updated 
South African Music Zine
edited by Sugar
Google

Search WWW
Search SA Rock

SECTIONS
HOME
REVIEWS
CD Of The Week
LAGER MENTALITY interviews
MY BACK PAGES
features and columns
LINKS
ARCHIVES
News, New releases, CD of the week, Concerts and tours, Charts, Worth buying
The online archive for
the history of SA rock
SOUND SOLUTIONS
Looking for an album, song or musician? Got a question? Ask Sugar!

Selling SA music
to the world

SA RECORD COMPANIES
BMG, David Gresham Records, EMI, Fresh Music, Gallo, M.E.L.T 2000, Nebula BOS, Primedia Music, Sheer Sound, SonyMusic, Street Level, Third Ear Music, Tic Tic Bang, Trippy Grape, Universal, and USM

[]
[]
news archives
ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball
FNB Awards on their way
12 April 1999 The FNB South African Music Awards turn 5 this year (happy birthday to U!). This ceremony is South Africa's only annual tribute to its artists, songwriters, engineers, video directors, and producers. A number of changes and additions have been introduced into this year's awards, with the aim of making the ceremony a true and reflective celebration of South African music. The new developments in the Award Ceremony are as follows:

Two new categories have been added - Best Kwaito Album and Best Kwaito Single. The calendar year for the Best Selling Album of 1998 has been extended to include any album released from October 1997 through to December 1998. The word 'performance' has been changed to 'album' in various categories, in the interest of clarity (um, yeah, uh, that's a whole lot clearer!)

Hanson were recently offered $2million to open for Michael Jackson. They turned it down, however, when they discovered that the offer had nothing to do with music.

Wonderboom, the classy rock band from Gauteng, has been signed to the David Gresham Records label and will be releasing their debut album through them. With Cito cracking visuals on vocals, hopes are high that Wonderboom can add to the quality and success of their debut 6-track EP.

Lithium, on the other hand, have announced their official retirement/break-up and will be setting off shortly on a last tour - the Century Deprivation Tour. The tour is to promote the new cassette release 'Century Deprivation' - and give people a last chance to see the band live for the last few times ever.

The excellent documentary covering Rodriguez' triumphant SA tour last March, appropriately titled 'Dead Men Don't Tour', is due to be screened on SABC-TV as soon as the powers-that-be at Auckland Heights pull their collective fingers out. This 52-minute rockumentary (if you will) was filmed by Incha Productions under the guiding eye of Tonia Selley who played percussion in Rodriguez' backing band on the tour. As soon as SABC-TV has screened it, it will become available for international consumption and there are already many Australians enquiring about such a possibility. As soon as we have the exact screening date and time, we'll pass it on.

The 'Indie Music Explosion' is gaining momentum as Nebula BOS continue to stock their special Musica racks with the biggest selection of independent SA CDs from goth to gospel. To find out more about this dynamic company as well as all the gen on their almost 200 artists, please take a peek at: http://www.indie.co.za

Classical Gas
22 March 1999 The Soweto String Quartet have embarked on a US tour at the invitation of the Dance Theatre Of Harlem (DTH) and will perform with them on their Black Historical College Tour. The tour will run from February 14 to April 10 and will visit many of the major US cities. The SSQ are hopeful that their third album, 'Millennia' will receive a US release alongside their first two albums, 'Zebra Crossing' and 'Renaissance'.

Read Lenny Mailer's article 'Endemic Violins' for a different perspective on this tour.

The excellent documentary covering Rodriguez's triumphant SA tour last March, appropriately titled 'Dead Men Don't Tour', is due to be screened on SABC-TV as soon as the powers-that-be at Auckland Heights pull their collective fingers out. This 52-minute rockumentary (if you will) was filmed by Incha Productions under the guiding eye of Tonia Selley who played percussion in Rodriguez's backing band on the tour. As soon as SABC-TV has screened it, it will become available for international consumption and there are already many Australians enquiring about such a possibility. As soon as we have the exact screening date and time, we'll pass it on.

Although it will not be a public holiday (but should be!), SA's first ever South African Music Day will go ahead on March 27th this year with the blessing of practically every group across the SA music spectrum, from the musicians right up to Madiba himself. The concept behind this day, which is being organized by the National Arts Council and the MIDI Trust, is that for one day a year, South African music is exposed, advertised, underlined, over-hyped and played as much as possible to try and get the SA public to catch a big wake-up to the wonderful music happening right under their turned-up noses.

