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APRIL - MAY 2011 / Issue NO. 3 wordup.ezine@gmail.com

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Contents

Co-founder / Editor

Big Dré

Co-founder / Creative

Nash

Contributing Writer

Toni Stuart

On the cover: Sculpture by Jiri Geller STREET ART

ARTICLES

IN EVERY ISSUE

1 . Editor’s Letter

MUSIC FEATURES

5 . I Am Somebody! by Toni Stuart 24 . More dusty than digital: Portishead SCULPTURE

29 . Music Reviews

14 . DAL

11 . Auriol Hays

6 . What's in a name — Youngsta 12. Diamond in the rough — Blakrok 18. Arsenic The Maniac Metalloid 22 . DJ On-Q PHOTOGRAPHY

8 . Photos by Jason Wessels

2 . Jiri Geller VERSE

17 . Toni Stuart — story of she

28 . Movie Reviews

31 . In the Mix/On the Download 32 . Directory

FEATURE

20 . Culture club — Ilifa Heritage Products EVENTS

26 . Purist form. Music Industry Workshop. Classics. Ras Kass in S.A. Sculptures by Jiri Geller


EDITOR’S LETTER

What’s really good? We’re back for another issue! As always lots of blood, sweat and tears went into this edition so we have no problem walking with the “swagger” of a drunken Grand master. It’s all love! Creation is a crucial stage of the game. It’s when artists bring into existence what started out as only an idea. But the grind doesn’t stop there. Promoting your work is just as important and needs the same kind of dedication and focus as the creative process. Even with the advent of social networks the saying “Art hath an enemy called ignorance”, still applies to the majority of artists and musicians in South Africa. Events and exhibitions happening on our own doorsteps go by undetected and that’s a crime. We’re combating that ignorance with our eZine! Your part as a creative is to let us know about your work. Here’s what made it into this issue... Jiri Geller’s sculptures are an in-your-face destruction of popular icons. Blakrok’s music is so compelling we had no choice but to include her. But wait it gets better, we talk to Arsenic – The mad scientist devising hidden formulas, On-Q gives us the down low

If you or anyone else you may know is talented, spread the magazine and the word. We welcome all submissions (photos, graffiti, design, fine art, tattoo art, articles, music for reviews, etc.) Please help us make it easier to expose your art. Send all submissions and info on upcoming events to: wordup.ezine@gmail.com Sign up for the eZine by typing ‘subscribe’ in the subject line and emailing it to wordup.ezine@gmail.com

on taking awards at DJ battles, DAL shares the artwork he did while in S.A., we feature Noxolo Adonis of Ilifa Heritage Products plus Youngsta and songstress, Auriol Hays. Special thanks to Toni Stuart, Jason Wessels and Raisa Fisher (behind the scenes) for their contributions to this issue. Our photographic portfolio has been uploaded so check out the link: http://issuu.com/word_up_ezine/docs/word_up_ photo_portie. We’ve expanded our list of services to include artist photo shoots. So get at us for biography and press kit photos. Big up yourselves for all the submissions we’ve received and if you haven’t made it into Word Up eZine yet, don’t be mad, just send us your info! Our mission is to recruit more souljahs, so keep passing along the link to view and download the eZine. If you enjoy reading Word Up eZine please send us a message and recommend that your friends submit their work to wordup.ezine@gmail.com.

Onward and upward!

Big Dré

The views expressed in Word Up eZine are those of the respective contributors and not necessarily shared by the eZine and its staff. Word Up eZine welcomes new contributions, but assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, illustrations, etc. Word Up eZine is produced by Word Up Productions CC.

Submissions: Artwork – high resolution PDFs or medium to high resolution (150 to 300 dpi) RGB Jpegs. Articles – 300 to 500 words in a Microsoft Word document. 1


DESIGN

Like an anarchist who has studied every stitch and fold of the banker’s suit,

Jiri Geller

models and subverts the iconic forms of contemporary culture with vengeful precision.

Do Not Touch The Artwork

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DESIGN

While - not inaccurately - self-defining as “an outsider, a punk rocker”, Geller is also the rare Finnish artist who has both managed to stay close to Finnish aesthetic strengths and traditions and also detonate his own unique brand of postnational, mind-fucker nihilism. As a Finn, Geller’s work perfectly fits that grey Nordic outpost’s proud, tragic tradition. His sculptures are elemental and essential, fascinated with death and violence, critical of the fake and phony, and ever aware of just how dark the world can be. But then, rather than being limited by his roots - or in denial of them, Geller keeps to this impeccable conceptual framework, and takes it global. While never repeating himself, Geller targets the same territory again and again to explore the idea that what in our modern world is deemed solid, permanent and valuable is in fact melting, suspect, and utterly transitory. Geller’s objects offer meaning despite their solidity and materiality. A pessimistic yet playful - at times quite profound - energy flows through them: escalators connect one to nowhere; fiberglass tsunamis promise leisure sport and/or death by flood; ice cream cones sit frozen in mid-melt next to exquisite skulls that melt and drip like butterscotch candies in the sun. It’s rare to see such playfulness and heaviness seamlessly combined in the same artistic vision: Geller’s balloon fabrications radiate all the lighthearted joy of portraits of children... who have recently died. And he has constructed a video game control module possibly intended to burn you alive. To view more of Geller’s work visit: www.jirigeller.com

Lick It Up

Series of Disappointments

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DESIGN

“A pessimistic yet playful - at times quite profound - energy flows through them...”

Dead Boy

Pay On Time Motherfucker

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I Am Somebody! By Toni Stuart

I Am Somebody! It’s a simple sentence. Yet, say it out loud and notice how you feel. Now, watch someone else’s face as you say it, and see how they simply have to say it too. There is one thing we all have in common: our need to be acknowledged and to know that we matter. This is the cornerstone of the work of I Am Somebody! youth organisation.

their lives. Lastly, youth develop a vision for their life – how they want to use their strengths and gifts to build their lives and contribute to their community. In developing their vision, they also identify what kind of support they already have and what they still need. At this stage, youth are partnered with mentors, who will continue to work with them to create their vision.

I Am Somebody! was started by storyteller Nicole le Roux and poet Toni Stuart in July 2010. It is based on the belief that when we know our self-worth, we start making decisions that are good for ourselves, our community and our environment.

We use creativity and a relationship with the environment to do the mentorship work. On entering the programme, youth start a creative project using whichever medium they are most comfortable with (music, visual art, poetry etc). This becomes their tool to explore and express the various stories they are working with. In this way, creativity becomes a way of life and a way of doing things, rather than merely a tool to produce an end product.

All of life is story. Each of us has a story to tell. From this base, we use storytelling to mentor youth between the ages of 18 and 25, from different classes, cultures, religions, sexual orientations and genders. We run a two-year mentorship programme for youth and an 18-month mentor training programme for adults, simultaneously. Youth are partnered with mentors later in the programmes. By first exploring their own story, youth discover their innate strengths and gifts and start looking at how they want to use them. They then explore the stories of their family and culture to look at how these have influenced

In parallel, each individual starts and grows their own vegetable garden. They also spend much of their time in the natural environment, through the workshops and camps that make up the programme. By doing this, they develop a relationship with the environment, learn about the balance of give and take and the natural cycles of life and death. All of life is story. Each of us has a story to tell. My story starts with me and then moves and expands to the people around me and the environment I live in. If each of us is able to understand our story in the context of where we come from and the earth we live in, we become that much more powerful in living the lives we choose, in a way that supports and builds people and things around us. So now, I ask you: what is your story? Email: yesiamsomebody@gmail.com or 071 573 3597.

Participant, Naomi Kayembe in a mentorship programme during a Theatre of the Oppressed drama exercise.

