Missionvale. www.onesmallseed.net/profile/ryanroake
In the future, Ryan hopes to capture many more of these inspirational moments that immortalise the essence of people and their lifestyle.
To see your work featured here in Selected Creatives, or in our online photography magazine Picture This simply sign up to our creative networking site and start uploading your work to www.onesmallseed.net
PROFILE: SWEDISH ILLUSTRATOR
LINN OLOFSDOTTER 26
Linn Olofsdotter: Linn Olofsdotter is a mother, wife, dog owner, and illustrator from the northern part of Sweden by the ocean. While studying graphic design nine years ago, she discovered illustration, and instantly her career as an artist began. And simply the best part about being a professional artist, Lynn has discovered, is that she loves going to work.
sarah jayne fell
Linn has lived and worked in Europe, the US and Brazil, most recently as a senior art director at a Boston advertising agency. She now works independently from home. Her illustration work ranges from fashion editorials for magazines to advertising and packaging to her personal work shown here, which is most striking for its storyladen characters that hark back to childhood fairytales. These characters “come about very casually,” she says, “most of the time while listening to music or watching a movie. I don’t think ‘I’m going to draw a fat lady with large hair’ – I just start drawing and see what comes out.” She adds, “A lot more consideration goes into my commercial work.” Linn explains her creative process: “Normally, I spend the first day or so thinking about the project. I try to figure out what kind of mood or atmosphere I want to create. I never work with traditional sketches. Sometimes I take photographs of myself in different scenarios or poses to see if the composition would work. I then draw all sorts of elements. After that, I scan the drawings and begin assembling the illustration in Photoshop.
Textures are layered with the drawings and colours, often creating files of several hundred layers. The final pieces are essentially digital collages. I don’t like them to look computergenerated so I create a lot of my own brushes, which helps me make each image a little more of my own.” Linn has recently had a baby, and says her life has changed quite dramatically, now getting in around nine work hours a day. “Before she came into our lives, we worked pretty much non-stop, which means ten to sixteen hours a day, seven days a week.” The most interesting thing going on in Linn’s life right now is “A dead creature in my yard! I can smell it, but I can’t find it and it’s driving me crazy. Maybe I’ll do an illustration about it!” Her plans for the future include a woodworking class. “So, perhaps next summer I’ll come back as a furniture designer!” www.linn.olofsdotter.com
extra large love
the costa family
PROFILE: SWISS ARTIST DUO
alexandfelix PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING: alexandfelix MAKEUP: marc hollenstein
Alex Gertschen and Felix Meier form the artist duo working together under the name alexandfelix. Both born and raised in Switzerland, Alex went on to study photography at the art school of Berne, while Felix did graphic design in Lucerne. Characteristic of their work is the intricate staging that occurs prior to a camera even entering the studio. From initial ideas, sketches are developed before the hard work begins: timbering, glueing, painting and constructing, up to the point when a small universe starts to take shape. Using an array of materials and props, they craft imaginative backdrops for their characters to inhabit. And once the protagonists enter the set, the mise-en-scène is ready for them to step into and adopt the dramatic role of reigning over this surreal and absurd new world. 13 Queens is a series indicative of this fantastical realm, comprising 13 portraits of female monarchs from out of this world. However, with this series alexandfelix depart from their signature style, this time adorning their models with objects as if they were items of clothing, and in turn creating a surreal backdrop out of the characters themselves. On their bodies, the wondrous realm of which they are queen can be discovered, as their insignia of power – the signs of their dreamland – decorate their beings like elaborate costumes, jewellery and headdresses. Each queen becomes a patron saint of ornaments, ruler over an empire of symbols in which the viewer is invited to lose themselves. Together with their queens, Alex and Felix unite to create foreign worlds filled with familiar, everyday objects that are staged in such unexpected ways as to become beyond recognition. This is the world of alexandfelix. Now, meet their queens. www.alexandfelix.com
queen rocket (2010)
queen marzipan (2010)
queen spoon (2010)
queen happy (2010)
FEATURE: SOUTH AFRICAN MIXED-MEDIA ARTIST
Transvestite killer zebras from outer space (and other stories) IMAGES:
WORDS: sarah jayne fell courtesy of the artist & whatiftheworld gallery
Cameron Ndevasia Platter is a mixedmedia artist whose satirical work has ignited a massive response of an equally mixed nature, locally and abroad. Just peer in closer and you’ll discover a sense of humour so dark it’s almost antimatter! In his ten years working as an artist, critics have labelled him a “delinquent outsider”, “apocalyptically prolific” and “the embittered and delinquent love child of Quentin Tarantino and Dr Seuss”. Accurate or not, Cameron’s off-the-wall temperament – a black hole of psychosis, hilarity and, when you least expect it, poignancy – has certainly earned him this share of name-calling. www.cameronplatter.com
When I saw your latest Cape Town exhibition, Hard Times / Great Expectations, your animal characters gave me such déjà vu. Later I realised they’re the same inhabitants of a video installation I saw at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban some years ago. Back then I’d been part shocked, part enthralled by what I’d seen. It’s a bit blurry now, but I recall a crocodile drinking and driving, on a mission to find red boots. At some point there’s a massive penis and a scene with the croc raping a lion. I think I blocked the rest out! Can you fill in the missing pieces? ou’ve got a great memory, but what about the scene of the stripper giving the crocodile head, while being taken from behind by a lion. There’s also the part where a man eats an ecstasy pill labelled ‘love’, turns into an elephant (with Nikes), and promptly does a psychedelic sex scene with a decapitated woman. Or how about the sceptre-clutching rap star who, after dying of a cocaine overdose, holds court in the underworld (doomed never to be able to get hard). And the final suicide scene in a downtown office (with cigar smoke curling to the ceiling) where the crocodile cries his last crocodile tear and lifts a gun to his head, all accompanied by a severely chopped up ‘Midnight Train’ by Journey. Your new video ‘The Old Fashion’ (set in 2010, when “shit was totally, completely out of control eg: The head of Interpol liked to shop for Italian shoes and drink cappunico with a known mafia drug kingpin.”) stars a deranged S&M cyber-kitty bent on world domination. Then there’s the Killer Transvestite Scorpion Zebras from Planet Asstropolis, a lion named The Notorious Mr X (a casino owner – as a front for his drug empire – and successful tele-evangelist) and, my favourite character, the crocodile – this time known as Prince Barrack Hussein: “Private Detective, Herbalist & Healer”. Now I’m curious – in 2008 you said you’d killed your main protagonist, the crocodile... but now he’s back again. e rose from the dead in true Night of the Zombie Crocodile fashion (with his hand breaking through the grave). In the words of Silvio Dante from The Sopranos: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…”. He won’t go away because he’s a self-portrait, an everyman, and is good and bad at the same time. Tell me about your animal characters. eople find it easier to see animals doing human things than humans doing animal things. I can get an animal to rape another, cut off his penis, and shoot his head off, and people laugh. Imagine I used real actors. At the moment, I’m really feeling the Transvestite Killer Zebras From Outer Space. They are perverse good-guy superheroes, who enjoy life’s nefarious pleasures.
The themes that weave through your work – love, sex, death, prostitution, philosophising about sex and death – can be traced through the history of Modern art (right to that archetypical opener of Modern art books, Picasso’s 1907 ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’). How much of your work is a reference to, or continuation of, historical modern art? ’m a hugely traditional artist. I work in the conservative mediums of drawing, bronze, woodcarving, ceramics, and printmaking. My heroes are old-school South African artists: John [Ndevasia] Muafangejo and Cecil Skotnes. Not Warhol or Koons. And I love art history, all of it. Having said that, I like to recontextualise issues, give them new life, turn things around, and push things over the edge. I’d like to think my work combines the best of the past with the worst of the future. What’s happening in your latest body of work? he usual: sex, money, violence, sex… The storyline is [the British film noir] The Third Man combined with an infomercial for penis enlargement, a dance/strip scene, and numerous sex scenes (obviously). I’m currently interested in creating multi-story videos that link together (and don’t), with no beginnings or ends. I’d like to create life-size environments that are 3D versions of what goes on inside my videos – spaces that people can spend an hour or two getting lost in. There’s an interesting harmony in your work between the darker undertones and the equally prominent air of frivolity. in, excess, sleaze, dirtiness are all good. People should celebrate the less sunny parts of life with gaiety and frivolity. Two things I love about contemporary art are its intent to shock and its jokes. Tell me about these in relation to your work. ’m not out to shock people – my work isn’t in-your-face, lookat-me-I’m-so-clever shocking. It’s more sly, underhand, and subtle. And I love nothing more than a well-told story or joke. See Herman Charles Bosman for the master class. After a certain point in history, art and advertising become intertwined. Why does advertising play such a large role in your recent work? dvertising, especially that of the lurid KFC, penis-enlargement variety, is an acute portrait of where we’re at as a nation – depoliticised, franchised, and ruthlessly, violently braindead in our rampant drive to consume. Also, advertising (or, more accurately, signs) are brilliant, simple ways of communicating a message – so I love them on that level. 072 712 3082 – is that your number? es, but you can also get hold of me on 071 716 6607.
durban (2010) | 170.5cm x 170.5cm | pencil crayon on paper
(Shakira, Shakira) The Kiliminjaro Action Bar (Open 24hrs) (2010) 168cm x 167cm | pencil crayon on paper
erotique best freedom charter KFC (2010) | 176cm x 178.5cm | pencil crayon on paper
in the beginning things were good (2010) | 172cm x 170cm | pencil crayon on paper
Medium-wise, it seems you clumsily draw your images in Paint or Photoshop using a mouse, and from there blow up their scale to huge hand-drawn pieces, meticulously coloured in with pencil crayons. What’s up with this ‘reversal’ of operations? Going from digital to hand created, from a technological medium to a child-like one. ou’re on the money. It’s about slowing down, taking time, thinking, and having an excuse to listen to five-day test cricket on the radio. Also, people are desperate for The Next New Thing. And that’s The Handmade. Although, obviously, we’re bombarded by new, plastic things so fast, all the time (GET HD TV NOW!!! WATCH SEAGAL AND CRUISE BLOW THINGS UP!!!); it’s quaint to find something handmade. Oddly, your migratory pattern reflects this: your move from Johannesburg to Cape Town then Durban and now finally Shaka’s Rock in KZN is also a little counterintuitive! Is this retreat from urban life intentional?
destitute (2010) | 172.5cm x 171cm | pencil crayon on paper
f artists do things in opposition to the norm, is going to all the right exhibition openings, hanging out in the right bars, and seeing the same hipster people over again being different or challenging the status quo in any way? I’m quite proud to have done the opposite, and to be working from the subtropics. You’ve exhibited worldwide (Vienna, Miami, Cannes, London, Art Basel...), the list of publications you’re in is longer than my arm, and you’ve recently had work acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. How does it feel to be such a successful artist? uccess is relative and always looks better from the other side. You would be shocked if you saw my bank account. In honesty, I’m a bit of a Lebowski and never think I work hard enough. But, after all, being an artist is choosing to drop out on a bunch of levels. What’s next for Cameron Platter? earing my new red pleather thigh-high, high-heeled boots around the house. In a sequinned dress.
black up that white ass II (2009) | duration 26min 55sec, colour, sound | video stills
the old fashion (2010) | duration 15min 23sec, colour, sound | video stills
Longer days, sun-kissed skin and cold beers: spring is a feeling. And like the Loerie Awards, it’s a feeling that is about to explode. Considered the region’s most prestigious Advertising, Communication Design and Experiential Media Awards, the annual Loerie Awards is a date on every South African creative’s calendar. The 32nd Annual Loerie Awards is finally here, set to arrest Cape Town with its creative energy over 1–3 October. WORDS:
sarah claire picton
Following the theme of last year’s Loerie Awards’ playful reference to the ravenous egos notorious to advertising circles (‘Feed Your Ego’), this year’s Awards has unabashedly dubbed itself ‘The Biggest Event of the Year’ – bigger, The Loeries tell us, than the FIFA World Cup that recently overran the whole of South Africa. The Loerie Awards encompasses every area of brand communication, including TV, radio and print advertising, graphic design, architecture, direct marketing, non-broadcast video, live events, and digital media. A Loerie extends far beyond any mantelpiece show-off; it is a highly respected tangible symbol of profound creativity, shown from conception through to execution. Striking, elusive and hard to come by like the winged creature, a Loerie award is the gold at the end of our region’s rainbow. This year, South Africa and the world will once again discover who shines brightest at the award evenings at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town, on the first Saturday and Sunday of October 2010.
The hype of the weekend kicks off with the Mayor’s Welcome Function on Friday at 5.30 pm. An inspiring prelude to the weekend, but limited to VIP ticket holders only, this function serves as an ideal opportunity to share smiles and ideas with the industry elite, as well as to meet the Mayor! For a chance to party with the Loeries’ chairman late into Friday night, attend the Chairman’s Party where entry is free for all ticketholders Amongst the laughter, applause and other sounds one can expect from an award ceremony of this stature, there’ll also be some good old rock ’n roll. The Battle of the Bands is another Friday night highlight, giving agencies the chance to battle it out onstage and for everyone to find out who the real rock stars are. Entry is free for all ticket holders and bands from all agencies can enter. With great prizes for the winners, five bands will be shortlisted to perform on the night.
Pessoas. Gente. Omano. People. You and I. From 24 September to 3 October, the city of Cape Town will transform into a powerful collective energy of visionaries from all over the country and the world. An initiative between Creative Cape Town and The Loerie Awards, the 2010 Creative Week Cape Town is about bringing creativity to the people, making inspiration accessible and finding shared passions in the most unlikely of forms. For the first time this year and taking place annually prior to and culminating in the Loeries Awards weekend in Cape Town, the event is a ‘user-generated’ festival that allows venues, collectives, event organisers, companies and individual artists in the greater Cape Town to showcase their creativity. Creative Cape Town is a non-profit project tasked to promote the creative and knowledge economy in Cape Town.