On that day, radio and television will increase their local music content, the press will cover issues and profile players in the SA music industry and retailers will promote SA releases. There will also be a series of nationwide concerts as well as many producers and studios opening their doors to offer some local musos the opportunity to record some demos. More news in the weeks to come.

The 'Indie Music Explosion' is gaining momentum as Nebula BOS continue to stock their special Musica racks with a wide variety of independent SA CDs from goth to gospel. To find out more about this dynamic company as well as all the gen on their almost 200 artists, please take a peek at: http://www.indie.co.za

Kwaito storms into London
22 February 1999 With kwaito making serious inroads into the European and British music scenes, it has been announced that SA's two premier bands, TKZee and Boomshaka, will be performing together at the Temple in Tottenham, London on April 16. This concert was organised by Sipho Dlamini who is the director of Buk Wild Entertainment UK, a London-based company. For more info on this see the excellent Rage site at http://rage.co.za/

Womad has been and gone and Benoni will never be the same again, which must be a good thing. Seems the expected turnout didn't happen but it was a wonderful concert anyway. Highlights, according to our on-the-spot correspondent Mad Andy, included Jackson Browne playing with Johnny, Sipho and some other Juluke-ous, an appearance by the African Gypsies who are Ray Phiri and Gito Baloi (Tananas' bassist) accompanied by ex-Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, and the Tibetan songbird, Yungchen Lhamo.

Appearing at Womad was the Zimbabwean superstar, Oliver Mtukudzi, who has released 40 vocal albums in the past 20 years. His latest album, 'Tuku Music', will be the first of these 40 albums to achieve an SA release. It will appear on the Sheer Sound label. Mtukudzi recently appeared as part of Steve Dyer's Mahube, which is an ensemble collaboration of the finest Southern African musicians and vocalists. Looking like film star Danny Glover's long lost twin, Mtukudzi was thrilled to be in South Africa for these performances and is hopeful that his huge catalogue of albums can gain some recognition here after all these years.

Although it will not be a public holiday (but should be!), SA's first ever South African Music Day will go ahead on March 27th this year with the blessing of practically every group across the SA music spectrum, from the musicians right up to Madiba himself. The concept behind this day, which is being organized by the National Arts Council and the MIDI Trust, is that for one day a year, South African music is exposed, advertised, underlined, over-hyped and played as much as possible to try and get the SA public to catch a big wake up to the wonderful music happening right under their turned-up noses.

On that day, radio and television will increase their local music content, the press will cover issues and profile players in the SA music industry and retailers will promote SA releases. There will also be a series of nationwide concerts as well as many producers and studios opening their doors to offer some local musos the opportunity to record some demos. More news in the weeks to come.

Sacrifist were one of the founders of the SA death metal genre in the mid-'90s but took a break in 1997 to er, regroup and write some new material. They will be performing their new 'softer' metal sound at a series of gigs in March beginning with the Crocodile River rock festival and moving on to their 'Phoenix Rising' tour in April/May.

The 'Indie Music Explosion' is gaining momentum as Nebula BOS continue to stock their special Musica racks with a wide variety of independent SA CDs from goth to gospel. To find out more about this dynamic company as well as all the gen on their almost 200 artists, please take a peek at: http://www.indie.co.za

South African Music Day and a sad farewell to Frank Frost
8 February 1999 It is with great sadness that the SA music community bids a final farewell to Frank Frost, the founder and drummer for the Blues Broers, who passed away last week after a long illness. Frank was devoted to his music and the championing of any SA talent who crossed his path and to this end he set up and helped organise the series of Martell Blues and Rock festivals in Grahamstown every year. He recently completed the Blues Broers energetic live album which sadly proved to be his swansong.

We all mourn this giant of the SA music scene and extend our condolences to his wife Maggie and his family. Frank will be an impossible act to follow and SA music is poorer for his passing.