Photo by Dane Marrison

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FEATURE

What’s in a name? To say that emerging hip-hop artist, Youngsta, is driven, is an understatement. His work ethic and sheer determination is astounding and will serve him well in an often fickle music industry. We spent some time getting to know more about the young upstart. Representing a lot more than a ‘Young Money’ or a ‘Young Joc’ not to hate or disrespect those artists but “I represent the next generation of hip-hop in Cape Town. The difference is that I fell in love with the old school side of the music before the current stuff. Everything I write is original... nothing is fabricated. I do commercial tracks to cater to that part of the game but my ears are most in tune to the 90’s era or the ‘Golden era’ of hip-hop as it is referred to. I started rapping at a very young age and have been perfecting my craft ever since. The scene in Cape Town has potential to grow but no one seems to be willing to step up and put our city on the map along with the rest of Africa which is why I took it upon myself to flood the streets with material to let them know, Youngsta is a force to be reckoned with! Sooner or later they’ll hear me or fear me!”

“I represent the next generation of hip-hop in Cape Town.

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FEATURE

The 19 year old Riyadh Roberts, a resident of Wittebome, Cape Town, has collaborated with a few artists but is eager to work with anyone who loves the music as much as he does and who is open to new ideas. “Old School rappers don’t seem to want to give younger emcees a chance to prove themselves simply because they are seen to represent the ‘swagger’, ‘preschool’ or ‘bubblegum’ generation”. In contrast Youngsta has been embraced by many of the more seasoned peers. He’s favourite emcees include: Hemel Besem, Garlic Brown, Bio Has iT, Jack Da Novan, Remy E... and many more. He has done more than 50 performances ranging from GHFM ciphers, the Muizenberg Kite festival, The Nekkies Hip-hop festival and even rocked the crowd at Mzoli’s. In 2010 he entered the Hip-hop Indaba MC battle and considering the calibre of emcees on the night; finished a respectable 3rd place. He’s been a supporting act at other artists album launches, performed at high school & college fashion shows, killed venues like FTV in the city, Stones in Parow, Dizzy’s in Camps Bay and the various one off events for his own shows. To date he has released a massive 14 mixtapes, which were distributed free of charge via friends and anyone else willing to lend a hand. The bulk of the tracks were recorded with The Muffin Man, a beat maker who’s been in Youngsta’s corner since grind day one! This impressive body of work has helped to establish the name and reputation of Youngsta as a credible independent artist over the past 15 months. In fact it’s been so effective that he has recently signed a deal with record label NSC (New Sons Cartel). ‘Gunpowder’, his 15th and first official mixtape, will be launched at the Purple Turtle on the 21st April. See him perform and you’ll definitely recognize a young, talented and hungry emcee on the come up. To hear material from his extensive discography checkout: http://www.reverbnation.com/youngsta1

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo by Jason Wessels

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo by Jason Wessels

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PHOTOGRAPHY

About Jason Wessels 1. Please tell us about yourself, what it is you do for a living (as they say). I work in Trade Marketing for a top sports urban label: Overseeing window campaigns, print ads and all store related advertising. I love what I do but my true passion is the stuff I get to do outside of work: photography and gaming. I’m an avid gamer and just recently bought a new console...its keeping me occupied, to say the least. (LOL) Photography is my true creative outlet, and it’s a hobby I never get bored with, there’s always something new to learn. 2. How did you get into photography? I have always had a keen interest, but never really thought I had the eye for it, about 4 years ago I started messing around with a friend’s SLR… and I was hooked. 3. Do you use software to manipulate your photos? I currently use Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop elements. 4. What’s your favourite movie/series etc? Fav Movie: Brown Sugar Series: Entourage, I’m a hip hop head, so that’s my preferred choice of music… Fav Album: Death Certificate – Ice Cube 5. Favourite food? Italian 6. Favourite sneaker brand/pair of sneakers? What was your latest purchase? I am a sneaker fiend, my collection is about 70 pairs deep at the moment, my fav pair of sneakers is a pair of white on white Adidas Americana’s mids, Favourite Sneaker brand is Adidas, latest pair I bought was a pair of Mega high tops. Photo by Jason Wessels

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FEATURE

Auriol Hays Auriol Hays was born and raised all over the Western Cape from Mitchells Plain to Eerste River. She grew up listening to classical music and whatever her parents liked, be it Jim Reeves or Roger Whitaker. As a child, she was very quiet, hiding beneath her shell, what would later be revealed as an extraordinary talent.

“As a teenager, she spread her modest vocal wings, albeit to an audience of one – herself!” And despite coming from a musical family where mum played piano and her brothers played guitar, Auriol kept her vocal talent and song writing very much camouflaged. It would be four whole years of marriage before Auriol even admitted to her husband that she had the gift of singing. A chance meeting with songwriter/producer extraordinaire, Andre Scheepers, brought, what is now called, The Auriol Hays Project, to fruition. Auriol and Andre met by accident through a girl called Sue, on a cold winter’s night in a small farm house next to a poultry processing plant in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg. Auriol needed a keyboard player and Andre needed new talent to mould. The result would be a top ten hit on 5fm’s Top 40 chart, called ‘Take It Slow’. Aside from singing at numerous corporate and private venues, Auriol has since performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, opened for the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz along with The Gauteng Big Band, sang at the Zoo Lake music festival, wowed the audience at the 94.7 Christmas Wish Concert and is set to perform at the Grahamstown Festival this year. http://www.auriolhays.com http://www.myspace.com/theauriolhaysproject

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FEATURE

BLAKROK “People think that because they don’t see its physical effects, the struggle is over. We’ve never stopped fighting, our opponent has just changed his face – the revolution is us.” Blakrok is a prolific writer, lyricist and emcee who paints pictures for the mind through her reflections on life, hip hop and society as a whole.

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FEATURE

“...the revolution is us.” Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Blakrok later moved between Cape Town, PE, Graham’s Town and currently resides in Johannesburg. Initially coming to prominence as an emcee with the Eastern Cape based Hiphocalypse Movement, she featured on The Innovator’s debut album ‘The Send Off’ and made an appearance on The Hiphocalypse Mixtape in 2004. The follow up remix album The Hiphocalypse Re-Mixtape (2005), became a national success featuring beats from some of SA’s top hip-hop producers. During this period, Blakrok’s music gained massive recognition and she broke off on a solo exploration to develop her own style. In 2007 Blakrok moved to Johannesburg and became a member of the critically acclaimed hip-hop outfit Recess Poetry, performing at underground hip-hop shows in the East Rand, West Rand, Soweto and getting recognition from promoters within the club scene in Johannesburg. Recess released an EP titled ‘High Rollin’’, later that year, which had hit singles like “Golden City” and “Cause A Rawkus” gaining popularity through widespread radio airplay, most notably on Yfm’s ‘The Bridge’. This brought Blakrok to the attention of the South African hip-hop veteran Grand Master Shorty Skilz, who introduced her to spliff-obliterating, super producer and sampletologist, Kanif the Jhatmaster, of indie record label Iapetus Productions. Since then she has been performing alongside Hymphatic Thabs, Robo the Technician and the rest of the Iapetus stable, while putting the finishing touches to her debut solo album. Links:

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/blakrok

My Space: http://www.myspace.com/blakrokmc

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STREET ART

Noah Cape Town 2011

“...my philosophical and spiritual inspiration comes from Buddhism...” It was in 1984 when Du Yi landed on this planet in China to be specific; and then decided to live his life as an artist. He studied sculpture at the Institute of Fine Arts and started doing street art in 2004 under the alias DAL. He is inspired by the way the material world revolves, how the spiritual world unfolds, life’s emotions and the infinite

space around us. He uses different mediums, methods, disciplines and spaces to create his works. “I’m interested in and research so many things about the universe and outer space, but my philosophical and spiritual inspiration comes from Buddhism, I can learn so many things from it.” 14