Camps Bay, the place to see and be seen, comes alive on the afternoon of Saturday 2 October, offering a host of activities, agency and media lunches, and the industry’s most popular parties of the year. The Loeries’ reputation of delivering untamed and unsurpassed after-parties needs no confirmation… just as Cape Town’s infamous Long Street needs no introduction. The heart of The Mother City and South Africa’s boho Big Apple, Long Street will be a feast of festivities on Saturday and Sunday night immediately after the awards. ‘The Loeries Village’ extends from Long Street and the CBD all the way to Green Point and Sea Point.
As a partner to the Loeries, it is working with the event to profile Cape Town’s creative sector to both Loeries delegates and locals. Creative Week Cape Town is developing as a legacy of the Loeries, and also for the bid for World Design Capital 2014. It is part of Creative Cape Town’s strategy to position the city globally as an important hub for design. Activities include a fringe festival, student portfolio day (where students can showcase their work to the region’s top creatives), Long Street market and much more. Screenings of the 2009 and ‘10 Loerie Winners take place from Friday 24 September at the Labia cinemas on Kloof and Orange, the oldest independent art cinema in the country.
All official accommodation in the Loeries Village has access to a 24-hour shuttle service, including to and from the awards ceremonies. Tickets to the Awards can be booked via Computicket.
We are all a part of an ever-evolving audio and visual discourse. Bonjour, Adiós, Xie Xie Ni…. In whatever dialect, with whomever, and using whatever medium, our creative culture is in a constant state of expression. Within communication lies the power for revolutionary ideas, ideas that have the potential to become realities. And this is what Creative Week Cape Town is really all about: igniting and spreading creative communication among Cape Town’s diverse, kinetic culture, and then sharing it with the world.
why celebrate? A celebration is not just all about the party. While it may be the first association your synapses fire off (Let's celebrate! ... equals... Tequila!), that's probably just your well trained muscle memory! A cele bration also includes more sobering activities like commemoration (the practice of preserving som ething in our collective memory thro ugh ceremonies or festivities), wide spread praise (like a film that cele brates the life of...) or a public ann ouncement or proclamation. It's also simp ly the instance of reaching a cert ain birthday or anniversary - whether you're happy about the fact or not. But yes, it certainly does describe a joyous diversion, "to have or participate in a party, drinking spree, or uninhibited good time"! Well, we're doing ALL of thes e things this issue, and that's why we've name this issue the CELEBRATE edition. The first degree is that we're celebrat ing our birthday! one small seed was 'born' in October 2005, and now, 20 edit ions later, we're still charging along like an overenthusiastic five-year-old! For the rest, well, one small seed has alwa ys been about celebrating creativity, celebrating individuality, and particularly, celebrating South African talent. So mos t of what you'll find in these pages is all about that. We look at other aspects of South African pop culture that , like us, celebrate what it means to be South African. We're celebrating thos e of you out there who also celebrat e South African creativity. Whether it's an artist, company, form of music or an event. And of course, we're here to have fun too, since that's also quite an integral ingredient in a celebration! That's it from us; we hope you enjoy what we've put together for you. Now, in the words of Kool & the Gang: "Celebrate good times, come on!"
did you know... Peter Lavinger of New York, USA has collected OVER 1 300 FAMOUS DRUMMERS' STICKS since 1980. On reaching number 1 000, he faced a peculiar problem. He had no proof of their origin! This led to the mammoth task of tracking down drummers and persuading them to sign their own sticks from 13 years ago! All but 30 of them are now signed, and Peter has the world's largest autographed drumstick collection.
During the 17th century, THE BIRTHDAY CAKE took on more or less its contemporary form, though was only available to the very wealthy. Later, birthday cakes became more readily available because of the industrial revolution, as materials and tools became more advanced and accessible.
A CENTENARIAN is someone who has had 100 OR MORE BIRTHDAY S. The United States has the greatest number in the world , at just under 100 000! Japan come s second, with almost 40 000 living people who've seen age 100. The Kaapse Klopse is a famo us Cape Town festival - known better to locals as the Coon Carnival - that takes place every year on 2 January. Its official name is the CAPE TOWN MINSTREL CARNIVAL as over 10 000 minstrels - with face paint, multicoloured attire and often carrying musical instruments - parade through the streets in celebration of the NEW YEAR. This tradition has existed among the Cape coloured population since the mid-19th century and has its origins in the time of slave ry, when the original citizens of District Six were allowed only one day off a year. Today, following the parade is a serie s of dance, singing and costume competitions at Green Point Stadium.
The first MTV video ever playe d was 'VIDEO KILLED THE RADI O STAR' by the Buggles, at 00:01 on 1 August 1981. THE DARWIN AWARDS is a tong uein-cheek honour named after evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin that celebrates peop le who "do a service to Humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool". A 26-yearold American was the first person to DIE CELEBRATING THE MILLENNIUM. Climbing to the top of a streetlight in front of the Paris Las Vega s Hotel to wave to enthusiastic revellers below, he slipped at midnight, grabbing the wires attached to the light. Suddenly he was conducting more than a cheering crowd. A camera caught his foolhardy climb and subsequent headfirst plunge to the concrete below. Whether he died from electrocution or the fall, he certainly deserves the first Darwin Award of the new millennium! THE ANC HAS A FASHION RANG E! The most surprising part is... their range of leather jacke ts is actually kinda cool. Sure , some are so screamingly lumo they'd get you into a cybergoth club, others oddly uniforminspired and half an outfit for a fetish party, but the fact that none are adorned with shield and spear makes the ANC suddenly look like they 're trying to be... progressive? Who would have thought Zuma was into high fashion!
Did you know FROGS DON'T DRINK? They absorb water through their skin! Champagne bath, anyone?
Famous people who DIED ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS include WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE and Casablanca's INGRID BERGMAN. Though these both seem coincidental (both having died of natural causes), local tradition has it that Shakespeare became ill after a bout of hard drinking with fellow playwrights Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton - so his, nonetheless, may have been a case of DEATH-BY-PARTYING!
'IT'S MY PARTY' was the first hit single for producer QUIN CY JONES. It was most famously sung by American singer Lesley Gore in 1963, hitting #1 on the pop and rhythm and blues charts in the United States and peaking at #9 in the UK. It has been covered by over 15 different artists and referenced in pop cultu re at least once every three years since the date, most recently in an episode of Supernaturals.
The world record for the LONGEST DJ SET was smashed by DJ ALAN D in 2009 with a 124-hour set at the Zicos Bar in Lanarkshire, Scotland! Rules stipulated he could take 5-minute breaks every hour, which Alan saved up for half-hour naps to help him make it through.
POPCORN was invented by the Aztec Indians.
The Indian festival of DIWA LI is one that all South Africans who've spent some time in Durban will have heard abou t - or just heard! Every year between mid-October and midNovember, THE 'FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS' ignites the city. Once celebrated with clay lanterns, modern-day practice has seen to it that fireworks are the order of the five-day long festival, which inevitably extends to cover most of the month-long period! The word JUKEBOX comes from the old English 'juke' meaning dance, which in turn comes from Gullah (Sea Island Creo le English) from the word 'joog ' or 'juk', meaning wicked or disorderly! The FASTEST RAP MC is Choji n (aka Domingo Edjang Moreno), who rapped 921 syllables in one minute on the set of Guinness World Records, in Madrid, Spain , in December 2008. ELEPHANTS are the only mammal that can't jump. Bet that means they can't dance too well either!
The song 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for being the most recognised song in the English language. Based on a 1935 copyright registration, US copyright holds until 2030, and unauthorised public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid. In the EU, the copyright expires after 2016. Because of this, filmmakers rarely use complete singalongs of 'Happy Birthday'.
According to Old Wives, rubb ing VODKA on your back and ches t will relieve a fever! It will also, apparently, disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting. TREE-HUGGING is forbidden in China.
A CHAMPAGNE CORK is more likely to kill you than a POISONOUS SPIDER. According to legend, a 1-minute kiss burns 26 calories. On the other hand, a 15-minute session with a jump rope can burn up to 200 calories. If you do the math, someone's suggesting that KISSING is doubly good exercise as one of the best forms of cardio! I think when they said 'kissing' they might have mean t something else... The collective noun for a grou p of rhino is CRASH!
This Is Spinal Tap (1984) is rated the TOP ROCK 'N ROLL FILM OF ALL TIME, followed by John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever.
South Africans whose work has been celebrated with the NOBEL PRIZE include JM Coet zee (Literature, 2003), Sydney Brenner (Physiology or Medic ine, 2002), FW de Klerk (Peace, 1993) , Nelson Mandela (Peace, 1993) , Nadine Gordimer (Literature, 1991), Desmond Tutu (Peace, 1984), Allan M. Cormack (Physiolog y or Medicine, 1979), Albert Lutul i (Peace, 1960) and Max Theiler (Physiology or Medicine, 1951).
Germany's LOVE PARADE, first held in Berlin in 1989, is one of EUROPE'S BIGGEST TECHNO FESTIVALS. This July, the joyou s annual celebration of dance, techno music, love and peac e was brought to an abrupt stop. Panic broke out amon g huge crowds in a 600-metrelong tunnel leading towards the open-air festival, causing a stampede that would kill 21 people and injure hundreds more. It was the worst accid ent of its kind in Europe since July 2000, when 9 people suffocate d in a crush at the ROSKILDE music festival in Denmark.
CELEBRATE! is a 1980 album by the funk band Kool & the Gang. The album contained the number-one hit 'Celebration', and the album itself also reached #1 on the US R&B Chart.
Coca-Cola originally contained an estimated 9 mg of COCAINE per glass. In 1903 it was almost entirely removed, decreasing the cocaine content to a 'mere trace'. Coca-Cola finally became completely cocaine-free in 1929.
Wearing HEADPHONES for just an hour will increase the bact eria in your ear by 700 times.
The LONGESTRUNNING RADI O SHOW by the same ho Festival. Host st is Folksong ed by Oscar Brand (Canada, 1920), broadcast in it was first December 194 5 on WNYC Radio in New York and continues to do so today.
The term 'UN-BIRTHDAY' is a neologism coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass, when Humpty Dumpty tells Alice that his cravat was an 'un-birthday present' from the White King and Queen. The YO-YO was originally a weapon for hunting in the Philippines. Doctors from London University have revealed probably the LARGEST AMOUNT OF ECSTASY EVER CONSUMED by a single person. St George's Medical School published a case repo rt of a British man estimated to have taken around 40 000 pills of MDMA over 9 years. At his peak, he took around 25 pills a day for 4 years. At 30, he stopped taking the drug. 7 years later, he still suffers from extreme memory problems, paranoia, hallucinations and depression, as well as painful muscle rigidity around his neck and jaw, often preventing him from opening his mouth. ELVIS PRESLEY, one of pop culture's most celebrated icons, died on 16 August 1977. Every year since, fans honour his life with a procession through Memphis, past his grave, as part of a greater event called ELVIS WEEK. This annual affair sees up to 50 000 people visit the city. Elvis' mansion, Graceland, is one of the most-visited American homes with over 600 000 visitors a year second only to the White House!
Most LIPS TICKS contain fish scales.
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both bands aren’t know n for their particularly stylish attitude towards their onstage attire, so we stripped them of their faux labe ls, handed them each a grub by r50 note and sent them off into
the second-hand wonderl and of cape town’s bergie bargain basements. they also had the option of acquiring item s from anywhere from pep to ’n pay, provided they
could fit it into thei r budget and wear it!
it was tough. both band s took to the task with the tena city of the naked and the home
less, tossing conventi onal fashion norms out of the window without a care for
seasonal trends, matc hing textures, complementin g colours or, worryingl y, who had worn this stuff befor e! we then got esteemed fashion editor of cosmopolitan magazine, annelee joub ert, to crit the boys’ new ‘looks’ and give them points out of five for style, creativity, originality , attention to detail, and wearability. see the resu lts for yourself and weep. straddling new fashion concepts and defining new trends; cape town’s rock royalty give new mean ing to the term: ‘dressing down
THE PLA STICS
THE PLAST SASHA RIGH INI - drum ICS from left mer, PASC to right: AL RIGHINI ARJUNA KO - lead vocals HLSTOCK and guitar lead guitar , , KARL ROHL OFF bassist.
the plastics are a band that wants to be different. yo u would imag ine that they have thought long and har d about being a rock band marooned at the arse-end of africa an d have gotten real with the geograph ical challeng es inherent therein. instea d of sending their debut album overseas to be mastered via remote in some swanky topdollar studio , they brought the swanky top -dollar studio to the m! or, more precisely, they brought one of moder n rock’s most accomplished producers in the form of gordon rapha el (google him ) down to the arse-end for a holiday . that he just happened to spend a lot of that time working on their deb ut album means that the y got a worldc lass album at the end of it, the results of which are now available for all to hear - an d hear it you should. 12 tracks that wi ll leave you surprised at how good ‘dif ferent’ can so und.
lead vo cals
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d and trombo
TEAM T WO
from le ft to ri ght:
ne, RY K OTTO , JON SH ABAN -
drumm er, ne and guitar ,
RYAN MC ARTHUR
CAPTA IN STU
CAPTAIN STU: capta
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LS VOCA D A LE
ist 1: ocal Lead V L RIGHINI t’s very I A PASC the jersey. right kind e I love t to get th ’s not too
cul n ey that of a diffi jers much etro too how of r has iked l l or u I f t ern. ng i color eari e patt by w nsiv offe down d it e n ts. he to k pan blac with
4 Style ity 3 v Creati lity 2 il 2 na Origi on to Deta ti Atten ility 3 b Weara 14/25 Total: : ist 2 ocal Lead V KLOPPER - he just JAMESary Poppins I really . Very M e umbrella t’s just s th ut i need ent. ss, b e r d spar the tran rlike t too unde y le bi ve an a litt en ha he ev s e o D on? wear
1 Style ity 4 v Creati lity 3 il 3 na Origi on to Deta ti Atten ility 0 b Weara 11/25 Total:
Drummer 1: SASHA RIGH INI A really nice, classic sa fe look. I love the car digan and school shirt. This is an outfi
t you can impress yo ur girlfrie nd’s mom with.