Regarding the new South African Music Day. The Music Industry Bash and  Midi Trust will be co-presenting the first MIB of 1999 next Tuesday, on February 9 from 5:30 for 6pm. MIB has invited the South African Music Industry Development Initiative (Midi Trust) to introduce the first ever SA Music Day (March 27 nationwide) and use the opportunity to launch a monthly series of talks on music and industry matters. Rosie Katz (Midi Trust, Jhb) will introduce the national SA Music Day and talk on the national organisation of an event, publicist extraordinaire Kim Saville (of KSP) will talk on publicising an event nationally and locally and Chris de Vries (Making Music Productions) will talk about production at events. As with all MIBs all are welcome, from musicians to media, from managers to mixers. The serious stuff is followed by February's first "Jam at the Jam" - all musicians welcome. Info on MIB from its infoline 088 1298480 and on www.gig-guide.co.za.

A recent theft left the members of the band Karma without their rare and irreplaceable guitars. For a full report, as well as a list of the missing instruments, please go to Eudaimonia - The unofficial Karma
(Henry Ate) website at http://www.wits.ac.za/
student_homepages/dp/Henry

There is much excitement about the upcoming WOMAD festival in Benoni from 12-14 February. The Senegalese superstar, Baaba Maal and American rock legend, Jackson Browne have both been added to this star-studded list of artists and South Africa will be well-represented prestigious roster. With enough entertainment to keep both the folks and the kids fully occupied, this wonderful celebration of music, dance and arts sure to be a huge success, don't miss it!

The 'Indie Music Explosion' is gaining momentum as Nebula BOS continue to stock their special Musica racks with a wide variety of independent SA CDs from goth to gospel. To find out more about this dynamic company as well as all the gen on their almost 200 artists, please take a peek at: http://www.indie.co.za

SA Music gains momentum
1 February 1999 The Senegalese superstar, Baaba Maal, has been added to the prestigious roster of artists due to perform at the WOMAD festival in Benoni from February 12-14. With a bill that already boasts international acts like Hothouse Flowers, Fundamental and the Drummers Of Burundi, the addition of Babaa Maal to this line-up should make this the first must-see concert of 1999. Please see our concerts and tours section for further details.

Fetish have finally stopped er, pussyfooting and signed to the Virgin label. With ex-Urban Creep and Benguela drummer, Ross Campbell, now a permanent part of their line-up, Fetish have begun work on the follow-up to their successful (self-titled) debut album and with Michelle Breeze cracking visuals and vocals, their future's looking rosy.

Lithium, one of SA's premier rock outfits, have indicated that they will be disbanding soon following the loss of one of their members. Boo have followed their stirring live shows with a 6-track EP which, at this stage, is either titled 'Pineapple Flava' or 'Monki Punk'. This strange and energetic trio will be promoting their album when lead singer, Chris Chameleon is available. Chameleon has landed a minor role in the elephant movie to be shot in the desert in 'Nam (Namibia, in case you're wondering) over the next two months.

Although still one of South Africa's premier musical exports, Johnny Clegg is still trying to get his excellent back catalogue re-released on CD. With EMI, Gallo and Johnny's new company, Primedia Records all trying to figure out who owns what, sales of these CDs have dropped due to their unavailability and many overseas customers are amazed that this wonderful body of work cannot be accessed by all the fans. Clegg's recent album, 'Ya Vuka Inkunzi', is in great demand from overseas but is currently not available and no further CD copies have been pressed to date. Hopefully, this situation will be cleared up promptly.

The 'Indie Music Explosion' is gaining momentum as Nebula BOS continue to stock their special Musica racks with a wide variety of independent SA CDs from goth to gospel. To find out more about this dynamic company as well as all the gen on their almost 200 artists, please take a peek at: http://www.indie.co.za

And the award for the "Best Awards Ceremony" goes to...
18 January 1999 It's that time of the year when we get inundated with those American music (and film) awards ceremonies.
Here in SA, our musical artists are honoured at the SA Music Awards (SAMA) which will take place on May 15. The deadline for nominations is January 19 and a few changes have been made to make these awards more inclusive of all the various SA musical genres. The word "Performance" has been replaced with "Album" in most categories and this year will see two new categories, Best Kwaito Album and Best Kwaito Single, to acknowledge the huge strides made by our newest and coolest dance music.