Parking E Cape Town 2011

STREET ART

Full moon in Woodstock Cape Town 2011

History 2011 Greatmore International Visiting Artist Residency Project, Cape Town, South Africa 2010 China International Mural Exhibition, Shenzhen, China Canal+ TV documentary film shooting and interviews, Beijing, China Romans of China, New York, USA Erotic Exhibition, Beijing, China The Room – Site-specific painting installation, Beijing, China

Springboks Cape Town 2011

2009 ChART Contemporary & DuYi Open House: Royal Pond, Beijing, China 2008 Du Bai Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China 2007 Still Crazy Graffiti Art Solo Exhibition - Venus Crew, Wuhan, China The Only-Child Generation Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shanghai, China Indeepentend DAL+YYY Graffiti Exhibition, Guangzhou, China Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China 2006 Hangout Graffiti Competition Graffiti Art Exchange, Hong Kong 2005 Post Calligraphy Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China Dashanzi 798 International Art Festival China Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China 15


STREET ART

Parking D Cape Town 2011

Mosquito Johannesburg 2011

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VERSE

Verse by Toni Stuart

story of she I

II

III

she dances in dark corners head bowed low to hide her tears to shelter her heart hanging in tatters

he plucks at her heart strings ...nimble fingers tweak her sadness in B flat find a tear in F sharp and she sits, listens silenced. as he pulls her thoughts out one by one and lines them up for her to hear till tears fall from her like lonely piano sounds echoing in an empty room

she moves in music notes and rests line her inside; play off rhythm of her breath

she dances at night light burns her skin to remove shadow to shake off dead dreams he lurks in the shadow from a distance his eyes follow the contours of her soul for he sees not her flesh

she casts light. her flat feet imprint dry cement her breath paints words in dry air and at night she casts shadows: then ties moon to her wrist with long fine thread and wears it like a balloon to light her way

...just her light and smiles as it grows and smiles as it grows Photo by Kent Lingeveldt

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FEATURE

“...not many South Africans, especially the youth, know about their heritage...� Ilifa Heritage Products is a company that produces a range of funky T-shirts aiming to promote pride in South African heritage. Starting and nurturing a business can be demanding on your personal life, no matter what the condition of the economy. We spoke to Noxolo Adonis and got more info from this entrepreneur and mum of three, which includes a set of year old twins!

1. Many people would not have chosen heritage as a start-up business, why did you? I chose this line of business by chance, I saw an opportunity in the market and I went for it. I just hope the market sees my point of view and what I am trying to accomplish with this type of business.

2. What inspired the range of T-shirts? What inspired me is the fact that not many South Africans, especially the youth, know about their heritage and I felt I should introduce heritage in a fun and fashionable way. In that way you're looking great and you're also learning about the different cultures that we have here in South Africa.

3. Are there plans to expand the current range? Yes, I plan to add more cultures. Initially my aim was to promote lesser known S.A. tribes like the Hlubi and Bhaca people, and as the range as the range progresses I will add to it and hopefully include cultures from the rest of Africa... time will tell.

4. How long did it take from the 'idea' stage to getting the t-shirts on the shelves? In terms of having a physical product, it actually took 3 years from start to finish, I had to do the research, find outfits for the artwork, find the right material for making the T-shirts (didn't want them made in China), find a designer and printer and most challenging was generating the startup capital. So... 3 long and tear-jerking years.

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FEATURE

Sotho (soo–too)

noun (plural) A group of people living chiefly in northern South Africa, Lesotho and Botswana. There are three distinct groups of Sotho people; the Basotho (Southern Sotho), the Pedi (Northern Sotho) and the Tswana (many of whom live in Botswana). The Sotho people originate from remnants of other tribes that migrated to Southern Africa around the 5th century.

5. What advice can you give people who want to have their own T-shirts made and printed? I don't know what advice to give except that if you believe in your product don't give up until you have it made and do your research. Get to know the market that you are entering and please try to use South African products, that way you boost the local economy.

Venda

(ven–dah) noun (plural) The name Venda means pleasant place . The Venda people are descended from the creators of the ancient civilisations of Mapungubwe who were amongst the last groups to arrive in South Africa. They are found in the Limpopo Province and parts of Zimbabwe. Their king has his own language which is a sign of his divinity.

6. Where can people buy your T-shirts? At the moment you can find them at African Image, a curio shop in Long Street. They took some of the T-shirts on consignment. I am in the process of getting them into other shops, so I'll keep you posted.

E-mail: noxee2001@yahoo.com

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FEATURE

“...it’s inevitable that even the state of the mainstream will change over the next few years...” Chances are you’ve heard of Arsenic, the steel-grey poisonous element... Equally as potent is Arsenic, the Fairways based producer who is a member of multiple crews and who has worked with many of Cape Town’s Hip-hop heavyweights.

I started out as a listener around 1990, I was really young at the time so I listened to the stuff with lots of cuss words, with only a face value of the culture. Some of the first MCs I heard are guys like Ice T, Ice Cube, NWA, The Pharcyde, to name a few.

Arsenic took time out from his hustle to chop it up on making music and the pursuit of Platinum... Not!

Well, when you refer to being behind the boards, I associate that with sound engineering, which I’ve been involved with for the past 6 years now, and I’ve been producing for about 7 years.

Can you remember your introduction to Hip-hop?

How many years have you been at the boards/ producing?

You’ve managed to put out quite a bit of material. Can you give us your take on Hip-hop and where your music fits in? I believe Hip-hop is constantly evolving, the more innovative and original artists we have, the more it will keep evolving, which is exactly what’s happening on the “underground”, for lack of a better term. It’s where you find Hip-hop has evolved beyond current mainstream rap, which is in a state of stagnation. So, I think it’s inevitable that even the state of the mainstream will change over the next few years because people will demand music with more substance. It’s part of a worldwide shift in consciousness that’s taking place and I wanna be a part of that group of artists, who keep the art alive. 18


FEATURE

How are you making sure that people, who still don’t know about Arsenic, get to? I’ve been using the social networks like Facebook and Reverbnation to keep word out, and have started releasing mixtapes (available as podcasts) on a regular basis, and doing as much work possible with different MC’s and vocalists. I recently got someone to document my various recording sessions and jams by taking pics, capturing video clips, as well as helping me to reach a bigger audience. It’s still in the early stages, but I’ve already noticed a difference and this huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders just by having someone to assist with the “Non music” chores.

Tell us about some of the projects you have released. I did production on the Writers Block’s ‘Brainstorm’ EP (2005), The Maniac Metalloids EP (2006), and Endz the Otherness’Kingdom of the next (2006). I released my own EP, ‘The first toke’ in 2008, which I didn’t really push too hard, but it was well received by those who managed to get a copy (laughs). It will be available again with a future project though. Later the same year, I launched the first in the series of ‘Hidden Fomulas’ mixtapes, followed by vol.2 in 2010. I’m slowly working towards a full length solo release featuring MCs and vocalists, entirely produced by me. For now my mission is to work with a whole range of artists, drop a bunch more concept driven mixtapes and get the name Arsenic out there!

Your latest mixtape? Hidden Formulas vol.3 is my latest mixtape. Each volume has its own concept and with vol.3, I focus on the art of sampling, using a sampler, turntable and vinyl, the most basic components of Hiphop production. On it I create bootlegs and also introduce listeners to some soul classics in its original form. I also feature 3 MCs who I’ve been building with over the years i.e. Jitsvinger, Imposztah and Eavesdrop, who is the MC half of Hybrid Frequency.

What’s your favourite skill...a technique that you use? I program beats using the pressure sensitive pads on my Akai controller, to keep a loose, natural feel to the drums. I always have so much fun coming up with new drum patterns, and then trying them out on some beats.

Name some producers who impress you. Freddie Joachim, he’s on that Jazzy Hip-hop vibe, Saturn, Hiperdelic (Hipe), Hubert Daviz, too many to name... more dope producers than MCs out there!