Style 4 Creativity 2 Originality 2 Attention to Detail 3 Wearability 4 Total: 15/25 Drummer 2: RYK OTTO Ryk’s shirt is
a bit much - it reminds me of some of the ‘80s trends that should have been left in the ‘80 s! I get that it should be fun, bu t it just re minds me of hairy fat guys with their big bellies ha nging out.
Style 1 Creativity 3 Originality 2 Attention to Detail 3 Wearability 2 Total: 11/25
2: RYAN MCARTHUR
1: KARL ROHLOFF e all of this i can’t believ ! [neither was just r50 e the jacket can we…] i lov so crazy and tie, but not nd. the hippy hairba
ion to detail great attent re is too the be may but to a spemuch attention the costume il deta ic cif ! the pearlis a bit tight and lip stud ce kla nec e lik contrast. a e nic a kes ma uld have made bikini wax wo ference to dif s ’ ld wor a this look!
creativity 3 originality 2
detail attention to wearability 4 total:
creativity 5 4 originality
detail attention to 0 wearability total:
Guitarist 1: CK ARJUNA KOHLSTO colour difficult to do I love the red; it’s ks red and black wor he T . way e nic in a .
attitude nde hair and his well with his blo
Style 4 Creativity 2 Originality 2 4 Attention to Detail Wearability 3 Total: 15/25 Guitarist 2: JON SHABAN the a shirt I had in This reminds me of ion to his a lot of attent pay did e H ! s ‘80 necklace are the glasses and accessories ! nt brillia Style 1 Creativity 3 Orginality 3 5 Attention to Detail Wearability 2 Total: 14/25
and lastly, the keyboard/trombo
nist from team two : (bonus points will be given for hav ing an extra member!)
all i can say is randy from the canadi an series trailer park boys. style
creativity 4 originality 1 attention to detail wearability 0
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DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 56
C E L E B R AT ING
SOUTH AFRICAN STORIES In celebration of the Durban International Film Festival and its weighty impact on Durban’s creative scene – not to mention South Africa’s entire film industry – one small seed homes in on this year’s instalment of the annual festival. After a quick overview, we round up some key characters of this year’s fest, whose personal stories mesh with creative brilliance to tell tales unique to the South African experience, and ones which prior to the DIFF have remained untold.
Every year, between late July and mid-August, Durbanites glory in film. This year marks the 31st annual Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), and as it heads inevitably towards middle-age, the popularity and importance of DIFF increases with each subsequent year. In many ways, DIFF provides the small but passionate Durban art community with a strong fix of credibility and self-esteem. Over 300 films are flighted at DIFF, most of which are premieres. DIFF also gets to grips with the identity of its host city by taking itself to Durban’s most iconic spaces. The Wavescapes Surf Film Festival, a sub-fest of the DIFF, is screened on the beach – because, you know, surfers appreciate art too. The DIFF also takes its screenings to appropriated venues in Durban’s townships, which go without cinemas in the months on either side of the festival.
And Durban has oodles of talent. At the 2008 DIFF, local director Claire Angelique premiered My Black Little Heart, the repeatedly dubbed “dark look at Durban's underbelly”, for which she earned the Standard Bank Young Artist Award 2010 for film at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. "The film award hasn't been won in seven years. It's only been won four times in the National Arts Festival's 25-year history. And never a female winner," says Claire, humbly. The first edit of her second film, Palace of Bone, screened at this year’s fest. Claire is one of the players in this year’s fest that we’ve rounded up for a chat and some insight into her role in the DIFF, as writer-director of the cellphone-shot Palace of Bone. Next up we have Syd Kitchen, local music legend and real-life protagonist of the documentary Fool in a Bubble, and then finally Mélodie Abad, the lead actress of the French New Wave-inspired Visa/Vie. check out their trailers on www.onesmallseed.tv
Besides clever moves like those already mentioned, the DIFF will find its legacy in the annual Talent Campus, which runs in conjunction with the festival, and intensively develops young local filmmaking talent.
IN LOVE WITH THE UNATTAINABLE At 30, Claire Angelique already has two feature films wrapped. The first – part produced by Lars von Trier and shot by Slumdog Millionaire cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle – blew 2008 DIFF audiences away. This year, Durban film fans witnessed the firstcut edit of her second film, Palace of Bone. YUSUF LAHER met up with the Durban filmmaker just before the premiere to find out how things are coming along. IMAGE:
At the bar inside A Cabana, Claire Angelique huddles over a scatterbrain table of industry. Everything's black – even the bruises on her arms. But besides a missing tooth, Claire is the most functional addict on Planet Earth; "I don't know who I'd be without this," she admits. New cigarettes burn into unsmoked forgotten ones in the ashtray, creating a toxic air as we discuss Palace of Bone. Interestingly, the entire film was shot on Claire’s phone – and she’s not even a fan of them. Why don't you like phones? I don’t know when to stop and when the next person's supposed to start. I don’t like that people think they can get hold of you all the time. Or when people do ‘private number’ and it's someone you're trying to avoid. Most of the phonecalls I get, after finishing the film, are people asking for money. And I always lose my phone. Or end up pawning it. What's Palace of Bone all about? It centres around this girl Faith. It's also about Po, who met Faith in 2008 and became obsessed with her. You can sense the frustration Faith has living in Durban; with her lot in life. You're misled into thinking she's going to commit suicide. Instead, she kills all the friends in her group. I was playing around with the premise ‘adapt or die’. I don't think human beings adapt. When the colonialists came here, they didn't build huts and go out hunting with the locals.
And why did you shoot it on your cellphone? The way I work, generally, is with non-actors. I try to get a realistic performance. So it was trying to get it really hyperreal. Use the simplest technology available. People were like, "You have to use this fancy HD camera, then in post-production fuck it up and make it look like cellphone footage." I don't understand that way of thinking. What phone did you use? This one. (Claire holds up a battered old Nokia.) I started with a Blackberry but the quality was too good! I wanted it to look pixilated. Pixels have a bad name but I love them. I think pixels are beautiful. What were your biggest influences? The whole YouTube phenomenon. Whenever my favourite bands play, the next day I'm on YouTube looking for concert footage. I’m obsessed with people filming everything on their phones. Also a lot of paparazzi-type stuff. I love that style. There's no thought, it's just record. Another influence was [American jazz trumpeter and heroin addict with missing teeth] Chet Baker. What was your biggest challenge? Initially I hired a cameraman, but ended up with a whole lot of stock, TV-type shots. I hate HD! I needed it to be rough, moving. So I was walking around pushing my camera guy. Then he'd want lights, so I'd be kicking them over, switching them off. I'd say, "Catch the actors off-guard, when they're not doing their lines." But none of it rang. I left my crew behind for the last ten days and reshot 90 % of the film. Did the Standard Bank Award help? For private donors. When I asked for donations, I think people felt I could be trusted. That I'm not some skommie fucking junkie filmmaker down the road. What was it like not acting in the film this time? I'm Po. Ha ha… But you don't really see me, except in reflections. You hear my voice. And Po's Muslim. So I'm wearing a burqa the whole time.
Is My Black Little Heart still picking up momentum internationally? At the moment, we're brokering a deal with an international distribution company. I haven't had any legal right to send My Black Little Heart to film festivals – I've only been able to manhandle it around South Africa. Palace of Bone I own 100 %. And it cost nothing. So there's nothing to pay back. What happened to your tooth? It was a ‘shooting accident’. What actually happened… One night, I was walking past Jack Rabbits and out in the parking lot there were three cop cars. They were beating this young black guy. I had my camera with me and started filming. Then one of the police saw me. He ran over and just fucking knocked me to the ground. They ended up locking me up in Umbilo Road and made me give them the tape.
Shit. When was the last time you fell in love? I fall in love all the time, I just never tell people. I'm in love with the unattainable. It's so boring finding someone you love and getting married. With my lifestyle, it's very difficult for people to fall in love with me. Nobody wants any part of this rollercoaster. I'm a loner. I don't share my drugs. It would be weird having somebody around the whole time. Thinking about you. I'd deconstruct it too much. www.claireangelique.wordpress.com
FO O L I N A BUBBLE Fool in a Bubble is the story of South African folk singer and poet Syd Kitchen, “as seen through the eyes of [filmmaker] Joshua Sternlicht”. Filmed mostly in New York, the documentary premiered at the 2010 Durban International Film Festival. Sitting down with Syd in his peaceful Umbilo flat before the premiere, he says: “Let me get my cigarettes – in case I need one.” Then chain-smokes his way through the entire interview. “If I make a shoe, I sell it,” says Syd, of the business side of things. “It’s real hand-to-mouth stuff. The Stones started off playing for a meal. We’ve all played for a meal.” WORDS:
From the trailer, it looks like Apartheid plays a big role in the film? It played a big role in my musical life too. Because Joshua’s American and leftwing, he’s obviously got a political angle. But I’m more political than him. I’ve got strong views about how it’s all turned out since 1994. But he steered clear of that. He wants to sell the film around the world, so he didn’t want me trashing Jacob Zuma too much! Did you write new music specifically for the film? I recorded a soundtrack in New York. All new music, but we redid ‘Africa’s Not for Sissies’. Initially, that was also the film title. But once the producer in America heard Fool in a Bubble he said, “Fuck, even if you’re deaf you know that’s a hit.” The film credits say “starring Paul Simon’s Graceland band”. Morris Goldberg on horns, he’s been there since 1961. Bakithi Khumalo on bass. Tony Cedras on accordion and keyboards. And I was very privileged to record and perform with drummer Anton Fig. He’s the resident drummer on David Letterman’s show. They call themselves the South African All-Stars. Oh, and Steve Holley, Paul McCartney’s percussionist. What a great bunch of guys. No egos. You should hear the stories. When you’re just having a spliff… Like? Like, Steve Holley gets a call from Bob Dylan’s management. “We need you to fly out to Europe. Our drummer’s not happening. Bob can’t play with him.” Steve rehearsed with Dylan’s band for three days and did 80 songs. Because Dylan doesn’t write out a list, he just calls a song. He might not even call it, he might just start playing and you’ve got to be ready. And it was odd because the keyboardist had been with the band three years and never spoken to Dylan. Dylan doesn’t speak to anyone. He just arrives. Is Bob Dylan your hero? It’d be nice to spend the afternoon with Dylan, if he was into it. But I understand he’s not into much. Very cynical guy, Dylan. But he’s the most important poet America’s produced in the past 200 years, maybe excluding Walt Whitman. I love his gypsy energy. How did you connect with filmmaker Joshua Sternlicht? I was part of Poetry Africa 2007. He was with a production team that came out for a documentary about hip-hop culture and poets around the world. He was staying at The Royal. He had to stay an extra night so I said, “Why don’t you spend the night at my place, if you don’t mind the floor?” He came here, we smoked some spliff and I started playing guitar. He pulled out his camera and I started speaking about my life. How involved were you in the making of the film? Very involved. Some stuff I wasn’t happy with. But you can’t be with everything. That’s Josh’s take on my life. He’s Jewish, he’s white and he’s a trust-fund boy. He has a different reality to me. He wasn’t raped at five.
I don’t mind being honest. When I went into rehab earlier this year, I went on Facebook and said, “Hey, I’m going to rehab.” And the love I got was incredible. Does the film cover issues like being raped and your drinking? Well, that’s where Josh got his dramatic ending. They intervened on me in Cape Town. It’s Josh’s first feature documentary. So it’s virgin stuff for him. Quite a lot of the time I’m drunk. You can see I’m drunk. But he’s crafted it… It’s not a boring documentary. Some people have said it makes them sad, and also makes them laugh. Being raped comes out as well. We talk about that. Do you ever feel under-appreciated as a South African musician? That’s a difficult question. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I’ve managed to carry on doing what I’m doing and grow with it for 46 years. That’s my success, that I can live my life and communicate through music and words. A lot of people appreciate me. Shit, I’d love to be able to say, “Did you hear my song on the radio?” Or walk into any record store in the country and see my music on the shelf. That’d be neat. What’s the secret to your longevity? Not being successful. Have you heard of a singer called Jim Croce? No. He died in a plane crash in 1973 (aged 30). He had a huge hit called ‘Time in a Bottle’. He was a folk singer on the New York scene for years. Hustling and struggling. Playing on the street. Sleeping in caravans. A hobo. Dylan was a hobo for a long time. Bassist Paul Nowinski told me a story about his first jazz-fusion band, rehearsing in New York in the ’70s. He said a chick used to come by the studio every night before closing and beg to sleep on their couch. Do you know who that chick was? Madonna… www.foolinabubble.com
GREENCARDED Tell us, what is Visa/Vie about? Anna, a French émigré, is caught working illegally in a Cape Town restaurant. Given 48 hours to leave the country, she hits upon the solution of marrying a South African. She announces her plans on the radio and hundreds of men turn up to be interviewed as prospective husbands. It’s a film about the movements of people around the world, voluntary and involuntary. Isn’t it also loosely based on your own experience as a French girl in Cape Town? The basic concept was very much based on my experiences, if not details such as interviewing for suitors. Having problems with immigration is something we can all relate to. There are thousands of people trying to stay where they are but being asked to go somewhere else, such as in the part of the film that deals with Edgard the Congolese carguard, who is equally unsettled by visa problems. He, like Anna, looks for ways out. Hers is simply a female solution. And yes, I’ve had men offering their passports hoping for a French one in return!