The Grammys are on their way and it looks like Lauryn Hill is going to do a "Titanic" with her wonderful 'The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill" album. Last week we watched the American Music Awards which are voted for by the public as opposed to the Grammys which are awarded by a panel of judges. Will Smith actually outshone Celine Dion on the night with his three awards but the highlight was the reappearance of Debbie (Deborah) Harry and her Blondie boys along with Coolio and the Wu Tang Clan doing the new single 'No Exit'. She's older and er, bigger, but Debbie can still blow those twinkly little dives away with just a flick of her fringe. Oh, we also learnt that Billy Joel's first band was a heavy metal outfit called "Attila"!

The 'Indie Music Explosion' is gaining momentum as Nebula BOS continue to stock their special Musica racks with a wide variety of independent SA CDs from goth to gospel. To find out more about this dynamic company as well as all the gen on their almost 200 artists, please take a peek at: http://www.indie.co.za or browse the charts on the side of the page.



SSQ and LBM go PLAT.
21 December 1998 Two of SA's top groups have been making big waves on the international music shores. According to the latest issue of Q (January 1999!), 'The Star And The Wiseman - The Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo' reached no.2 on the UK charts and has sold over 300 000 copies making it Platinum! The reason for this success, besides the obvious quality of the material, is the inclusion of the LBM song that was used in the Heinz Beans commercial. It also includes 'Homeless' and the other tracks recorded with Paul Simon for the 'Graceland' album.

South Africa's other new big export group, the Soweto String Quartet, have followed the international release of their debut 'Zebra Crossing' album with their new 'Millennia' album. On this album, SSQ have attempted to recreate the sounds and emotions of a Saturday night in Soweto. With both 'Zebra Crossing' and 'Renaissance' having sold mega-quantities, it is hoped that 'Millennia' will repeat that success and take SSQ into many more homes internationally.

Nebula BOS is the record company behind the "Indie Music Explosion" promotion currently on in all the Musica stores nationwide. They are inviting all independent SA artists to submit their CDs for inclusion on these prominent racks. Contact them at nebulabos@hotmail.com



Rodriguez documentary on the way
7 December 1998 Cape Town record company New World Music has followed up its excellent first compilation, 'A Journey Through The Townships Of Cape Town' with six hot new releases, all showcasing the amazing talent lying undiscovered in the sprawling townships that lie close to the Mother City. Please see our 'New Releases' section below for details of these CDs.

Incha Productions have completed the documentary on Rodriguez's recent tour to South Africa. Titled "Dead Men Don't Tour", this exceptional film covers this cult artists history, re-discovery and sold-out concerts. The documentary was helmed by Tonia Selley who played percussion in the band that backed Rodriguez so there is plenty of behind the scenes footage as well as full live versions of at least six songs performed during the tour. This video is due to be screened on SABC TV in early '99 and may possibly be released as a sell-through pre-pack thereafter.

Nebula BOS is the record company behind the "Indie Music Explosion" promotion currently on in all the Musica stores nationwide. They are inviting all independent SA artists to submit their CDs for inclusion on these prominent racks. Contact them at nebulabos@hotmail.com

Musica To Our Ears
30 November 1998 In a recent press statement Derek Goosen, the founder and MD of the largest chain of SA retail CD stores, announced that South African music has finally begun to make its presence felt in his stores. With South African artists accounting for three of the five best-selling CDs in Musica, and the Nebula BOS "Indie Music Explosion" racks bringing those lesser-known and under-promoted SA artists to national attention, Musica have shown their willingness to work alongside the SA radio, press and online media to push SA music onto a higher level of exposure and profitabilty.

Wola Nani, the hard-working and worthwhile AIDS organisation, staged their 'Women United Against AIDS' benefit concert at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town on Tuesday, November 24. Among the artists who appeared to highlight this global disease were Amanda Strydom, Tina Schouw, Wendy Mseleku and Carol Leigh.

Johannes Kerkorrel, Coleske and Steve Hofmeyr have built up quite a following on the European continent. Albums by these three SA artists have been in great demand in countries like Holland, Belgium and Germany where Afrikaans is understood and appreciated, especially in the form of songs and music. The new Johannes Kerkorrel 'Best Of' compilation, 'Tien Jaar Later', is reviewed in our 'CD Of The Week' section below.