What are you listening to? Right now, Joy Division, an old school punk band, ‘Apollo kids’ (the new Ghostface Killah album), crazy production on that, and the Tashan Dorrset album by Kool keith, he’s the only MC I can tolerate over questionable beats.

What are your weapons of choice? My current weapon list is a sampler, turntable, Reason 5, Cubase, Akai MPD, controller keyboard and a PC. A few additions in the future would make it ideal, e.g. the inclusion of good hardware synthesizers and more outboard gear. I like the blend of hardware and software, they both serve specific purposes, and some edits are just quicker to do than on hardware, depending on the kind of edit you’re doing.

You’re quite busy making beats for Hybrid Frequency. What other projects are you working on?

Who are some of the other artists you worked with on the mixtapes?

There are a few artists’ projects I’ve contributed to, including some work with Jitsvinger, Endz the Otherness and Korianda. The project I’ve been focusing on is Hybrid Frequency, a crew of me and Eavesdrop, formed about a year ago. We’ve been slowly crafting the sound over the time that we have been together. Before anything official is released, I’ve featured one of our tracks on the Hidden Formulas vol. 3 mixtape, as an introduction to the listeners.

I always keep my ear to the street and work with some talent on the come-up. So far I’ve been putting in work with 2 MCs I think everyone will be hearing about soon; Bonzaya the Street Tyrant and the other is Nosko.

To hear some of Arsenics’ hidden formulas check these links: http://arsenicpodcast.podomatic.com/ http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/arsenicbeats 19


FEATURE

On-Q

“Being a DJ and musician, the only other way for me to fully express myself is through my music production.”

Meeting him can be quite misleading, as he doesn’t have the usual fake swagger associated with the hiphop game these days. Put him behind turntables and he comes alive in a blaze of turntable skill that’s very hard to ignore. Let’s get [technic]al with DJ On-Q.

doing Mixtape Flavours @ Black Sheep, Fiction and Zula Sound Bar in Cape Town. Performing and showcasing at Mercury Live, Atmosphere, Carfax and Mystic Boer nationally. From there I started featuring at festivals such as Sound Squad Revolutions and Vortex.

I remember first seeing you behind the decks at a club in Cape Town, a few years ago and also heard you scratching on an old track that featured Saturn. You must have been quite young when you got your start?

What I like about DJing is simply being able to play or manipulate music and to walk into a club realizing that peeps know who I am. My dislikes would have to be when peeps ask if I have just finished a set or more so when being asked if I’m performing and I’m not on the line up for that evening.

I’ve heard that you’re making beats as well?

What’s your favourite skill...a turntable technique that you employ?

What got you interested in production?

Yeah, I was still in high school. It was at a club called Marvel and at closing, Sirius (Kool Hertz U.K.) would allow me to spin some tracks and scratch over them. D’Formed Faces was a project produced by Sirius and he had featured Saturn (Writers Block) on one track and me on the decks.

By now people must know of you, but for the uninitiated tell us about your DJ career. I started DJing at a club called Black Sheep back in 2006 which was my introduction to club DJing independently. I moved onto

good few out there doing their part to uplift the communities and keep the hype about the essence of Hip-Hop. Whether or not it’s on independent labels, in the clubs, or on radio, it’s about making the culture relevant for current times. That’s the reason why I’m in it, to add longevity by helping the culture to evolve.

What do you like and dislike about DJing?

My favorite would have to be my chirp/flare combos. The great thing about this combo is that you are able to vary the syncopation which alters the rhythmic patterns giving you endless variations and accurate timing.

Can you give us your take on the state of hip-hop? True Hip-Hop is still an acquired taste and thankfully there are a

My productions are getting out there; it’s currently at a point where I am comfortable with what I have to offer. At this point in time I’m still new to it. Being a DJ and musician, the only other way for me to fully express myself is through my music production.

Being active in the industry and having the tools at hand has given me the opportunity to create music. This has mainly been the fuel which got me into music production.

Have you been able to gain some attention as a producer? There has been some sort of interest in my tracks and more so in me as a producer to perform my music live while incorporating my 22


FEATURE

DJing. Unfortunately I haven’t taken full advantage of that aspect. I have released some of my productions on music networks and have received some positive feedback and interest. Honestly, I haven’t pushed myself far enough as a producer just quite yet.

future I would like to release some commercially friendly tracks featuring a few artists of my liking. I’m also quite fond of remixing tracks and possibly would like to release a few of those too.

Your favourite piece of equipment/software to make beats?

Unfortunately I haven’t kept my ears close to the streets. I’m sure there is loads of good talent out there. I wouldn’t want to make the mistake of picking a specific artist only to find out that they’re not up-and-coming.

As the agent for Roland and Akai Professional in South Africa, I’ve grown attached to the Roland MV-8800 and the Akai Pro MPC-5000. The APC40 with Ableton has also been a key feature in my production. As far as my major software tools are concerned, Reason and Sonar have been my core programs for production.

Producer wise who is killing it for you? Ultimately I would have to put the super producers into a class of their own such as RZA, Madlib and Dr. Dre and then the DJ/ producers such as DJ Krush, RJD2, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Babu, DJ Spinna, Dan the Automator, A-Trak and DJ Premier to name a few.

What kinds of projects are you currently busy with and what would you like to do in the near future? I’m currently in studio tracking with an album on its way. In the near

Who are some of the up-coming artists you rate?

What’s on your playlist? Right now I’m listening to Q-Bert, Roc Raida, Greyboy, DJ Netik, X-Ecutioners and PBW. My playlists vary quite a lot since my music library is massive. My musical background allows me to adapt to all kinds of music but as a DJ I know exactly what I want to hear to allow me to progress further. I can’t get enough; I’m a music student for life.

Achievements: Gold Regional DJ Champion Title for 2008 Bronze Regional DJ Champion Title for 2009 Silver Regional DJ Champion Title for 2010 Bronze National DJ Champion Title for 2010

Competitions entered: S.A. DMC World DJ Championship Finals for 2008, 2009 and 2010. African Hip Hop Indaba Battle Da Cape vs Da Rest Sprite national DJ competition.

“...I’m a music student for life.”

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DUSTY FINGERZ

More dusty than digital: Portishead For this instalment we feature a group that shouldn’t be too obscure: Portishead. Although we are aware that hip-hop borrows from funk, soul and jazz music, that’s not the only flavour being sampled by obsessed beat makers. Some were even inspired to create mash-ups with the moody Portishead sound scapes. This also marks the first time that the sampled artist also sampled from other sources! Here’s more about the band. Portishead are an English musical group from Bristol. Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley are the official members, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on Dummy. Portishead may not have invented trip-hop, but they were among the first to popularize it, particularly in America. Taking their cue from the slow, elastic beats that dominated Massive Attack’s Blue Lines and adding elements of cool jazz, acid house, and soundtrack music, Portishead created an atmospheric, alluringly dark sound. The group wrote evocative pop songs that challenge their conventional structures with experimental productions and rhythms of trip-hop. Their debut album, Dummy, became an unexpected success in Britain, topping most year-end critic’s polls and earning the prestigious Mercury Music Prize; in America, it also became an underground hit, selling over 150,000 copies before the group toured the U.S. Following the success of Dummy, legions of imitators appeared over the next two years, but Portishead remained quiet as they worked on their second album.