The day before local movie Visa/Vie opens at the Durban International Film Festival, I speak to its star, Swiss/French actress Mélodie Abad. I’m aware of the flatness of my South African accent as she purrs that the premiere will be the first time she’s seen the completed film. I’m surprised, but shouldn’t be – despite its stylish aesthetic, Visa/Vie used all sorts of untraditional means to be made. Mélodie and I talk guerrilla filmmaking, marriage, and Cape Town. WORDS:
How did you meet South African director and independent filmmaker Elan Gamaker? It was a few years back. We’d both just come out of a breakup and shot a short film together. We stayed friends and promised to work on future projects. Later, still single, we met up in Paris and I spoke about meeting the perfect partner. I joked about finding a South African man, but had no visa… The penny dropped and we said to each other: That’s our movie! What were some of the guerrilla tactics used to make the film? Many scenes took place on locations that weren’t ‘dressed up’ for the film – such as shops, Greenmarket Square and Sea Point Promenade. This way, things could ‘just happen’ and people could behave as they would, rather than trying to control action or forcing non-actors to perform. The film’s style is a homage to the French New Wave of the 1960s, where similarly real-life situations were woven into a dramatic world. I heard that when you put out calls for real-life actors, some men arrived thinking they were actually there for an interview to marry you. That’s true! Again, it was a way to maintain a freshness and so that real people didn’t ‘act’. Who was your favourite impromptu suitor? A friend named Siddique Motala. He’s not a trained actor but during his (improvised) interview you could feel his enjoyment and see how his inner actor began to emerge. Then there was a guy who felt that because he pressed grapes for a living he somehow understood French women. He even asked me if I was passionate in bed… So, what’s your take on South African men in general? Are they worth the passport? I love South African men, but I’ll stick to the French because here there might be any number of eleven official languages I’d have to learn to get on with their parents! www.visaviemovie.com
known best for his design work for cape town rock band aking, illustrator marchand talks to meg de jong about the evolution of his art and the launch of a t-shirt design company.
I call it scavenger art. Finding things you like – a broken watch, suction cups or computer guts – and slopping it into the middle of an artwork. This is roughly where Marchand started, with “layer upon layer of cut-and-paste mixed media”. He explains: “I started doing art at school and developed a liking for German expressionism and American pop art. So my paintings always ended up a bit messy, using anything I could find in the garage or pick up in scrapyards. The cheaper the paint, the older the canvas, the better. And if I fuck something up, I just stick something over it, because a blank canvas makes me a bit uncomfortable and feels like starting over.” The 26-year-old Capetonian-turned-Durbanite has refined his style over the years to the more seamless illustrations we see on album covers and posters today. “At university they taught me a thing or two about type and illustration and computers. And that’s where I ended up with my style – and 300 Photoshop layers!” he elaborates. His current pieces are colourfully eclectic, managing to be quirky without being macabre and interesting but necessarily beautiful. There’s a sort of Where’s Wally? quality to some of them (but there’s no Wally, so don’t bother searching) and others look like they should be tattooed on your calf. One definitely gets the feeling ‘Ooh… That would look nice on a t-shirt’; and so Marchand’s latest business proposition is probably a good move.
“The reason I am doing the t-shirt thing is mainly because I can never find cool t-shirts, and also because I have been collecting shirts for quite a while,” he says. “But it is also a platform for me to do and say what I want. The plan is to print 25–40 limited shirts a month. When it starts picking up, I would love to collaborate with other local designers. The design should become quite wack.” A lot of his work revolves around posters and album covers for South African bands such as aKING and The Shotguns, a natural evolution for Marchand who used to play in a band with some of the former group’s members. “Ag, well, we all grew up together and I played in bands with Laudo and Snake. So when aKING needed a designer they asked me to do some shit for them. Probably at the right place at the right time. It’s always an open brief and lekker to work with them. And I love their music,” he adds. The one-time silver Loerie winner can’t isolate a single theme in his work, describing his art as “a complex place filled with different characters and various stories and scenarios”. He continues: “It’s not always a happy place – or a beautiful one – to everyone. But it’s filled with humour, horror and strange things. It’s like a 1940s comedy-horror circus. Almost like South Africa just with a different skin.” Marchand can’t pin down his plans for the future, although he does see an exhibition in the cards. “But for now,” he clarifies, “it will be a pakkie Stuyvesant blou en dubbel branas en Coke.” www.marchand.co.za
“It’s like a 1940s comedy-horror circus. Almost like South Africa just with a different skin.”
SA ELECTRONIC SCENE 68
GUEST ILLUSTRATOR: sha un gardner
AND THE BEAT GOES ON...
Remember a time when music wasn't mainstream, but an alte rnative culture? You probably can't. It is a stretch, but in the abs ence of anything properly 'alternative ', the electronic music scene has willingly, happily and rightful ly assumed the title deeds to alternative music in decade one of the 21st century.
"Nothing is more singular abou t this generation than its addi ction to music" - or so said Amer ican philosopher Allan Bloom. We don't think Lady Gaga could put it any better. If it's one thing that unites us more than a gaily coloured flag or disdain for politicians, it's music. Forget your balls, South Afric ans, as a nation, love to boogie. Give us a funky tune and a big, bad baseline and we will see you on the dancefloor, any given nigh t of the week, as we exercise (and exorcise) our addictions.
While commercial 'lekker-beat' dance music still feeds a cert ain (disturbingly large!) portion of the population, something else is stirring in the dank and smok ey underbelly of daytime radio playlists, endless, moronica lly themed 'DJ MIX!' club compilati ons, and tired suburban shopping mall fashion displays. As the old guard of South African electronica was busy chasing royalty cheques or checking into rehab, a whol e new host of upstart DJs, dancers, producers and promoters have left their bedrooms to claim the dancefloors of scene indie electronica as their own.
Know your art from your indie!
Complete with its own dress code (already long bandwagoned by retail fashion chainstores), lingo and leitmotifs, indie electron ica is the nu alternative. So who are the stars of this fresh exciting scene? They are name s known only by the audience , like it was in the fifties and sixt ies. Thanks to the power of mark eting, your mom now knows who Gold fish is... but Funafuji and DJ Sass quatch? Welcome to our first-ever fullon electronic music feature. Not intended to be all-encompass ing, and a first of more to come , we're introducing you to a handpick ed sample of the thumping elec tronic sounds emanating from SA's dancefloors of today.
Nowhere else but in elec tronic music are so man people with such little y terms bandied about actual knowledge as by so many to what any of them actu our Bluffer's Guide to ally mean. Use Electronic Music the nex t time you're caught up vs electronica debate in the electro and sound like an exp ert!
CTRO: Originally a term used to describe a subgenre of rappers Afrika Bambaataa hip-hop after recorded 'Planet Rock' in the early '80s, using but a drum machine, voco ders and synths. German synth gods Kraftwerk are credited with inspiring the genre. These days, the word has replaced 'techno' as a catch-all phra se for referring to just about any kind of music with electronic elements to it. ELECTRONIC (adjective):
or modify a sound.
Using electric or electronic means to produce
ELECTRONICA: Contemporary electronic music designed but also foreground listen not just for dancing ing and background music for other things (like weird sex). Techno, tranc e, drum 'n bass, downtempo and ambient music are included. ELECTRONICS (noun):
The stuff inside your TV. And your toaster. Involves the flow of elect rons in a vacuum, in gase ous media, and in semiconductors.
Using an electronic devic e that sends an electronic through the sex organ so current as to eventually result in orgasm.
DRILL 'N BASS: One of the drum 'n bass relatives wher been chopped up, rearrange e the beats have d, pitched to absurd level s and then often still tweaked. Often also refer red to as 'breakcore' by scenesters trying to appear like they know more than they do. ELECTRO-TRASH: The kids that hang out at electro parti aren't really into it for es whom you know the music but for the image . EMOTRONIC: Just when you thoug ht it could get no, um, sadd electronic! (Not to be confu er: Emo goes sed with synthpunk.) GLITCH: A digital error effec t (like playing a badly scra used to enhance and defin tched CD), cleverly e a musical genre. Considere d to be an offshoot of ambient. HOUSE: Repetitively boring danc e music with a 4/4 basic millions the world over. structure. Loved by
INDIE: This term means many things to many people. It's before it becomes massively what something is popular, after which it is just pop. Can also mean 'independent', i.e. not signe d to a record company. Can apply to all genres music including hip-hop, of electro, jazz, rock, punk , metal, thrash, reggae, funk, etc. baile
ELECTRIFY (verb), -fied, -fyin
TRANCE: Psychedelic trance. A form of trance music that from Goa trance in the early developed 1990s. Generally created at a fast tempo, in the range of 140-150 bpm. Best enjoyed on an outdoor danc efloor, on a head full of psychedelic drugs, surro unded by hippies.
SYNTHPUNK: A musical genre which employs synthesise aggressive yet usually minim rs played in an alist manner.
Females with loose mora ls and low self-esteem who gravitate toward the elect ro scene.
CTRICIAN (noun): A person who installs, operates, maint repairs electric devices ains or or electrical wiring. (Migh t know nothing about electronic music.) g: 1. to charge with or apply electricity to 2. to excite greatly; thrill A style of house music that relies heavily on broken squelches and distorted beats, samples.
DRUM 'N BASS:
A type of rave music with an offshoot of the mid-9 rave scene, the music is 0s UK characterised by manic breakbeats (typically 160190 beats per minute), over heavy bass, predatory sub-b occasional infra-basslines asslines and the . Commonly abbreviated as D&B or DnB. DUBSTEP: Bass-heavy dancefloo r music with deep roots in dub reggae, 'n bass, breakbeat, gara drum ge, and a style of UK hip-h op known as grime.
TECHNO: A dance music genre born in Detroit, USA of three (Derrick May, Juan Atkin young black men s, Kevin Saunderson) in the late 1980s. Kraftwerk hailed as the inspiration are with other music genres being added (such as funk, electro, and electric jazz) along the way. Commonly confused with descriptors such as electronic music and dance music. TRASH-ELECTRO: An offshoot of the acid techno genr is placed on totally dispo e where the emphasis sable and low-grade quali ty beats with very little substance. (Okay, we just made this one up. And that is just the point. Who knows what any of it reall y means and more so: who cares? As long as you know you enjoy it, you can call it whatever you like.. .) Word.
Haezer wants you to be loud. He wants you to make a noise with him. With an energetic applause, bobbing heads and jolted bod y movements, he entert ains his fans, fuelling them wit h a bottle of tequila shared through individual dan ces and mean electro beats. His presence is deafen ing - not just through his music but also his arr ival, as he stands on his amplified devices of sou nd compelling the cro wd to jump with him.
RENEGADE OF ELECTRO ANARCHY
WORDS: sarah cla ire picton with co ntributions by tam PHOTOGRAPHY: ara arden adriaan louw
A DJ-producer who plays 70 % of his own tracks, manipulating song structures, sounds and beat s live, Haezer is an auteur when it comes to all things electro. The 26-y earold Ebenhaezer Smal has been assaulting audiences worldwid e with his energy-fuelled sets, taki ng the role as puppet master in a show that continues to evolve and amplify. His music resonates with a punkinfused attitude - pure carn ivalesque banter that induces freaks on the dancefloor, hedonistic vaga bonds engaging with the syncopat ed filth being created onstage. There's freedom in making elec tronic music. "You can play around with soundscapes, blips and beep s, and spend hours warping and shap ing sounds" continues Haezer. While online music porthole Beatport desc ribes Haezer as 'indie-electro', he'd prefer to call his dirty gangsta, thra sh rock 'n roll sound 'trash elec tro'. "In the electronic scene, you still have pure house, pure elec tro, pure techno, trance, dubstep, you name it. The main thing is progression, and you see more producers bein g braver with their productions than in, say,
2000." There's no middle grou nd when it comes to live electro, no shaded area of uncertainty or hesi tation. Only hard in-your-face elec tronic assaults delivered with ultim ate conviction and untamed pass ion. In nostalgic talk, Haezer sign ifies the distinct energy he expe rienced at the drum 'n bass parties he started going to in grade ten. "I loved the energy on the danc efloor and the strange connection between the DJ and the crowd... almo st intimate, like there's a cert ain trust from the audience in the DJ, in that whatever he plays they will dance to" he reminisces. His career as a DJ-producer unofficially bega n with 'CDJs', the turntables of CD DJing, and specifically with a pair of self-financed Stanton CDJs . "But DJing wasn't enough; I want ed to create beats... And now I'm here," acknowledges Haezer. There is a strong force of talent in the local electro field, and Haezer shares a few that are nota ble to him: "Battle Beyond the Star s, Double Adapter, ILLtastic, Codec, Sibo t, Markus Wormstorm, Felix Laba nd, Humanizer, Dont Party, Gard en Boys, and Griet. Plus: Arcade, Ty and Dana; The Assembly, Discotheque and Blaise; Untamed Youth and Tommy Gun. " Currently throwing the Gard en Boys parties with Markus Wormstor m and planning parties with Griet, Haezer is a true activist in keeping ignited the local electro scene and making South African venues a circ led date on big international DJs' diar ies. And amongst all this electron ic pandemonium, who the fuck is Haezer? "A boerseun who pushes butt ons," he says. That's what he thinks. We say he's a renegade of electro anarchy, tearing up dancefloors one slutty bassline at a time!
GRIET Griet is an artist management and events company mainly focussed in the electronic music scene, representing and showcasing the very best electro DJs, producers and bands in South Africa. Griet manages a prolific range of artists at the forefront of South Africa's electronic music scene including Haezer, Kidofdoom, Mr Sakitumi, Sassq uatch, Unit.R and Yesterday's Pupil. Among the many events they manage, Griet runs the electro stage at South African music festival RAMFEST and collaborates with Hotbox Studios to host the DJ-dance parties Dogbo x in Stellenbosch and Pretoria.