Nebula BOS is the record company behind the "Indie Music Explosion" promotion currently on in all the Musica stores nationwide. They are inviting all independent SA artists to submit their CDs for inclusion on these prominent racks. Contact them at nebulabos@hotmail.com

I 'beat' you never thought of this!
22 November 1998 Have you ever considered the strange fact that the three top pop bands of the sixties all had names beginning with the prefix "Beat". There was obviously the Beatles and the Beatch Boys but what about that famous brothers group, The Beatchys. With songs like 'Words', 'Staying Alive' and 'First Of May', this falsetto group took their Australian sound to the world and sold millions of albums. Now they are coming to South Africa for a one-off performance in Pretoria on November 28. Take along a date because, erm, The Bee Gees are the thing to share, as that ad goes.

There are certain SA compilations looking to do the business as the festive shopping season approaches. There's Fresh Records' SA artists remix album, 'Re Rooted Beats From Da Ground Up', 'The Future Sound Of Cape Town' mind-blowing trance collection and 'Kwaito Hits', the worthwhile introduction to the stars and beats of this new urban dance music. It's going to be a tough struggle with all the cool, new international albums on their way.

Nebula BOS is the record company behind the "Indie Music Explosion" promotion currently on in all the Musica stores nationwide. They are inviting all SA artists to submit their CDs for inclusion on these prominent racks. Contact them at nebulabos@hotmail.com

Hannukah shopping
16 November 1998 November is here (already??) and with less than two months to Hanukkah you can be sure that our record store's racks are beginning to burst with new albums. These days South African CDs are nestling comfortably alongside international releases as the perceived gap between these two markets begins to close. We could have the Springbok Nude Girls' expected new album 'Opti Mum' jostling with REM's 'Up' for Christmas honours, or TKZee's 'Halloween' scaring Celine Dion right off the charts. What a thought!

There are also a host of acts lined up to entertain us in the months ahead. The biggest (and, er, longest) name among them is Hootie and the Blowfish who will be appearing in selected aquariums all round SA in December. This band's current album 'Musical Chairs' is selling by the shipload as we speak so, grab this album and start cramming for the concerts.

REM will not be touring SA, or anywhere else apparently, to promote their 'Up' album. In the interview mis-match of the year, M-Net's Nadia Bilchik seemed a little too glitzy and inappropriately primed for her chat with a gaunt-looking Michael Stipe.

On a sad note, we report the tragic death of the highly esteemed South African musician and producer, West Nkosi, in a car accident recently. West Nkosi was a prominent SA artist who later achieved fame as the producer of many of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo hit albums. The SA kwaito community lost one of its brightest lights with the tragic death of the popular artist Makhendlas. Known to his family as Oupa Mafokate and brother of the Kwaito giant Arthur, Makhendlas saw national success with his hit single 'Menwana Phezulu (Fingers Up)' and his album 'Jammer'.

The "Indie Music Explosion" has begun. If you pay attention when next visiting your local Musica branch, you will notice a large black CD rack titled "The Indie Music Explosion" loitering with intent near to the main counter and containing a whole bunch of CDs by a wide spectrum of SA musicians. Although these racks forgot to mention that these are specifically South African artists is but a minor gripe against a bloody good idea. Nebula BOS is the record company behind this promotion and they are inviting all independent SA artists to submit their CDs for inclusion on these prominent racks. Feel free to contact them at nebulabos@hotmail.com

For the past few years, a group of approximately 350 SA artists have assembled annually on an honorary basis to present an AIDS Gala Benefit concert called "Stages Of Love". For more details of this year's concert, please see the Concerts section below.


Nebula BOS launch the "Indie Music Explosion"
8 November 1998 1 October 1998 was the date on which the new SA record company Nebula BOS launched their "SA Indie Music Explosion" CD racks in all the Musica stores nation-wide. The motivation behind the formation of Nebula BOS is that there are too many independent and emerging artists in South Africa, and Africa generally, who cannot get their music distributed through the handful of major record companies in SA.

Nebula BOS, through their Musica exposure, aim to give these new artists the exposure they and their product so desperately need. Artists are urged to contact Nebula BOS to discuss their work and opportunities. For all the info you need about this exciting new company, see their website at:

http://www.nebulabos.co.za/

or go to our SA Record Companies page for all their contact details.