Named after the West Coast shipping town where Geoff Barrow grew up, Portishead formed in Bristol, England, in 1991. Barrow met Beth Gibbons, who had been singing in pubs, in 1991 on a job scheme. Over the next few years, the pair began writing music, often with jazz guitarist Adrian Utley, who had previously played with both Big John Patton and the Jazz Messengers. Before releasing a recording, Portishead completed the short film To Kill a Dead Man, an homage to ‘60s spy movies. Barrow and Gibbons acted in the noir-ish film and provided the soundtrack, which earned the attention of Go! Records. By the fall, Portishead had signed with Go! and their debut album, Dummy, was released shortly afterward. Dummy was recorded with engineer Dave MacDonald, who played drums and drum machines, and guitarist Utley, who rounded out Portishead’s line-up. Both Barrow and Gibbons were media-shy - the vocalist refused to participate in any interviews - which meant that the album received little attention outside of the weekly U.K. music press, which praised the album and its two singles, “Numb” and “Sour Times,” heavily. Soon, Go! and Portishead had developed a clever marketing strategy based on the group’s atmospheric videos that began to attract attention. Melody Maker, Mixmag, and The Face named Dummy as 1994’s album of the year, and early in 1995, “Glory Box” debuted at number 13 without any radio play. Around the same time, “Sour Times” entered regular rotation on MTV in America. Within a few weeks, Dummy and “Sour Times” were alternative rock hits in the U.S.

Back in the U.K., the album had crossed over into the mainstream, becoming a fixture in the British Top 40. In July, the record won the Mercury Music Prize for Album of the Year, beating highly touted competition from Blur, Suede, Oasis, and Pulp. Following the Mercury Music Prize award, Barrow retreated to Coach House to begin work on Portishead’s second album. The self-titled record finally appeared in September 1997. The live PNYC followed late the next year. Portishead went on hiatus starting in 1999, and Barrow, Utley and Gibbons worked on their own projects. Portishead reconvened in 2005, performing their first live dates in seven years, including an appearance at the Tsunami Benefit Concert in Bristol, and recording material for their next album. In 2008, a decade after their last album, Portishead returned with Third, the trio’s most challenging and unpredictable work yet. Discography Dummy (1994) - The album was ranked number 419 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Portishead (1997) - The album’s sound differed from Dummy, characterised as “grainy and harsher”. The single, “All Mine” achieved a Top 10 placing in the UK. Roseland NYC Live (1998) - A live album primarily featuring these new orchestral arrangements of the group’s songs was released in 1998. Third (2008) - The last album released.

24


DUSTY FINGERZ

Who sampled Portishead:

Who Portishead sampled: Portishead’s Sour Times samples Black Sheep’s ‘Butt in the Meantime’

Nine - ‘Know Introduction’ - samples Portishead’s ‘Glory box’

Sole - ‘Respect, Pt. 3’ - samples Portishead’s ‘Cowboys’ Portishead’s Glory Box samples Isaac Hayes’s ‘Ike’s Rap II’

Slick Rick - ‘Frozen’ - samples Portishead’s ‘Seven Months’

Portishead’s ‘Biscuit’ samples Johnnie Rays ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’

Ice-T - ‘I Must Stand’ (The Dumb Mix) - samples Portishead’s ‘Numb’

Portishead’s ‘Wandering star’ samples ‘Magic Mountain’ as performed by Eric Burdon and WAR

Canibus - ‘Psych Evaluation’ - samples Portishead’s ‘Numb’ & ‘Wandering Star’

Portishead’s Only You samples The Pharcyde’s ‘She Said’

RZA as Bobby Digital - ‘Kiss of Black Widow’ - sample of Portishead’s ‘Over’

Portishead’s Strangers samples Weather Report’s ‘Elegant People’ from the ‘Black market’ album

Portishead’s Sour times samples Lalo Schifrin’s ‘The Danube incident’ from the ‘Mission impossible’ soundtrack

Heltah Skeltah - ‘Prowl’ - samples Portishead’s ‘Sour times’

Organized Konfusion - ‘Sin’ - samples Portishead’s ‘Strangers’

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EVENTS Eavesdrop

Big DrĂŠ

PURIST FORM

ting Dave Chislett conduc the workshop

Dave answering questions from the audience

MUSIC INDUSTRY WORKSHOP B-One Vernon Visqus

Metabs & friends

Artists networking

Cutting loose

Metabs performs at the Open Mic session!

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EVENTS Garlic Brown

Ras Kass with DJ Salaam Wreck

DJ Azuhl

Sammy Sparks

Party people

DJ Raiko

Hyphen

CLASSICS

Classics party pics by Jason Wessels

T.O.P.

Ras Kass, The Waterproof MC Falco & Lindsay

RAS KASS

Mingus with Ras Kass

27


MOVIE REVIEWS

We review movies currently on circuit and a few forthcoming attractions

Gnomeo and Juliet Cast: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne Director: Kelly Asbury Release Date: Fri 25 Mar 2011 Genre: Animation Age Restriction: VPG “An edgy Shakespeare adaptation like no other, this animated musical transports the classic tale of forbidden romance between two star-crossed lovers from warring families to the unlikely yet hysterical world of garden gnomes. Featuring songs from legendary recording artist Elton John, this movie features the vocal talents of Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Jason Statham and Michael Caine.” In a lovely English suburban setting, Miss Montague (voiced by Julie Walters) and Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson) are having their typical row over their competing backyards. Their green finger feud carries over to their respective lawn ornaments, the Redbricks (led by Michael Caine) and the Blueberrys (with matriarch Maggie Smith). As these painted pawns battle between themselves, resorting to lawn mower races to resolve their differences; a lovelorn Gnomeo (James McAvoy) unexpectedly falls for the pretty Juliet (Emily Blunt). While they know such a relationship is forbidden, they seek advice on how to make it work from a plastic pink flamingo (Jim Cummings). It may be impossible, however, what with ceramic bully Tybalt (Jason Statham) constantly interfering and instigating. Hulk Hogan and Dolly Parton also have voice cameos.

The Eagle

Somewhere

I Am Number Four

Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland Director: Kevin MacDonald Genre: Action, Drama Release Date: Fri 08 Apr 2011 Age Restriction: TBA

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Ella Fanning, Chris Pontius, Erin Wasson Director: Sofia Coppola Genre: Drama Release Date: Fri 08 Apr 2011 Age Restriction: 13LNS

In 140 AD, the Roman Empire extends all the way to Britain – though its grasp is incomplete, as the rebellious tribes of Caledonia (today’s Scotland) hold sway in the far North. Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) arrives in Britain, determined to restore the tarnished reputation of his father, Flavius Aquila. It was 20 years earlier that Rome’s 5,000-strong Ninth Legion, under the command of Flavius and carrying their golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth, marched north into Caledonia. They never returned; Legion and Eagle simply vanished into the mists. Angered, the Roman Emperor Hadrian ordered

the building of a wall to seal off the territory; Hadrian’s Wall became the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire – the edge of the known world.

Somewhere is a witty, moving, and empathetic look into the orbit of actor Johnny Marco, played by Stephen Dorff, who had a starring role in The Power of One, along with Morgan Freeman. He also appeared alongside Johnny Depp in Public Enemies.

Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer and Dianna Agron Director: D. J. Caruso Genre: Suspense Thriller/Action Release Date: Fri 25 Mar 2011 Age Restriction: TBA

Driven to become a brilliant soldier and now given command of a small fort in the southwest, Marcus bravely leads his troops during a siege. Commended by Rome for his bravery, yet discharged from the army because of his severe wounds, Marcus convalesces, demoralized, in the villa of his Uncle Aquila (Donald Sutherland), a retired army man.