A weekly electronic night that starte d in June 2009, Discotheque has grown to becom e one of Cape Town's most prominent weekly events, attrac ting an average of 700 people a night. "We [Blaise Janichon and Pierre Coetzee] started Discotheque with the vision to host a night where people knew they would be getting music in a certain realm, as well as knowin g they'd always get the best party out there!" says Blaise. The night focuses on a multitude of dance music genres and aims to expose and promote both international and local artists, building and streng thening the culture of electronic music through consistently raising the bar in production and overall event experi ence.
PHOTOGRAPHY: aiden hadfield
DRUM 'N BASS: It Came From the Jungle! It Came From the Jungle! the weekly Thursday drum 'n bass night at Fiction DJ Bar in Cape Town's noto rious Long Street - is an und erground enclave of ankle-popping, sweat-slinging sessions. It's more than an event, though; it's an energetic artform. And like all art, behind it lies an arti st. In this case, Mark Stevens aka Niskerone is the mastermind behind the madnes s.
BATANDWA ALPERSTEIN chats to Niskerone on his European tour - beginning with a gig in Barcelona on the nigh t of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final (just imagine the mayhem!) to spur his unleash of It Came From the Jungle! onto the world.
From the concrete jungle of The Plein (Mitchell's, that is) to the soni c jungle of many a dancefloor, Niskeron e has always been a little mischievous. His alias comes from a stint as a graf fiti artist by the name of Nisker1. Mark also tried breakdancing and rapping befo re settling for DJing.
While other kids on his bloc k were out playing hopscotch, Mark happ ily sat at the family gramophone abso rbing his aunt's vinyl collection. As an early teen, he was exposed to acid house and techno. This opened his curi osity for other electronic sounds, lead ing to hours spent searching through musi c stores. In 1995, he discovered drum 'n bass. And as the oozing bass seduced his ears, a passion was born. Some year s down the line, this early love transfor med into a profession.
The real business began in 2003 when Niskerone teamed up with DJ Rawkiss of the Digital Justice crew. The twosome threw parties at Mama Afrik a and, during this time, Rawkiss imparted some of the ropes of the game and the basics of mixing - ultimately preparing Niskerone for bigger things.
From 2004, Niskerone started working with Julian Joseph, better known as SFR (who now has internation al 12-inch releases under his belt). Tog ether they formed Dhala Kulture and organised events in Table Vie w, Cape Town that las ted the duration of two years. Through SFR , Niskerone began to master the finer ski lls of DJing. In 2006, Mark's big break came. Adam Kle in, of AK47, offered Nis kerone a residency night at the soon-t o-open Fiction DJ Bar . He swung onto this opportunity like Tar zan to the canopies, and on the momentous eve of May 4, Fiction DJ Bar opened, and It Came From the Jun gle! was launched broadening horizons for local undergrou nd dance culture in way s that were then unimaginable. It Came From the Jun gle! was initially established to give drum 'n bass heads a regular space to come together and celebrate the cultur e. With that now achieved, Niskerone is looking beyond the borders of the Cape. He's started by collaborating with Geo rgios Kretsos of Ube r Cool Events, on the ir newly founded Ozo ne events at the nightc lub Origin, with the hope of revitalising the less-established Durban scene too. HOMEGROWN
Hosted by Animal Chin & 500 Mills (Counterstrike), Homegrown is the longest running and biggest drum 'n bass night in South Africa. The first party took place in September 2000 at Mercury Live (then called The Jam), and has since remained loyal to the venue and its fans. Active DJs, producers and promoters since the mid-19 90s, 500 Mills and Animal Chin's idea behind Homegrown "is to expos e and develop the sound of South African drum 'n bass by giving local producers the platform to showcase their tunes". Over the last decade, Homegrown has hosted a powerful selection of drum 'n bass artists, with internationa l headlining acts including the likes of Pendulum and Dieselboy, and local ones such as Count erstrike, Hyphen, SFR, RudeOne, MFU, Niskerone, MC Skywalker, Psyke and the Anti Alias.
The future for Nisker one also includes more time in the stu dio and working on a collaborative audio-v isual project with the up-and-coming VJ Dan iel Ting Chong. Aside from that, Niskerone will continue to do what he enjoys bes t: "infusing an intense euphoric element into every dancefloor", ensuring that the cro wd loses themselve s and, in that way (as all true junglists kno w), ultimately find themse lves.
DUBSTEP BROTHERS gonna work it out WORDS: daniel friedman
| PHOTOGRAPHY: sian lloyd
Richard Rumney is perhaps better known as electr o producer Richard the Third. His younger brother, Robert (aka Twelv), produces breakbeat and psychedelic trance. Togeth er they form Biscope, one of the only South African acts making original dubstep for live performance.
A glance at a flyer for nights like Step Up at Cape Town's Fiction Bar or Rub-adub at Mercury Live reveals that many drum 'n bass DJs hav e been moving over to playing dub step. "It has the same appeal," tells Richard, "Moody, bassline-driven dan ce music." He adds, "When I first proper ly got into dubstep back in 2007, it exc ited me very much the way drum 'n bas s did ten years ago . Although initially I also thought about dubstep as I first had of drum 'n bass: 'How can you dance to this stuff?! Oh, wait. Listen to that bass! Listen to the rhythm! I get it! Thi s is amazing!'" Biscope bootleg rem ixes have been furiously trading han ds on music share sites like SoundClou d (an online audio distribution platform, like Flickr, but for songs). Their takes on classic cuts by anyone from smooth soul divas Erykah Badu and Jill Scott to grunge icons Nirvana has made the m highly sought after. "With the Jill Scott and Erykah Badu bootlegs the mission was to make 'lovestep': deep, sen sual dubstep for the ladies," grins Ric hard, "and the Nirvana thing was jus t a nostalgic trip that got a lot of dow nloads and plays." "The two sides to the Biscope coin are actually quite dis tinct: the one side likes fun, dancef loor dubstep with distorted basslin es and catchy hooks. The other fav ours deep, soulful, even psychedelic-s ounding stuff," he elaborates. The sheer number of different styles one can identify in Biscope's tracks hint that there's a whole lot of variation within dub step as a genre. "There are a lot of different strains at the moment," con firms Richard. "We're interested in all of them."
Richard also lets on that the small but rapidly growing scene is becoming divided - bizarrely along the issue of basslines! Dupste p's trademark wobbling bassline to be exact, allegedly as there are those who feel it and those who just don't. "The really hard, distorted, fast basslin es - popularised by overseas guys like Skream and Rusko - are where most people find the hype and swagge r," he tells. "But it's also very overus ed and kind of base (not bass). It's like distorted guitar riffs - fuckin g exciting when you first hear it, but qui ckly boring after you've heard a tho usand derivatives," he laughs. "Down in Cape Town, many of the original DJs don't like it, now favouring the mature , deeper and more progressive sounds coming out on labels like London-ba sed Hyperdub." Biscope are not alo ne in this genre. "Mix n Blend is doing some worldclass stuff with African Dop e and Muti Music. Fletcher too. I always play their stuff out," maintains Richar d. "Other artists making some insane music include Binary , Audiophile 021 and Cal lan Maart."
If you need an intr oduction to the genre as a whole, the Rumneys suggest you check out Breaka ge, Nero, Datsik and Excision, Joker and Joy Orbison. For a great overview, an essential album is Diary of an Afro Warrior by London dubstep pro ducer Benga. "It's quite dated, but for me it kind of outlines the entire sound of dubstep over the past five years. It's all in there."
Step Up is a collective group project that brought the first dubstep parties to Cape Town. "We have nights once a month at Fiction on Long Street, bringing you the freshest dubstep and phatt est beats. Local residents are Fletcher, Funafuji, and Ish with our everfaithful hype-man MC Blotc hy Worker Boy. Every month we bring you a new guest giving us their expression of their dubstep love," expla ins Safiyya Bryce (aka Funa fuji).
The term bootlegging origin ally came from concealing hip flasks of alcohol in the legs of boots. Which gives us a hint as to what a bootleg remix is. A bootl eg is an illicit, illegal and unaut horised remix of an existing, often very popular song, using eithe r the entire song or samples from it snatched by some or other cheeky DJ, producer or remixer (often anonymously but released publicly). It is not exclusive to the electronic dance music genre. In the realm of EDM, however, it is an accepted practice, as having some one remix your song, bootleg or not, is typically a sign of grea t respect. Other names bootlegs go by are boots, mashups, smashups and bastard pop.
h & adriaan louw | PHOTOGRAPHY: jared smit WORDS: andrei van wyk
FUCK ART, LET'S DANCE
(to indie electro) oliths puncture the sky Towering concrete mon with synthetic radiance. and pierce our sights of s located in the heart The basements and bar sating pul nds sou rile ste sh Johannesburg send har Gang eets, and the beats of through the empty str onto way ir the mel pum ystem of Four and LCD Sounds nd. rou erg Johannesburg's und packed dancefloors of ne sce o ctr ele rs, the indie Over the last few yea phing monster that's mor a li, Ego d ade has inv own. its of commandeered a life
has become Ben Rausch, aka DJ Sassquatch, electro dance indie nted deme synonymous with the Johannesburg. Born sounds infecting the streets of his beginnings in 1983, the Pretoria-raised DJ found Design. Moving l Visua in e within the indie music scen the tiny electro d vere disco he 21, at rg Jo'bu to parties known as scene - then a series of dance bodies DJ Paul The Secret, managed by Jozi busy electronic musician nt ambie and ] Town of [King Holden ating visuals oper n bega Ben s]. Aragorn Eloff [Asqu deeper involvement. for the event, soon sparking a a love for Q and Ben's interest in DJing grew from of a mixture ers pione ure Rapt The and U Not gh a highly throu d esse expr punk of funk-based into a sound known percussive assault, translating concurrent as 'dance-punk' or 'electro'. Ben's ed him to focus fuell e hous and e boredom with tranc tation with its on the fierce indie-punk instrumen ro-dance beat. sweet melodies and angular elect I thought to ure Rapt The "Listening to acts like le could actually Peop this! mix could 'You lf: myse just be me in my dance to this!' It didn't have to bedroom!" he laughs. platform to exercise The Secret created the perfect elled so Paul said this desire. "One night a DJ canc , why don't you do music this all love guys 'Okay, you Takashi] and [Data a Both a DJ set?' My friend Riaan led to a residency This ty." rtuni oppo the at d jumpe I o Star's 'Indie Dance at Johannesburg nightclub Toky ushered in the idea er Thursday nights', which furth le to a "different peop duce intro to ution instit for an to dance kids hing teac style of partying while set up the first to rock-based electro music". He designing flyers, Sovereign Academy parties in 2005, . "All these night the on doing visuals and DJing and I thought rg Jo'bu in ening happ were s thing to my hometown," it'd be cool to bring something party of its kind says Ben. Soon it was the first mindfuck. The total a was "It try. coun the to tour for a year!" His ening happ been parties hadn't even d as motivation growing number of influences acte ond & The Tutus, "with South African acts like Desm of my mentor)" (sort Town Kidofdoom and King of p outfit Johnny ro-po elect g joinin for basis the and Neon in 2006.
ler parties The music has lived on in smal Data Takashi DJs w fello and set up by Ben eron Lowry], and Nathan Scott Philips [Cam ducing more bringing in crowds and intro d. "I just soun tro elec kids to the indie ons I started want to stay true to the reas his goal is that ng sayi , ents comm DJing" he nded to expa 's that e to grow with the scen l. leve al a glob nnesburg indie According to Ben, the Joha as good as, if me beco has e scen electro electronic ing bang the not better than, . "Honestly, I and Fidget scenes overseas what I saw at was painfully disappointed by DJs, while The a. Afric parties outside South played the most just t, icien prof lly nica tech It didn't move un-fun, brutally hard electro. me in the least!" he says. been a Thus far, Ben thinks 2010 has if things good year for the genre, and d of a soun the are, they continue as ming through fierce dance beat will be drum h Africa for the unsuspecting cities of Sout . years to come
Shit Some Other Kind of like taking more Music is not like a urinal, but toilet - Bakaman a dump in a quiet, isolated
pink spaceship fajinas, High-speed chases to find bright the chase: this is Jam fuelled by a bassline as dirty as r kind of shit". Jam Jar - or (as they say) "some othe union of MC Bakaman emly unse and Jar is 'glitch-rap' duo dproof (Kieron Grieve) (Paul Stubbs) and DJ-producer Soun of Biorhythm. Jam part and et - aka Rubix Qube, Phat Plan ly daring and rous wond g tchin scra and Jar is speaking dirty syncopated love. OGRAPHY: taheer mullins WORDS: sarah claire picton | PHOT
An unscrupulous discourse between man and machine, electronic music continues to morph, and Jam Jar's convinced crowds are "ready to indulge in the new shit". Each via vastly different routes - New York-born Baka from hip-h op and Capetonian Soundproof from psytrance - the two came together in 2009 to create Jam Jar, signi ng under the label African Dope Records. And the pair form a prolific alliance, each finely in tune with the other, synchronised in soul and sound. As Kieron shares: "While Baka communicates the mess age, Soundproof makes the music facilitate the mess age, so it's engaged on a personal level." Although Soundproof glitches and Baka raps, the sound of Jam Jar certainly isn't hip-hop, and it isn't just glitch. "It can be dubs tep, it's known to be drum 'n bass, sometimes it's kwaito and in moments it's big beat," peruses Baka. Ultimately it's about "the love for a dirty synt h lead with some melody, and phat, uncompromising, nostril-bending bass topped off with a whirlwind of appropriate lyrical wizardry" - some other type of shit indeed.