If you love SA jazz and the name Paul Hanmer means nothing to you then you have a major treat coming your way. Hanmer is a classically trained pianist who is being touted as South Africa's next big international star. His previous album, 'Trains To Taung', which has already sold over 10,000 copies and is an essential mix of SA roots, contemporary jazz and a large slice of that Hanmer melodic songwriting.

Sheer Sound have just released the eagerly awaited follow up to the 'Trains' album, titled 'Window To Elsewhere', which is a more mainstream-sounding jazz album. Watch these pages for a review of this CD.

When times are good, one can always reward oneself with a new CD, but, when we seem to be on the brink of a world-wide recession, then what else is there to do but, er, buy a CD, take it home and crank up the volume until the troubles outside the door disappear in a squall of feedback (or whatever type of music you chose).

That is pretty much the prevailing situation in SA at the moment. To honour this state of affairs, the SA record companies have begun releasing a whole new batch of cool CDs for your dwindling disposable income (see New Releases below).

Gallo Records have lept to the head of the queue with their new double CD release 'Sound Offerings from South Africa'. Aimed squarely at the international market, this 36 track CD features a broad cross-section of the best music and artists currently available in SA from Jeremy Taylor to the AME Church Choir. Too many titles to mention here but it also includes the Ladysmith Black Mambazo track that recently went to the top of the British charts after being featured in the Heinz beans commercial.

Karma, Koos and Claire
October 1998 It is ten years since Mango Groove first brightened up the SA musical landscape with the infectious kwela-pop of 'Hellfire' and 'Special Star'. It's five years since they almost lost the plot and took themselves a little too seriously. Singing the anthems before a recent SA/All Blacks rugby test must have skrikked Claire Johnston wakker and the Mangoes are now back with a greatest hits compilation "Dance Sum More" and a national tour.

The album features their 12 chart-toppers from their platinum-selling six albums. During the past ten years, Mango Groove performed at Montreaux and received three encores, entertained an audience of over 200,000 at the 'Rock Against Racism' concert and a global viewership of over 1 billion at the 'Freddie Mercury Tribute' concert.

"The bard of Gordon's Bay", Koos Kombuis, still only plays to small but devoted groups of fans in small clubs and the occasional SA festival. But expectations are soaring with the news of a new compilation album from this poet, singer-songwriter and all-round wonderful artist. Provisionally titled 'Mona Lisa En Ander Love Songs', it is expected to contain 18 songs of which five are new. Forget Steve Hofmeyer (Steve who?), Koos writes the best Afrikaans love songs and these songs are the proof. 'Lalie', Mona Lisa', Bicycle Sonder 'n Slot' and 'Lisa Se Klavier' alone would justify this purchase. Keep your eyes on Bomskok Babbelaas, the excellent Koos Kombuis website.

The new giant entertainment group, Primedia, have established their SA music company and one of their first moves was to re-launch the popular pop band, Henry Ate, under the moniker (that Lewinsky woman keeps cropping up everywhere!) Karma. Seeing as the big talent in this band was always the charismatic and cool vocalist, Karma-Ann Swanepoel, it's not hard to follow their reasoning. With ex-Bright Blue and Mango Groove drummer Peter Cohen now in tow, Karma are "putting the finishing touches" to their upcoming 'One Day Soon' album.

SA Compilations

10 September  1998 Two exciting new SA compilations are on their way soon. The first, 'The Future Sounds Of Cape Town', is a collection of the hottest contemporary trance, dance and prance acts in the Cape each contributing their strongest work to this album.

The second, titled 'Re: Rooted' ("Beats from the ground up"), is also a collection of well-known SA tracks remixed by the original artists in tandem with assorted, recognised local arrangers.



[]
ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball
Lots of SA CDs to buy online at One World.

There's also the Two Oceans Trading online shopping mall where you can purchase Springbok rugby merchandising, SA books, jewellery and CD-ROMs, amongst many other items.

Any thoughts, requests, problems, complaints, praise or interesting and relevant SA music news, please email it immediately to: sugar@cd.co.za

Contributors
editor: Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, webmaster: Alan Levin, maintainer: Brian Currin

Copyright 1996-99 Amuzine . All rights reserved.

[]