You have probably seen him in the tabloids; Johnny is living at the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood. He has a Ferrari to drive around in, and a constant stream of girls and pills to stay in with. Comfortably numbed, Johnny drifts along. Then, his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning, nominated for best actress at the Critic’s

Rabit Hole

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, Miles Teller, Sandra OH, etc. Director: John Cameron Mitchell Release Date: 01 April 2011 Classification: 13LD RABBIT HOLE is a vivid, hopeful, honest and unexpectedly witty portrait of a family searching for what remains possible in the most impossible of all situations. Becca and Howie Corbett (Kidman and Eckhart) are returning to their everyday existence in the wake of a shocking, sudden loss. Just eight months ago, they were a happy suburban family with everything they wanted. Now, they are caught in a maze of memory, longing, guilt, recrimination, sarcasm and tightly controlled rage from which they cannot escape. As Becca finds pain in the familiar, Howie finds comfort. The shifts come in abrupt, unforeseen moments. Becca hesitantly opens up to her opinionated, loving mother (Wiest) and secretly reaches out

to the teenager involved in the accident that changed everything (Miles Teller); meanwhile Howie lashes out and imagines solace with another woman (Sandra OH). Yet, as off track as they are, the couple keeps trying to find their way back to a life that still holds the potential for beauty, laughter and happiness. The resulting journey is an intimate glimpse into two people learning to re-engage with each other and a world that has been tilted off its axis. RABBIT HOLE is directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) from a script by acclaimed playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, adapted from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Choice Awards) from his failed marriage arrives unexpectedly at the Chateau. Their encounters encourage Johnny to face up to where he is in life and confront the question that we all must: which path in life will you take? Filmed entirely on location at Chateau Marmont, Somewhere reunites the writer/director with Lost in Translation editor Sarah Flack and production designer Anne Ross. Stacey Battat (Broken English) is the costume designer, and Harris Savides (Elephant) is the director of photography.

I Am Number Four is a suspense thriller about an extraordinary young man, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), who is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, lifechanging events—his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.

Barney’s Version

Red Riding Hood

Based on Mordecai Richler’s prize-winning comic novel – BARNEY’S VERSION is the warm, wise and witty story of Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti), a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. A candid confessional, told entirely from Barney’s point of view, the film spans four decades and two continents, taking us through the many highs, and a few too many lows, of our hero’s long and colourful life. The reason that Barney must tell his story now – or, at least his version of it – is that his sworn enemy has just published a tell-all book that dredges up the more compromising chapters of Barney’s past: the many, often murky entrepreneurial schemes that lead to his success; the three

For decades, the people of the village of Daggerhorn have maintained an uneasy truce with the werewolf, who prowls at every full moon, by offering the beast a monthly animal sacrifice to quench its appetite. But under a blood red moon, the wolf changes the stakes by taking the life of one of their own.

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, etc. Director: Richard J.Lewis Release Date: 08 April 2011 Genre: Drama Classification: 13LSD

After nine aliens flee their home planet to find a peaceful life on Earth, their plans are shattered by pursuers who must kill them in number order. Number Four is a teen named John, who uses his extraordinary abilities to battle his enemies. John’s guardian, Henri, aids him in his deadly fight while he tries to protect his human girlfriend, Sarah and connect with the others who share his powers.” “The movie is definitely a good one, I felt as though it lacked something....

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen Director: Catherine Hardwicke Release Date: 18 March 2011 Genre: Fantasy, Thriller Classification: 13N

marriages, all of them terminated, and, most problematically, the mysterious, as-yet-unsolved disappearance of Barney’s best friend, Boogie; a possible murder for which Barney remains the prime suspect. Since his memory sometimes fails him, and because he has the unfortunate habit of getting blind drunk at pivotal moments, Barney leads us on this somewhat unsteady walk down memory lane, not only to explain his life to others, but also to explain it to himself. In telling us, as he calls it, “the true story of my wasted life,” Barney is honest to a fault, owning up to every one of his flaws and failings with a self-lacerating wit that positively dares us not to like him.

The victim is the older sister of Valerie (Seyfried), a beautiful, young woman, who has just found out that her parents (Burke and Madsen) have arranged for her to marry Henry (Irons), the scion of the town’s wealthiest family. But Valerie wants only Peter (Fernandez), the poor woodcutter she has loved all her life. Unwilling to be parted, the couple was planning to run away together,

but, in a horrifying instant, the wolf changes everything. As the townspeople hunger for revenge, famed werewolf hunter Father Solomon (Oldman) is summoned to Daggerhorn to kill the beast once and for all. But Solomon’s arrival brings only more turmoil as he warns everyone that the werewolf takes human form by day and could be any one of them. No one is above suspicion. Panic grips the town as the death toll rises with each red moon, tearing apart the once close-knit village. But it is Valerie who discovers she has a unique connection to the wolf that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect and bait.

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MUSIC REVIEWS

These days most album releases aren’t great but on the rare occasion you could stumble onto valuable treasure, (an album with more than 5 good trax). Purist DJs and salty record companies beware: MP3s are here to stay, so get smart or get left. Here are some releases we recommend.

Disclaimer: Reviews are the opinion of the reviewer and not that of Word Up Productions.

Cee-Lo Green The Lady Killer Label: Elektra

Format: CD/ Album

Genre: Funk/ Soul/ Hip Hop/ RnB/ Swing

Cee-Lo Green is an extremely talented, yet criminally slept-on artist since his career started as a member of the Goodie MO.b in the 90s.

he glides across on ‘Please’, Cee-Lo proves that he’s a jack of all trades when it comes to vocals.

strings and rolling drums. He takes The Lady Killer theme to the next level here and I’m quite impressed.

After a couple of solo albums and major success as Gnarls Barkley (with producer Danger Mouse) Cee-Lo returns with his latest outing The Lady Killer.

The Lady Killer is a refreshing ride through music history. ‘It’s OK’ and ‘Cry baby’ find Cee-Lo calling upon the Motown era as the instrumentation and vocal arrangement do the music of that time frame justice. ‘Old fashioned’ bellows with a touching nod to Solomon Burke with its hearty vocals strung out on the deep soul ballad. Simply put, CeeLo doesn’t just nod and tip his hat to these periods of music; he brings them to the new millennium tastefully while showcasing just how amazing of an artist he truly is.

What’s unfortunate is that Cee-Lo isn’t appreciated by the culture of hip hop that birthed him back in the 90s. Most of the attention goes to his dungeon cousin, Andre 3000 when it comes to the hybrid of being a rapper/singer, but on this album Cee-Lo shows he is the one who has mastered the art. It wasn’t until he unintentionally crossed over with Gnarls Barkley that his talents became recognized by the mainstream. So it is safe to say that many ‘heads’ will find The Lady Killer too pop for their tastes.

‘Lady Killers’ standout track is the sultry ‘Bodies’, produced by Salaam Remi, where Cee-Lo delivers a story of the sweetest psychopath you will ever meet over chilling

The Lady Killer proves that once again Cee-Lo has amazing talent. There’s a difference between those that try to be unique and those who just are. He just can’t be denied any longer.

The song otherwise known as ‘Forget you’ being the lead single and radio favourite, Cee-Lo’s third solo endeavor is packed full of old-school R&B, thick vocals and a ride through various eras of urban music that are all paid homage to without outright copying the formula. Cee-Lo’s voice is unique but vaguely familiar to anyone who has heard a choir or the powerful voices from the 60s. It’s part church, part soul and all Cee-Lo Green. Whether it is the way he belts out each note on the powerful ‘No one’s gonna love you’ or the trip-hop instrumentation

interpolation is by James Poyser. Wonder why they changed it? (No pun intended). Then it kicks into ‘Window seat’, a very solid song and the true start to the album, it’s the perfect tune just to kick back to.