AFRICAN DOPE RECORD S
African Dope Records are a pioneering inde pendent record label from Cape Town started by DJs Fletcher and Roach in April 2000 . Home to some of this country's most original, progress ive tunes for the past decade, the label has become a cultu ral institution represen ting the left-most field of Sout h African music. Some of the artists they've produced inclu de Mix n Blend, Kalahari Surfers, Krushed & Sorted and Felix Laband. For a full feature, check out the article on African Dope Reco rds in issue 18 of one small seed.
one small seed and African Dope Records are embarking on an exciting new collaboration! From September, you'll be able to sample a taste of some African Dope delights on one small seed network, where selected tracks will be exclusively available for download. The first auditory fla vours to look forward to will be fro m Jam Jar's much-anticipated debut digital EP releases. BOOM! ww w.a fri
ca nd op e.c o.z a
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In an attempt to decipher their cryptic lyrical mastery, Baka shares the story behind their track 'Spaceship Fajina': "Soundproof had named the rough track 'Lazers and Vaginas'. MC Flo (former Chamber Concept) and I pondered how to attack the concept, and came up with an outer space pursuit involving a pink aircraft-carrier-sty le spaceship and an army of (jaw-droppingly large) military-attack spaceships. Metaphorically spea king, of course." In late September, Jam Jar relea se their first CD. However - "aside from maybe printing 100-odd limited CDs" - this 'CD' isn't reall y a CD at all. Baka explains: "There'll be abou t four tracks on our first (digital) release. Then a few months later, four more tracks on another, some remix releases in between, then four more track s, and finally an album compiling them all. That's the plan." Regardless of how esoteric the local electronic scene may be, Jam Jar's launched head-first into a noisy campaign to keep promoting it (whether it's dubstep, drum 'n bass, elect ro, glitch, funk...). And others are doing the same. Bakaman names just a few: "Hyphen, SFR, African Dope Records, Mix n Blend, P.H.Fat, Haezer, Fletcher, Niskerone, 7Ft Soundsystem, Liver, Biscope, Die Antwoord, Markus Wormstorm, Playdoe, Sweat.X, Spoe k Mathambo, Ben Sharpa, and so very many more. We're a remarkable nation." And a kinetic nation at that, reso nating with individuals who passionately explo re the malleable avenues of electronic sound, obsc uring mental wellbeings and cementing people's love for vengeful basslines and sweaty nights on dancefloors. Two such individuals make up Jam Jar. And where do they fit in? Soundproof says it best: "If dubstep and breaks and glitc h-hop met at a bar and decided to start a band , they'd call it 'breakstepdubhopglitch' ... or Jam Jar". Call them what you want, but be warned: Jam Jar are anything but generic - take their word for it: "This is Jam Jar - some other kind of shit!"
MUSIC: UK DANCE
courtesy of just music
The fact that Faithless are still around and relevant after more than a decade is a boast few bands on the ‘dance’ scene can claim. “We were a bit ahead of the game, fifteen years ago,” believes Bliss. “Ours was a sound that was so often imitated, but never bettered.” “Dance music reaches out to people, it touches them. It is especially important, to me, that our music does that, and will continue to do that… the challenge is to make dance music that has feeling.”
jon monsoon |
While touring the globe is something that Maxi Jazz (vocals), Sister Bliss (music) and Rollo (production) have done without much pause more or less since 1995, the excuse for hitting the road mid-2010 comes in the form of the band’s sixth studio album, The Dance. “No, it doesn’t get any easier,” confirms Bliss in response to my question about the trials of touring, twelve years in. “It gets harder to maintain the same levels of energy. And we’ve got families to consider now,” she says. “But of course we still love to do it! It is our passion.” This overriding sense of positive passion for their music (and their fans) has been what’s kept them going – that and a slew of expertly crafted dancefloor damagers off charthogging albums. Emancipation from their previous major record label (EMI) is another contributing factor. “It’s so nice to be on our own timetable again, and not have to rush anything,” says Sister Bliss. It has been four years since their last album outing. So why now? Was it a case of needing to remind the world just how good dancing makes you feel, or the fact that there were bills to be paid? “The scene simply seemed ripe for us to come back now,” maintains the serene Sister. “Plus, a lot of the dance music around at the moment is just rubbish!”
Sister Bliss (real name Ayalah Deborah Bentovim) is frantically packing her bags. She’s about to head out the door on a quick summer tour with her band. This routine is anything but new to the 40-year-old musician, producer, DJ, mom and front face for the world’s longest-serving, live dance band.
Back in August ‘98, a London dance band by the name of Faithless had us believing that God was, in fact, a DJ. Never before in the history of losing it on the dancefloor had something sounded so right. Twelve years later, that band is back to remind us how it felt.
Dalmatian-print blouse | Beyond Retro silk trousers | Paul Smith shoes | Natacha Marro
FASHION: AFRO-BRIT FUSION
PHOTOGRAPHER: FABRIZIO RAINONE (www.fabriziorainone.com) STYLIST: SHAZZY THOMAS (www.shazzythomas.com) MAKEUP ARTIST: CAROL BROWN @ DW MANAGEMENT USING ELLIS FAAS HAIR: BEN GREGORY @ GREGORY DEAN USING FUDGE MODEL: FARAH @ SELECT PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT: JEM RIGBY LOCATION: NOTTING HILL, WEST LONDON
FARAH WEARS LEFT
jacket | Paul Smith shorts | Beyond Retro tights | Falke shoes | Natacha Marro RIGHT
top | Paul Smith shorts | Beyond Retro tights | Aristoc shoes | Tata Naka
FARAH WEARS LEFT
dress | Tata Naka tights | Falke RIGHT
cardigan | Paul Smith
puma archive collection 88
HEROES FROM THE PUMA ARCHIVE WALT ‘CLYDE’ FRAZIER AND THOSE FAMOUS KICKS
It’s been on this earth more than twice as long as Justin Bieber, has been part of just about every ‘scene’ imaginable and was worn by everyone from famous athletes and notorious rappers to movie stars and well, your mother probably. It’s the shoe we’ve all come to know and love as the ‘Clyde’, born of the classic Suede sneaker and endorsed by the man known as Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier, legendary Hall of Famer and the king of cool on the 1970’s basketball scene. Nicknamed Clyde (in reference to Bonnie and Clyde) for his notoriety for stealing the ball from opponents, he was blessed with a unique combination of court vision, quickness, and size (he stands at a whopping 6'4") and is regarded as one of the best point guards in the history of the game. During his all-star career, Frazier was known for his ‘cool’ style both on and off the court. Frazier would arrive at games in a Rolls Royce, dressed in designer suits, broad-brimmed hats and full-length mink coats, while sporting an Afro, mutton chop sideburns, and a goatee. Frazier’s unique and extravagant style made him the perfect candidate for an endorsement deal and when PUMA approached him in 1973, he became one of the first NBA players to have his own signature shoe. It didn’t take him long to take his court style to the streets and as the man himself has said: “The Clyde wasn’t just a basketball shoe, you could style in this shoe. If you wore Clydes you knew what was happening, you were in style.” Ironically the shoe hasn’t played a significant role on the basketball scene, but has instead been hugely influential in the skateboarding scene of the ’70s and during the breakdancing and hip-hop revolution of the ’80s and ’90s as street hustlers, hip-hoppers, rappers and b-boys picked up on it. As sport and fashion became increasingly interchangeable, the Clyde has continued to illustrate its capability of transcending both style and generation gaps and remains as cool today, as when it was first spotted on Frazier’s feet.
The Clyde did for sneakers what Michael Jackson did for gloves and in commemoration of this revolutionary sneaker, PUMA is re-launching it as part of their PUMA Archives collection, nearly 40 years after it first slam-dunked onto the scene. The Archive collection is a celebration of PUMA‘s most memorable and notorious models, taking them out of the history books and bringing them into contemporary culture. In keeping with our philosophy that innovative thinking does not always mean coming up with something new, the key to this process lies not in the redesigning of these shoes (the Clyde definitely aint broken and we sure aint fixin’ it), but in simply expanding on the colourways and adding graphic prints and special fabrics to make the shoes even better, brighter and so much cooler. Each style comes with a story, as well as a distinctive look, feel and tone that reveals who they are, what they stand for and why these products have become such legends. The PUMA Archive Collection now brings all your favourite originals back, reinventing the Suedes in their classic colours as well as the new Suede Tropics. In addition, the Doctor Clyde Mashup combines the Clyde’s iconic design with a classic military boot to create an all-new PUMA Street Style. The sneaker has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a gym trainer and with its bold colourways and unparalleled versatility, the Clyde is still the ultimate accessory, whether you’re chilling out, kicking it up or simply want to party like it’s 1973. www.archive.puma.com | http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Walt_Frazier
unisex orange PUMA suede tropics sneaker blue and yellow PUMA archive bag
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
blue and orange suede archive sneakers with blue denim evisu PUMA jeans black and orange dr clyde mashup sneakers with blue denim evisu PUMA jeans
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
black and orange dr clyde mashup sneaker with blue denim evisu PUMA jeans blue and yellow suede archive sneaker unisex green PUMA suede tropics sneaker orange and blue suede srchive sneaker with blue denim evisu PUMA jeans unisex purple PUMA suede tropics sneaker black clyde sneakers
Mpumalanga FASHION WEEK
Creativity has no country, innovation no flaws, inspiration no boundaries. This is the bold premise behind Mpumalanga Fashion Week, one of the youngest South African Fashion Weeks to arrive on the scene, but one that nonetheless is confidently making its way down the red carpet to set trends and inspire innovation within SA’s multifarious fashion world.
Held over 1–5 September 2010 in the province’s lush capital city of Nelspruit, at the Mercure Inn, this is the second-ever annual Mpumalanga Fashion Week. The Fashion Week’s theme this year is Ace of Spades, Autumn/Winter Collection 11/12 with the tagline ‘Feel it, It is Black!’. The stars of the show are 12 Mpumalanga-born fashion designers whose new collections will be hitting the ramps: Cheryl Arthur of Cape Town-based Hip Hop Fashion, John Sithole of Earthquake, Simphiwe Hlophe (Sym-P-we), Patience Letswele (Patience), Moses Khoza (Moskos Couture), Lettie Mashabane (Lettice Designs), Zodwa Mnisi (Zodwa), Isaac Sithole (Eruption Designers), Nokwakha Qobo (Qobo Qobo), Tinyiko Dlamini, Melissa Paulus and Busi Ngwenya.
Highlights of the second-ever Mpumalanga Fashion Week include 20 evening fashion shows by local designers, with exhibitions and fashion retail outlets set up during the day, and the inevitable after-parties wrapping up the nights. A theme has also been designated to the musical side of the fashion affair – Remember the Titans – as a tribute to the South African music that took us from our democracy in 1994 through to 2010. Songs that are bound to be playlisted as the models hold sway of the catwalk include kwaito favourites by acts like TKZee, Boom Shaka and Bongo Maffin, and new hits by a sample of hot new African musicians like Lira, Black Coffee, Winnie Khumalo and Kwela Tebza. And to liven up the after-parties, top South African R&B artist Loyiso Bala will be performing his debut album written by Grammy Award winner Robin Thicke, supported by a host of other local acts and DJs. Acting as media partners, one small seed will be there too, filming the event to bookmark its spot in South Africa’s fashion annals. In the past, Nelspruit has been best known as the gateway to Kruger National Park and for being a manufacturing and agricultural hub for northeastern South Africa. With 2010 seeing it as one of the nine host cities for the FIFA World Cup, and now in September playing host to this boldly emerging Fashion Week, Nelspruit – and the entire province of Mpumalanga, ‘the place where the sun rises’ – is certainly basking in some well-deserved moments of glory.
Introducing three of Mpumalanga Fashion Week’s freshest fashion designers, to give you just a snippet of the fabulous flamboyance that’s the order of the week! Sym-P-we Sym-P-we is derived from the designer’s name, Simphiwe Hlophe, and is merged with the elements of what the designer and the brand love most: music, nature and drama. Simphiwe was born, bread and buttered in the small town of Secunda in Mpumalanga. Since studying Fashion Design at the Vaal University of Technology, Simphiwe has earned several impressive accolades, the most notable being winning the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Awards in 2008. SymP-we caters for both male and female clients, and is known for his intricate patterns, meticulous use of colour, and high level of workmanship.
Note of This Earth (NOTE) Spearheading NOTE are three male designers, Elias Sibata, Mokotjo Mohulo and Tello Maema, inspired by everyday life, music, fashion and urban culture. Their range consists mostly of menswear, which they say is aimed at “top business moguls who dare to be different”. For the Fashion Week, NOTE has taken the theme of Ace of Spades to relate to the consequences of gambling – lavish lifestyle and greed that can lead to grudges and even death – translating this into the concept ‘mourning the gambler’ and naming it Umgcwabo, or Black Funeral. Look forward to elegant, colourful men’s coats with fur, hound’s tooth, twirl, tweed, soft fabrics, formal pants, fitting denim jeans, a blend of fitted shirts and tuxedo shirts. Earthquake An earthquake is a movement that disrupts everything in its path. Nothing escapes impact. Designer John Sithole sets out to create the same effect with his label, Earthquake – a fashion label that has been causing something of a tremor amongst Jozi’s fashion-savvy set. A third-generation Swazi fashionista, John Sithole grew up in Malelane, Mpumalanga. Clothing, he says, runs in his blood: his grandfather started the family trend as a salesman of tracksuits and jerseys, plying his trade to men in Soweto, and further afield in Carletonville and Westonaria. John’s uncle later started a corporate clothing company in Mpumalanga. It was here that John joined the fashion forces at age 11, learning the ropes as he helped out every day after school. Since then he has lived and worked in Melville, Johannesburg, until very recently relocating to Cape Town. John works across fabrics but his preferred ranges have always been denim and canvas, with seasonal colours, patterns and styles mixed in. Not governed by the seasons, denim and canvas are well-suited to both everyday and office-wear and give him the freedom to inject cuttingedge style into the ordinary. His range pictured here shows off his amazingly innovative work with Converse – crafting entire garments using the same materials as Converse takkies, with lace and eyelet details – to create some of the most showstopping afro-chic designs on South Africa’s runways. Expect to see more in this vein from Earthquake at the Mpumalanga Fashion Week 2010. www.mpfashionweek.co.za
MUSIC: MYSTICAL DECK WIZARD
Leon Botha aka DJ Solarize 96
DJ Solarize (Leon to his mom) is an example of mass media gone bad. While the media has done much to draw attention to his impressive art skills and his part in the SA hip-hop scene, it nonetheless relies on the one aspect of Leon Botha that is all too obvious. Ninja from his crew Die Antwoord put it best: “We all got that disease. It’s just that Leon’s cool with it.”