Erykah Badu New Amerykah Part Two: Return of The Ankh Label: Universal Motown Format: CD, Album Genre: Electronic, Funk/Soul, Hip Hop After ‘Jump up in the air’ leaked, it seemed as if we were in for a Parliament Funkadelic influenced album, instead she decided to go with familiar territory. ‘20 Feet Tall’ is a nice little intro to the album, as she sings over some sparse organ, originally produced by 9th Wonder and this acoustic

‘Turn me away’ is about as close as you can get to the Junior Mafia track. This is a sure hit summer jam, you can hear Erykah start to let loose. She then enlists Ta’Raach for the groovy ‘Gone baby, don’t be long’. This one also brings back that nostalgic nineties flavour in the best way possible and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra Creative Partners), helps out with song writing. ‘Umm Hmm’ continues in that vein of grooviness with deep basslines and some reach back to the 80s this time. Regardless, it’s difficult to resist the familiar sample used by DJ Premier on the NYGz album. This one here is cooked up by the Beat Konductor Madlib. Things slow down a bit with ‘Love’ featuring a Biz Markie vocal snatch looped over bubbling funk

guitar. It’s little more than an enjoyable groove that doesn’t become annoying despite its lengthy 6 minutes, not surprising cause it’s a J Dilla creation. ‘Fall in love (Your funeral)’ sounds as though it could be the run-of-the-mill neo soul joint, but the production by Karriem Riggins lifts it to the next level. The feature being bouncing synth notes over the slowed basic drum beat it’s the special element that truly makes this joint nice. The Eddie Kendricks sample has been used in the past but nothing like this. She ends it with two of the slower tracks, ‘Incense’ and ‘Out of my mind, just in time’. These just don’t get going, with Badu’s vocals floating in the murkiness. ‘Out of my mind’ a jazzier offering, has 3 different movements the first being a beautifully acoustic affair with grand piano and violin, the subsequent 2 more beat heavy in approach. It’s obvious that Badu is capable of great things, but as weird as her image is, it seems as though she’s playing it safe.

Back to the CD at hand, this one as the name implies, utilizes samples of the music of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, to complement his beats or is it the other way around? Truly some sick ish as ‘The Are’ is immersed in some rich sample material. He kills with nearly every beat on here. The great thing is that he uses vocal snatches from popular Jackson 5 songs but manages to breathe new life into them.

The Are Dem damn Jacksons Label: None Format: Download Genre: Instrumental/ Soul/ Hip Hop Russell ‘The Are’ Gonzales has been blessing the game for well over a decade. He first came to my attention on singles released during the 90’s by Texas based hip hop outfit, K-Otix. Back then the majority of the trax were jazz influenced but the K-Otix album showed that he had more than one sound.

My fav’s are: ‘Intro’ which has this neck snapping beat tagged with ‘The Are’ just in case it’s your first encounter with this Beat Fanatic, ‘The meaning’ is a banger with a drum track that Doand Notthis Touch The Artwork knocks ill bassline. On ‘Keep on trying’, a soulful head-nodder he successfully infuses with so much soul that I wish was way longer than its mere two minutes. ‘When you’re down’ is sad but uplifting, the beat does just enough to prevent it from becoming depressing. ‘We’ve Come Too Far’ is another track with dope beat programming making it above average. ‘Oh So Sad’ is propelled

29


MUSIC REVIEWS by the vocal samples and the beat just supports it. ‘Walk On’ uses the same sample as Non Phixion’s ‘Cult Leader’ but with a way harder drum track. ‘We’ll be there’, ‘I want you gone’ is The Are’s flip on you guessed it, ‘I want you back’, he creates quite a bouncy beat to enjoy, ‘Oh’ continues the same vibe, this time chopping Michael’s ‘Baby be mine’. ‘Don’t go’ returns to some nostalgic sounds of a younger Michael and ‘Outro’ sounds like something Ghostface would have loved to rhyme over. I like that he channels different moods with some beats being more up tempo and others slow and sad. I’ll give him major dap for not over producing, giving each track exactly what it needs is no easy task. There is only one interlude and I never skip it. If you blink the whole experience will be over because there’s not one joint that even gets to the three minute mark. I feel that in keeping it short, the beats never become monotonous and you’ll prefer having the entire CD on repeat for quite a while. It’s good to see Russell finally go for dolo with amazing results, props way overdue. This one’s an audio treat for the beat lovers. You need this!

Money Making Jam Boys The Prestige: Jam Boy Magic Label: Ubiquity Records Format: CD, Album Genre: Hip Hop

next to his more seasoned peers. This leads directly into the cinematic ‘Judgment Day’. ‘Friday night street fever’ also has one of those familiar raw breaks that give so much energy as Thought & crew breathe new life into it. Although not a Roots production it does bare some resemblance to their best works. The tape starts off strong with the first 5 tracks being banging joints that you just have to blast from a proper system. ‘Look funny’ is a prime example. They pay homage to the days of old on this tape like nobody’s business, building on the foundations. ‘Coming out hard’ creatively samples drums and breaks usually credited to Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid in full’. On ‘Contract the world’, they rhyme over Public Enemy’s intro to ‘Fear of a Black planet’. “Philadelphia Zoo” finds Black Thought paying respect to Ole Dirty on this homage to its Brooklyn counterpart, over a terrorizing beat reminiscent of Ice-T’s pre-G-Funk, gangster rap. The most obvious of these is the cover of Nice ‘N Smooth’s ‘No Delaying’, called ‘We Ain’t Playing’. The missteps are few but ‘Here You Say’, doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album’s raw production and the same can be said for the super-soft ‘Money Make The World Go Round’, a mellowed out track that feels strange. The Prestige succeeds, as it doesn’t attempt to go for radio spins. This is the type of music that any true artist ultimately wants to make, music with integrity, music on their own terms, without having to worry about the pressures of a major record label or changing musical trends. True fans of Black Thought will enjoy this. ‘The Prestige’ is a project meant to introduce the involved artists in Money Making franchise, to fans of The Roots and new listeners and to bridge the gap till MMJB release the official album in the near future. Get used to them this is only the beginning.

This is not a Black Thought album, not even an album in the conventional sense. Prestige is the official mixtape introducing us to the MMJB. There’s no actual formula here. They just shoot from the hip. Not trying to conform to what’s hot on radio right now, instead the collective of rhyme sayers jump on top of some raw breaks and beats and just do what they know best. ‘500 horses’ is a nice opener with nuff energy and Black Thought slaying the first verse, the track has Jazzy Jeff contributing sick scratches on the hook. The Khari Ferrari produced; ‘Tear It Down’ caught my attention, as S.T.S. opens the track with an impressive flow helping him to stand confidently

Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids Label: Def Jam Recordings Format: CD/ Album Genre: Hip Hop Can you believe that this is Ghostface Killah’s ninth solo LP?, and that doesn’t even include

the albums he’s collaborated on, like Raekwon’s, a handful of Wu-Tang LP’s or anything with his many affiliates. Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City, had me confused and a little disappointed with it’s R&B flava. Not to worry Ghost put out a new back-to-basics LP with Apollo Kids. This is the Ghost we all know and love. Ghost is all business on this album not wasting time with kung-fu flick interludes that are a tradition of the classic Wu albums. What we get is Ghost’s usual brand of consistency in this collection of tracks from various producers. RZA is completely absent; along with any of the usual Wu-Tang beat makers. This album still manages to capture that raw, unadulterated sound thanks to a team of lesser known producers. Producer Frank Dukes shows up here with his previously released ‘Purified Thoughts’ track, now featuring verses from GZA and Killah Priest – both whom sound as classic as the day Liquid Swords was released. Dukes also contributes ‘Black Tequila’, as Ghost, Trife, and Cappadonna play desperadoes. Another of his joints is the phenomenal ‘In tha park’ featuring Black Thought, a ridiculously raw homage to the early days of hip-hop. Much of the LP maintains this raw aesthetic, with Ghost inviting his favourite emcees to spit on his brand of dirty beats. Producer Ant Acid provides the music for the excellent, ‘Ghetto’, capturing that classic Wu-Tang sound and featuring Raekwon, Cappadonna, and U-God, each rhyming over Marlena Shaw’s ‘Woman of the Ghetto’ groove. ‘Drama’ knocks hard; it’s a murky collaboration with the underrated but very capable Joell Ortiz and a show-stealing verse from The Game. ‘Superstar’, embodies a 70_s soul swagger, thanks to that butter sample it also has an appearance from Busta Rhymes. ‘Handcuffin’ Them Hoes’ featuring Jim Jones, has a slightly more polished sound in production but Ghost still shines regardless. ‘Street Bullies’ seems to drag on a bit, that’s cause the featured artists do little but ride the beat. Apollo Kids is ended with ‘Troublemakers’, a raucous track featuring Raekwon, Red and Meth. The complaints are few and far between. Ghost doesn’t disappoint with yet another solid LP, easily making him the Clan’s most consistent member.

The Left Gas Mask Label: Mello Music Group Genre: Hip Hop

Format: CD/Album

Detroit hip-hop group, The Left was formed after a simple phone conversation between producer Apollo Brown and emcee Journalist 103. The project started as a few random songs, but turned into a full-length, 17 track album. Apollo and Journalist first appeared as The Left on ‘The Real Detroit’ off of Apollo’s The Reset album, a collection of solid drums and dirty samples. Gas Mask is a well crafted and well packaged 17 track album. Apollo Brown has managed to create a sound all his own, crafting one soulful, neck-snapper after another. There’s some heavyweight chemistry evident between this duo. Journalist 103 speaks from the heart on the title track ‘Gas Mask’, addressing that popular topic: dealing with the current state of hip-hop. On this joint the production and emcee fit like a hand and glove. Gas Mask is definitely one of those albums that comes off like a movie soundtrack, painting pictures for the listeners throughout the album, setting up ideas for videos. The haunting backdrops produce a picture of the gray-skied, gritty landscape of Detroit. The D is repped to the max with the production using soul samples hailing back to the Mowtown days. They enlist fellow Detroit rappers Paradime on ‘Chokehold’, Guilty Simpson on ‘Reporting Live’ and Marvwon on the previously released ‘Real Detroit’. Not content with releasing the same track, they rework the music and sound, conveying a good work ethic. The result is pure magic. Apollo Brown’s production is especially strong on tracks such as ‘Battle Axe’, ‘Binoculars’, ‘The melody’, ‘Desperation’, ‘Caged birds’ and ‘Homage’. Gas Mask ends on a high note with ‘Get in where you fit in’. One of the more pleasant surprises as far as recent albums goes. Apollo and Journalist succeed in creating a solid, back to basics, no filler album that heads should grab for, as the group isn’t really on the radar as much as the artists on the idiot box.

fLako & Noir Pearls Label: Kwatro Format: MP3/Free Download Genre: Electronic/Abstract/Hip Hop Have you been wanting a bit of the ol’ boom-bap? Awaken from your daze and emit a half-hearted cheer, for fLako (Beat maker via Berlin & London) and Noir (New Orleans rapper) have combined to produce Pearls, a six-track EP released by the funky Kwatro netlabel... (never heard of them). Disappointingly, only two of the tracks are available on vinyl outside of the zipped free full album, making it difficult for ‘vinyl purists’ to get hold of their music...oh well! Back to the sounds: ‘Milky Way’ is a low-key tale of crime and commerce backed by fLako’s understated rhythm and smooth soul; ‘Paparazzi’ sees a Hammond organ massage a dreamy background vocal and a gentle beat before Noir crashes in, as rappers do, with a snare drum and his opinion of fame and fortune. Other tracks to get attention are ‘Cosmic Theory’ and the head-nodding ‘wOoop’, the latter title doubling up for the sound you’ll make when the beat drops. None of these outings are longer than three minutes so there’s little chance of the beats outstaying their welcome. Now, some of you love hip-hop and find nothing more immediately satisfying than a dusty drumbeat that’s tighter than my budget, but who ...hate rap. C’mon, admit it. Noir does an okay job of spittin’, but, like it or not, some people want to get to the main course, the beats, without interference. What to do, what to do? Maybe fLako can help us by releasing some of these as instrumentals. Submit your CD/mixtape/project for review. Email us on wordup.ezine@gmail.com for more info. Are you a musician, rapper, singer, producer, DJ, promoter or publicist? Do you have some info that Word Up Ezine should publish? Make sure you add us to your mailing lists and break us off with your latest tracks. PLEASE do not attach mp3s to emails, they will be deleted. If you are sending mp3s, we ask that you provide the links to download them. Not everything will make it into Word Up Ezine because we’re some picky peoples. Keep the info coming and we'll keep you entertained.

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IN THE MIX

Upcoming events:

April - May 2011

DMC’s Can you believe DMC USA’s DJ Battle season began on Saturday, March 26th in San Antonio?! In the meantime: DJs from across the World have been battling it out online and DJ Calculus of the Spindle Crew is representing SA.

Youngsta - Gunpowder mixtape launch Date: Thursday, 21 April 2011 Venue: Purple Turtle, Cape Town Cover: Free

Watch the action and vote via this link: http://www.dmcdjonline.com/watch-video. php?vid=MjA5

Back To The City Youth Festival 2011 42 Artists // 10 Djs // 12 Graffiti Crews // Bboys // Dancers // Bmx Floor // Skate Park // Gaming Zone // Battles // Beatboxers // Beat Battles // Beer Garden // 2 Floors // Hip Hop Summit // 9 000 People Date: 27 April 2011 Time: 10am – 11pm Venue: Ritual Stores, Newtown JHB Cover: R60 Tell A Friend!

Night of the BEATBANGAZ READY D // E-20 // DJ AZUHL Featuring Miss Celaneous, Arsenic amd DJ B-Side Date: 26 April 2011 Venue: Club Voom Voom, 70 Loop Street, Cnr Hout Street, Cape Town Time: 9pm Cover: R30

Cape Town’s Mix Master’s DJ Competition Competition dates were drawn randomly. Numbers 1- 3 are grouped together and 4-6 are grouped together. Results will be announced after each group of three have completed their sets. ONLY 2 DJs per night progress to the next round. Date: Wed 6, 13, 20 & Tues 26 Apr 2011 Venue: 121 Castle Street, Cape Town Time: First slot starts 10pm Cover: R20 31


IN THE MIX

On the Download:

CLASSIFIED

Directory

Jean-Pierre - A Universal Message featuring Garth Links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkZvmLNBuhM

Design BrandVerse Communication Agency

Romz Deluxe - Soul vibe mix http://www.mediafire.com/?wylai2vhg3ycagx

Spoek Mathambo - Control (Video) hosted by

Join in on the 10th Anniversary of Free Comic Book Day. This year promises to be bigger, better, badder :) Date: Saturday 7 May 2011 Time: 9 am – 3 pm Venue: Shop G10, Stadium on Main, Main Road, Claremont, Cape Town Website: www.readersden.co.za Please note this is an in-store only event.

If you’d like Word Up Ezine to promote your gig, album release or any other event, please e-mail the relevant info to: wordup.ezine@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKfwSFI8LhQ The fifth video from Spoek Mathambo’s debut album ‘Mshini Wam’ (www.spoekmathambo.com)

KhoiSiSeun - ‘n Blik Vol Maiers Promosie Mengkasset “FREEEEEEEE” http://www.reverbnation.com/khoisiseun

OOTZ tha Afronaut live CHECKITOUT AT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9WdC1LZf0Y

BTL Advertising Branding Graphic Design Online Advertising Website & Mobisite Design Contact: Gavin Bloys Cell: +27 (0)76 709 5023 E-mail: brandverse@gmail.com Website: www.brandverse.co.za Word Up Productions Graphic Design & Photography Contact: André or Natasha Tel: +27 (0)21 591 2932 E-mail: wordup.productions@gmail.com

Recording Studio Arsenic Lab

Ill Poetic Presents Mood Music 3rd Blend Tape featuring Joe Buddens. Remixed with Portishead http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KT8SVJ12

Vocal Recordings, Beats & Mix-downs Contact: Arsenic E-mail: arsenicbeats@gmail.com

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Word Up eZine Apr/ May 2011  

Culture zine focussing on art

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