What Ninja means to say is: we’re all dying – Leon’s just aging a little quicker. But those who know him say this gives him a special awareness of the preciousness of the present. And that's where his creative power lies. At 25, Leon is a DJ, artist, and an incredibly spiritually in-tune human being. Entering Leon’s northern suburb Cape Town home, his mom opens the door to a room hung with large-scale paintings depicting the four elements of hip-hop culture. It’s Leon’s work. Walking in on a cane about as high as he is, Leon’s fist raises to meet mine. We go through to his bedroom, his sanctum, furnished with artwork, books on symbolism, a rack of every awesome rap CD ever recorded, an equivalent one of vinyl, and a set of turntables.
Both growing up in Apartheid’s State of Emergency, we reminisce about Cape hip-hop, the glory days in the birthplace of South African hip-hop, and its key crews like Prophets of Da City (POC). I’m surprised at how immersed Leon is in all these guys’ lives – from Waddy Jones (now going as Ninja) to old-school Mitchell’s Plain artists like Isaac Mutant, E.J von Lyrik and the late Mr. Fats. We speak of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and he talks of Yoda being a metaphor. He tells me he got into hip-hop around 1993. He squints in recollection, like it was 40 years ago.
Watching him in-the-mix, his ring bedecked fingers skitter across the decks like alien spiders. “I think I was more drawn to turntabilism than DJing,” he relates. “It came from seeing guys like Ready D and DJ Azuhl perform and that brought inspiration. I had to wait three years before I could afford decks of my own. Now, I just mix, but I try to incorporate my style of mixing from a turntabilism aspect, so I’m doing a lot of things – techniques like bubbling and juggling and scratching. Just listening to the music and appreciating it… My understanding of it is that hip-hop is not just music, but a way of life and a journey.”
“My cousin and I got into Public Enemy, POC, The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC, trying to find as much of it as we could – which, during those times, was difficult. Most SA music shops didn’t even have a rap or hip-hop section. We managed to get the first POC albums and those made us hungrier to learn as much about this culture and the styles and the references. It spoke as a minority for the minority. I connected with that. Music for people on the margin. A voice for the people whose voice wasn’t being noticed. It literally came across my path and grabbed me,” he tells. “Because I had experienced it to a certain degree, I understood it. It was a part of me that I grew up with. So it wasn’t as much as I connected with it, but that it reflected me.”
Whether it’s a Facebook status update sprouting some ancient Eastern philosophy or an ingot of his own mind, wisdom through attention and understanding is a major part of how Solarize projects himself. “I don’t want to study art further because I don’t want to confine anything I do to a certain level. The pressure of saying I believe this or that culture kind of expects something. For me, it’s just how I feel. I need to experience things as an individual, as opposed to a culture. It’s a view that I know not a lot of people agree with, but it’s my personal path and life. That’s the way I experience it. Art is just a place where I draw parallels between life and art. I mean, it’s all just love on the one hand and pain on the other hand and that’s life and art.” www.myspace.com/solarize_liquidswords www.leonbotha.com
MUSIC: SOUTHAMPTON GARAGE ROCK
band of skulls
It takes a lot to become famous these days. Everyone has equal access to the fame-making tools and raw talent is seemingly no requirement. Hard work pays off and a bit of luck goes a long way, as TAMLYN GREY discovers when she finds this band and asks them how they did it. IMAGE:
If you don’t know Band of Skulls, the name conjures all sorts of ‘heavy’ connotations. But the music made by these two guys and a girl from Southampton, England is far from being distortion and noise. The band consists of college chums Russell Marsden (guitar and vox), Matt Hayward (drums) and the sultry Emma Richardson (bass and vox). The outcome is a hypnotic bluesy-rock buzz with hints of jazz and a filling of ’70s soul. With two vocalists and all three writing the music, theirs is a formula that makes for endless musical possibilities. “A lot of bands have one person leading the way, but with us it’s a complete collaboration of everyone fighting for their ideas and parts to be heard,” tells drummer Matt. Band of Skulls’ debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, corroborates, as each song on the record screams to be listened to rather than skipped through. Initially going under the name Fleeing New York, the band were unknowns to all but their college mates until they caught the attention of iTunes. And apparently, having one’s debut single posted as iTunes Single of The Week can do wonders for a career – as the band discovered with their funky and upbeat track ‘I Know What I Am’ that gained them global renown in less time than it takes to make a microwave meal. The band subsequently changed their name, just in time to see the track appear on the soundtrack for a PlayStation 3 game, an episode of Canadian teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation and a Swatch TV ad shown worldwide. On whether they think this song is anything particularly more special than their other tracks, singer-guitarist Russell tells that they treat each song with the same love and attention. “We guess it's just up to the listeners to decide,” he defers, noncommittal.
Having a song feature on the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack is another sure step towards immediate teen worship. “Twilight wasn't something that was on any of our radars; we didn't even realise they had a copy of the song [‘Friends’] until after we found out about it in the LA Times!” tells the bowldomed singer Emma. In promotion of their impressive debut the threesome hit the road, appearing at the Texas SXSW Festival in support of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and doing shows across the UK, Europe and America, including Glastonbury, Hurricane Festival and a supporting gig to Jack White’s The Dead Weather in London. By the time you’ve read this, Band of Skulls will have played in Australia, Japan and, in September, opened for Muse, playing to one of the largest crowds they’ve ever entertained. “To be honest, you can give us a stage anywhere and we will be more than happy to have a crack at it!” Matt laughs. Although the album has exploded globally in all the right places, the musicians still don't believe life is perfect. “If it were, we’d have nowhere to evolve. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved, but we still have a long way to go,” they maintain. Band of Skulls’ journey continues with the writing of a new record later this year and, if this one turns out to be anything near as awesomely ear-melting as Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, we are all doomed to have more than just our ears soldered away. www.bandofskulls.com
MUSIC: BARRIER-BREAKING SA HIP-HOP
Tree Houses On the Sea 100
it’s like winning the lottery “I’m feeling you dog, aiit…” Onstage, T.H.O.T.S frontman Raheem used to irritate me – I wrote my thesis on Americanisation. But the further you dig the more T.H.O.T.S reveal. And suddenly, backed by his passion for rhythm and poetry and his deep respect for the written word, Raheem’s American hip-hopisms take on an Oh-31, Durban Stone City flavour of their own. WORDS:
yusuf laher |
“We appreciate all forms of music, so it’s unfair to call us a hip-hop band. We’re a musical band,” explains drummer Roston Ramsunder. “Before T.H.O.T.S, I played heavy metal.” “We’re mostly jazz trained. Mo (bass) and I study jazz, Ross and Kenneth (keyboard) studied jazz… Raheem’s from a hiphop background. And Paperkut’s (aka DJ P-Kuttah) dad was an influential jazz pianist,” adds guitarist Dylan Silk. “I listen to hip-hop as much as possible, but blues is in my heart, man. It’s my main thing. That whole blues catharsis.” Genre-wise, T.H.O.T.S is all over the place. Their inspiration ranges from Miles Davis and Jill Scott, to Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco, to DJ Qbert and Ready D, to Joe Satriani, Dan Patlansky and Virgil Donati. “Saul Williams inspires me to write beyond the box. He twists shit up. He opens the mind. That’s who I aspire to be. Maybe better, I hope,” says Raheem, without a hint of arrogance. Paperkut disagrees, “My main inspiration is feeling. Like when you’re in a room with a group of people and you all come together through music and make something unexplainable. It’s like winning the lottery.”
This is the T.H.O.T.S that inspires me. The side that crashes headfirst through barriers, quotes The Caveman’s Valentine, and writes a whole album motivated by Markus Zusak’s award-winning 2005 novel The Book Thief. “It’s a conceptual album about returning the books to people,” Raheem shares, “because songs are stories. The book’s narrated by Death. There’s this line, ‘Death is actually afraid of humans.’ So I took a flip to it and the album’s narrated by Life. The stories we go through, the lifestyles we live. It’s a soundtrack to our lives.” What was winning the 2010 Durex Battle of the Bands like? Dylan: A whole lot of stress. Ups and downs. Raheem: It was like eight months long... But we got noticed, we got media coverage... Ross: We won R10 000, a trailer, equipment bags with our logo on them, t-shirts… Paperkut: A banner! Ross: And now we’re endorsed by Music Connection.
Paperkut and Raheem come across like hip-hop historians – especially Paperkut. When I ask about modern acts like G-Unit giving rap a bad name, tapping his mini-afro with the bottom of his hand in preparation, he replies: “You can’t be surprised. Especially with the media involved. There are still rappers keeping to the original rhythm and poetry, not trying to sell records pimping women, talking about how many cars they’ve got and so on. But it’s the same as any genre. You get R&B that’s real rhythm and blues, then guys like Usher singing without their tops on.” “No doubt, no doubt,” nods Raheem, adding, “Rap’s just cats rapping; hip-hop’s the culture. The graf, the saggy pants, the beatboxing, the MCs, the breakdancers, the DJs… Now it’s krumping, skating, BMX, snowboarding. We’re just breaking down barriers.” “Chuck D from Public Enemy said, ‘Hip-hop will go everywhere. It’ll travel. It’ll become something else. But it’ll always end up in New York. And when it does, the process will start all over again,” adds Paperkut. “So what about Jack Parow and Die Antwoord? That’s about as far away from New York as you can get!” The table erupts with laughter. “Zef rap is the shit. That’s the evolution of hip-hop right there!” says Raheem. When Ross was playing heavy metal, I bet he didn’t use words like ‘dope’ and ‘word’. As people, they’re influencing each other in ways they may not even have noticed. And it’s just the beginning. “We didn’t rehearse on Monday because our keyboardist’s in Jo’burg and our bassist went home to Richards Bay. And it feels like shit, man,” says Dylan. “I felt that too. It’s like my life has no meaning anymore,” agrees Ross. “No doubt, no doubt…” “So, what’s the best thing about being a band from Durban?” Paperkut: Being a band from Durban! You just answered your own question right there! www.myspace.com/treehousesonthesea
Return of the Book Thief is available now online and from Rhythmic Beat and Look & Listen stores around South Africa.
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY JON MONSOON (JM), Tamlyn Grey (TG) & YUSUF LAHER (YL)
LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
The Dead Weather Sea of Cowards
The Dead Weather are back with a fresh set of haunting, serial killer blues. They’re more than just a one-album, novelty superstar ‘project’. This time, they’re dead serious. The album title is a vengeful dig at the anonymity of the Internet. And Sea of Cowards is darker, dirtier and more intense than its predecessor. It’s weird, experimental garage blues, amplified by sludgy bass, fuzzy guitars, dirty synths and Jack White (The White stripes and The Raconteurs) and Alison Mosshart’s (The Kills and Discount) twisted, grave-digging take on Sonny and Cher. Despite its modern tendencies, Sea of Cowards has that old crossroads groove, a perfect update on the sound of The Devil’s Music. (YL)
At a secret hometown gig, James Murphy, the man behind LCD Soundsytem and co-founder of dance-punk label DFA Records, dropped to his knees and begged fans not to leak This Is Happening before its May 17 release. The Internet’s response: “Sorry James, this is happening.” LCD Soundsystem’s third – and reportedly last – album is another slice of witty, melancholic New York post-punk: a classy, soulful, dance music-coated, window into the life and times of James Murphy, with obvious nods to Bowie and Iggy Pop. It has a reflective air (“Everybody’s getting younger. It’s the end of an era, it’s true.”). But it’s not all dark and cynical. There are still plenty of reasons to dance. (YL)
The Dead Will Tell
Rebuild the Fallen Empire www.myspace.com/thedeadwilltellband
Thomas Krane Self-titled
One minute you’re standing on tiptoes, peering in, the next you’re recoiling. Did he just say, “You took a ride with an overweight trucker down the N2?” Quirky Durban/Toti indie band Thomas Krane’s handmade debut album is a dark blend of delicate acoustic guitars and moody, oddball eccentricities. But ultimately, it’s more of an introduction. Recorded before Thomas Krane started gigging as a full, fivepiece band, the album is dominated by singer-songwriter and vocalist Daniel Hampton. Brief flirts with distortion, a few seconds of drums and some chilling harmonies show off what’s in store. Still, well worth investigating. Beautifully unsettling. (YL)
Shredding Jo’burg melodic death metal band The Dead Will Tell blend thrashy brutality and ultra-polished, attention-grabbing hooks with a cynical sense of beauty. Despite their fury, the songs are unbelievably catchy – they get stuck in your head like meat cleavers. Newschool influences like Darkest Hour and The Black Dahlia Murder sit side by side with Slayer and At the Gates. And the playing is unbelievable. The guitarists throw up riffs like Zeus with food poisoning and the drumming defies all reason. There are a few clichés to sidestep, but if they were a UK band, they’d be all over Kerrang! (YL)
CD REVIEWS The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Various (Original Soundtrack)
She Doesn’t Care, She Wants to Dance www.myspace.com/theotherwiseband
Bratty. That’s the best word to describe The Otherwise. That fun, almost extinct style of rock pioneered by bands like Supergrass in the ’90s. Vocalist Greg Allan has one of the most exaggerated voices in Durban – the kind that inspires teenage girls to pin posters on their bedroom walls. It’s a combination of Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and his own rollercoaster ride to insanity. But Greg is a strong frontman. And his ultra-catchy melodies and infectious attitude on top of their debut album’s neat, raw production and brother Harry’s creative post-punk funk riffs is a hard combination to ignore. (JM)
Yeah, so like, we all know you have to be fifteen (and preferably female) truly to understand this movie or the motives for making more of them beyond the first (oh right, money), but someone back there knows a thing or two about compiling a great soundtrack! The first one was a bit of an indie-rock ramble, featuring a lineup of the usual suspects, but Eclipse (‘The Soundtrack’) is a different beast of the undead sort, reflecting the very finest bands as can be found hiding deep in modern music’s casket. Sample the unearthly delights of Florence + the Machine, Sia, Beck with Bat for Lashes, The Dead Weather, UNKLE, Battles and Bombay Bicycle Club (to name the best), each presenting brand-new, non-album tracks that are gorgeously grouped so as to make sense of a whole – more than the movie (or its sequels) ever will. (JM)
Faithless The Dance
Elsewhere in this issue, we filled a page with words about this band and their return to the dancefloor after a fouryear absence. Which is all fine and well, but is the music contained here upon their latest offering sufficient reason to celebrate? Yes! And no. Yes – if you are open-minded about music in a way that let’s you hear all things and not feel too bad to say that it lacks merit. No – if you were hoping for anthems like ‘God is a DJ’, ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Salva Mea’. Yes – because it is a marked improvement on 2006’s damp squid To All New Arrivals. No – because it doesn’t sound like their first album, Reverence. Get the picture? It is good; there are some great tunes – but ones which overall might take some time to appreciate in their fullness. (JM)
Just to give you an idea where Pretoria art rockers Isochronous are coming from, in the insect world, imago’s the last stage of development. It’s also a term coined by analytic psychologist Carl Jung to describe the way people form personalities by identifying with the collective unconscious. Here, Isochronous have used the term to describe their metamorphosis from transcending electric-powered prog-rockers into a gentler acoustic butterfly. They’re venturing out. Testing the creative waters. Composing string arrangements. And it’s thoughtful, delicate stuff. Just don’t expect the same explosive, intense Isochronous you saw dominating onstage. This is more of an acquired taste. (YL)
BURN THE NEGATIVE In the Atmosphere
Tons of Friends www.crookers.net
We aren’t too sure quite what the Italian bass duo Bot and Phra were on when they conceived of this album, but we do know that it was probably in a room (maybe a house party, in Ibiza) filled with their friends, many of whom were taking turns at the karaoke hi-fi while the others took straight hits from the punch bowl and urged them on with shouts of “Fuck Yeah! Speed that shit up!”, “Rewind that!” and “Slow that down!” They probably then awoke the next morning to discover someone had hit record on the hi-fi and that in the recorded leavings they have a perfectly dope debut album! Loads of good sounds from the current foremost names in the global bass-dub-electro-dance-club-breaks scene, this is electro’s ultimate crossover album. (JM)
Imagine a world where music is in disarray. Where sounds collide causing myriad offshoots of other sounds’ sounds, where styles mutate on a daily basis and where genre is a meaningless term and everything is heavily borrowed from what happened two decades ago. Welcome to a world in which this four-piece ‘band’ from Carlisle are very happy to reside. In fact, they are the self-appointed mayor, sheriff, treasurer and party leader. Or something. Whatever. BTN bring some fresh inspiration to the whole electro-robostrobo-pogo-disco scene, sounding as much like classicera Depeche Mode / Erasure / Pet Shop Boys (must be the synths), even, definitely, Joy Division and Japan, as they do anything to have unsuccessfully tried to usurp the crown since then. They are the future. Love this band. Why don’t you? (JM)
CYPRESS HILL Rise Up
BAND OF SKULLS
Baby Darling Doll Face Honey www.bandofskulls.com
Behold! A glam-rock, bluesy and hypnotic abundance of smokey-punk tunes released explicitly for the pleasure of thine ears. With each song sounding different from the last, it’s hard to believe this is an artist album and not a compilation! With vocals by Emma Richardson and Russell Marsden, a song like ‘I Know What I Am’ classically portrays the contrast between male and female vocal ranges and captures the awesomely smoky harmony. Elsewhere, a song like ‘Patterns’ brings in the jive and an overdose of punk while a song like ‘Impossible’ lays back in soft jazz drums and velvet vocals. This album is filled with interesting lyrics, catchy riffs and off-kilter notation, making it music so new and so easy to fall into that you’ll struggle to get out once you’re in. (TG)
Do you remember the first time you ever heard the threepiece rap kru Cypress Hill? Do you remember thinking, whatever the track was, this was the damn-most dope thing you’d ever heard? You mighta been like “Naw, I don’t dig on rap, but this funky shit I can do!” and every time since, when they come on in a club or on your favourite mix CD, you nod, smile and think “Fuck yeah, I love hip-hop!” Ok, if you don’t have that kind of attachment to this band and really need to be sold on their new album, all this review’s gonna tell you is that it’s a return to their rock-rap phase with guest plugs by Tom Morello, Mike Shinoda and Daron Malakian (among them). And that not since Skull & Bones has hip-hop sounded this crucial. “Do you want to get high?” (JM)
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY MAX BARASHENKOV (MB), JON MONSOON (JM)
DVD REVIEWS Crazy Heart (2009)
Directed by: Scott Cooper Starring: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell Category: Music Drama
We’ve seen this somewhere before. Replace ‘aging country singer’ with ‘aging athlete’, ‘stripper’ with ‘journalist’, and you have Aronofsky’s The Wrestler. That’s not to say Crazy Heart is not a good film – it undoubtedly is – but the comparison is unavoidable. The narrative unfolds along the Hollywood formula of a ‘comeback’: the tension caused by the conflict between the fresh-faced new and the grizzly old; the drama arising from one man’s inability to integrate with a world that has left him by the wayside. Jeff Bridges has spent enough real-time inside a bottle, thus his portrayal of Bad Blake is flawless – a stumbling, puking, swearing treat that pulls the film out of the depths of drama and throws in much-needed comedy elements (something, I might add, The Wrestler lacked). Crazy Heart might not be the iconic country-music film, but it beats the hell out of the Johnny Cash biopic. (MB)
It Might Get Loud (2009)
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim Starring: David Howell Evans aka The Edge, Jimmy Page, Jack White Category: Music Doccie
A PROPHET (Un Prophète) (2009)
Directed by: Jacques Audiard Starring: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi Category: Crime Drama
Life in French prisons seems rough – Corsicans run the show, Italians hate the Corsicans, and Arabs are despised by all; yet the violence nests quite happily in cells with TV sets and fresh baguettes every day. This duality infuses Un Prophète, slipping from hyper-gritty and merciless scenes of gang brutality to serenity, beauty and what is unashamedly magical realism. The story of the young French Arab’s climb from juvenile offender to crime kingpin is clothed in the fear of uncertainty, the instability of prison alliances, and shifting power structures. Stunningly shot, the film integrates all the best aspects of modern European cinema – the Belgian grit, the Italian wordplay and the superb French characterwork. And despite the racial and religious tension at the core of Un Prophète, the issues are not rammed down your throat or given a tired ‘unity’ message. It is simply every man for himself. (MB)
The electric guitar: hardly seems like the most fantastic subject for a full-length documentary, even to those who can play the damn thing. This reviewer has never tried to play a guitar, but will readily admit that, after having sat through all 97 minutes of It Might Get Loud, he sure wishes he could! This might have something to do with the fact that the story brings together three of the rock world’s premier virtuoso proponents of the instrument, in the form of The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Jack White (The White Stripes) for a little bit of a chat, a singularly awesome jam, and an insight into why the guitar is their weapon of choice. And, in their hands, it’s easy to see how the humble electric guitar can be a weapon. See this – you will be so glad you did (even if you don’t play guitar). (JM)
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Directed by: Tim Burton Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover Category: Disneyfied Classic
With Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton transcends the category of ‘cliché’ and enters with abandon that of ‘self-obsessed talentless wanker’. Watching this the first time, I kept a sick-bucket nearby and deposited in it freely every time Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter made their marionette appearances. To say that Alice is rubbish is to offend the very word ‘rubbish’. I watched it again, just to make sure I didn’t miss the gem of hidden brilliance. Needless to say, my stomach and I are no longer good friends. The semiblasphemous stitching together of Alice in Wonderland and the Jabberwocky might be hailed by fools as poetic license, but really it is just a feeble attempt at bastardly clumsy creativity by a man who has long run out of ideas. Take your little siblings to see it, they will love Burton’s ‘style’; but you’ll be looking for the cyanide. (MB)
World on WireS (Welt am Draht) (1973/2010)
Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Starring: Klaus Löwitsch, Barbara Valentin, Mascha Rabben, Karl-Heinz Vosgerau Category: Archaic Sci-fi
The Last Station (2009)
Directed by: Michael Hoffman Starring: Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy Category: Biopic
The Last Station will make all writers and actors ashamed and scamper away into their own uselessness. Every single character in the film writes, writes constantly, and writes goddamn well. From Leo Tolstoy extracts to tentative yet astute contributions of the young Valentin Bulgakov, Last Station bristles with prose hardly before seen on screen. The performances of Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, as Leo and Sofya Tolstoy, are so infused with passion and rage that it’s hard not to imagine them married in real life. The film’s only downside is the stretched and forced political storyline, with Paul Giamatti’s Vladimir Chertkov being flat and too much of an obvious metaphor to be enjoyed. As far as glamorised biopics go, the The Last Station is as good as it gets. (MB)
World on Wires depressed me: it’s an unwanted reminder that cinema is not the perfect modern art form. Made in 1973 as a two-part made-for-TV science fiction film, it was restored for the 60th Berlin International Film Festival 2010 and released on DVD. Sadly, the German sci-fi has aged horribly, the scenes plodding at snail pace, the cuts taking forever to arrive, and the cinematic techniques now bordering on the comic. Sad, because this’ll deter people from an essentially ten-times-smarter Matrix, shot decades before. It would be sacrilegious to attempt to describe the philosophy and the psychology of the film – you can’t even ‘watch’ it; you have to submerge yourself in it and transport yourself back to the ’70s to tap into it. World on Wires should be used as a test in film school to sift out the real cinema geeks – make it through the first hour and you’re in the club. (MB)
DEPARTMENTS: THE LAST WORD
You may wonder why both of us are dressed in these kaftans, why we waft graciously into your consciousness through these pages. The fact of the matter is: it is one small seed’s five yeariversary! After 1825 days (not counting leap years), we can see how one small seed has become one verdant bush, brimming with abundance and fecundity, while people dance around its welcoming branches, consciousness-expanding substances coursing through their veins like Caster Semenya through the showers. We are here to celebrate. To dress up like Mother Nature and Father Time* and tongue some animals. To dance around the maypole with frilly ribbons in our clutching fists. Still, five years is a long time in anyone's life. (Even longer in a dog's – thirty-five years to be exact!) And that’s why we thank you so much for the relationship you've had with this magazine. You could have been drinking overpriced coffee and discussing sunglasses with your really thin friends. But instead, you’ve been looking at the pictures in this magazine while doing the same thing. We salute you for that, Sirs and Madams.
As humans, we underestimate the importance of long, unobtrusive relationships. Let us be your twin mommyuncles from overseas, sashaying into your life, trailing incense and soul-numbing disappointment. Yes, we only get to have a proper sit-down every three months, to share an expensive cup of Java (non-GM) and a fancy sandwich with accoutrements we’ve never heard of (like dried salmon skins, a pinch of rooibos extract and the aroma of an indifferent, over-priced mauve jacket), but we enjoy our time together. And yes, you may put things as mundane as black pepper on your ciabatta, but just remember – they punch pepper trees in the face to get those little black tears. And you can't digest them. And they make you wee. For the times when we aren’t here with you, filling up your eyes with ourselves, we suggest you do the following to keep the celebration going: • Rotate the copies of one small seed that live on your coffee table (the cheap, ugly one you got at the flea market, the one that’s so retro) so that you constantly have a new cover to stare at, and go back and re-read some of your favourite articles. Like all of ours. • Look for the Hp-ness inside yourself. Is it deep and undiscovered? Pull it out with the tongs of righteousness or the forceps of the future – whichever you find closer to hand inside the medicine cupboard of your self-worth. You are worthy of happiness and you are a beautiful type of person, even you with the little eyes kind of like a spider, a spider with smoke in its eyes. • Ignore all of those around you with their emo neckalbatrosses. Let their eyeliner run, also not unlike Caster Semenya through the showers, but keep your eyes dry with the sparrows of pragmatism. • And if shove comes to push and push comes to misery, why not look at www.onesmallseed.net – it’s full of seedy goodness. And we all know how good fibre is for us. Yours burning our hands on sparklers, Paul and Rudi HEADLINE payoff *Got ya. Nature and Time are genderless, you big dummy! How can nature be female if it produces long, hard, turgid cucumbers? How can nature be male if it produces, um, oysters. And melons. Big, juicy handfuls of melons. And time – it carves deep, moist valleys in our faces, while pushing us inexorably forward in a motion not unlike the sex-drive of a small dog.
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iday arty e 17 ight ville e 19 tion karr how view e 18 rday hoot Part1 010 ines art 2 how Turn
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DVD VOL 01
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Rocking the Daisies 2009 – Friday Design Indaba Pre-Party South Beach: Fashion Shoot – issue 17 Horse the Band ft. Enmity & Day Turns Night Balkanology @ Vaudeville Puma Fashion Shoot – Issue 19 Cyberpunkers @ Fiction Dirty Skirts ft. Popskarr City Slickers Poster Show Jack Parow – One night in Parow interview
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Faux Fabric(n)ation: Fashion Shoot – Issue 18 Rocking the Daisies 2009 – Saturday Chic Afrique – Fashion Shoot Dont Party @ Assembly – Part1 Jazz Festival 2010 Project Aiko – Rise of the Machines Dont Party @ Assembly – Part 2 Design Indaba Fashion Show Taxi Violence: Behind the Scenes – The Turn
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