'Amuzed' - 09/01/98
Hi and Happy New Year!
It's January again and I find myself back in my Dilbert-sized cubicle after spending two weeks in the sea, sky and space of Madiba Bay (Koos Kombuis's name for Cape Town). To celebrate my temporary freedom, I climbed Table Mountain via the appropriately named Skeleton Gorge and did my Rocky dance of triumph on the top. Actually I'm currently looking more like Sly Stallone in 'Cop Land' so I've moved the office water cooler into my nook and am well into my liquid diet.
Cape Town saw in the New Year with a wide variety of party options but surely none as wild as the Synergy happening at the River Club in Observatory. It was there that we saw/heard the awesome collision of techno and drum (without the 'n bass) as Juno Reactor with Amampondo reproduced some of the music off their recently released 'Bible Of Dreams' album collaboration that is currently causing such a stir.
I also found myself with enough time to listen to a huge backlog of albums. Reviewing is fine but it's a pain listening in fast-forward all the time. So I visited my old friend Solly (Kramer) and stocked up (what is Xmas without J&B?) especially with a few bags of ice, which have been essential these past scorching few weeks. I then parked out on my deck and listened slowly to the groovy 'Maverick A Strike' album by Finlay Quaye and the Asian-rock sounds of Cornershop's 'When I Was Born For The 7th Time'. I loved Quaye's 'Sunday Shining', 'Even After All' and 'Love Is Sweeter" and Cornershop's 'Brimful Of Asha' and their Punjabi version of the Beatles' 'Norwegian Wood'. I was then ready for the hot kwaito outpourings of Bongo Maffin's 'Final Entry' album which includes their 'Pata/Pata'-sampled 'Makeba' and Eagles-sampled 'Hotel Kali'. This album is available on a local tape for about R30 and is the best value in town.
I listened to a bit of the "smooth jazz" that is oozing out of some local radio stations but found it a little boring. What the hell does the paradox "smooth jazz" actually mean? I guess it's like those ghastly 'Classic Rock' albums or Pat Boone's ballad versions of heavy metal favourites. What's next?'Gospel Punk' and 'Funky Country' collections? Smooth jazz -- pah! I quickly cleansed my ear palate (?) with some hot SA rock by Sons Of Trout (watch these ous in '98!), White Trash, Fetish, Drain, Meldt and the lekker new self-helped albums by Elephant Sun ('Perceptions') and Scooters Union ('Vivid Memories Of Static'). Both of these herald a welcome return to a softer and more lyrical type of rock. (For those who can make it, Elephant Sun will be playing at Challengers in the Cape Rendevous Protea Hotel in Brackenfell on Wednesday, January 14. Their 'Perceptions' CD will be on sale as well.)
The January Get The Funk Out magazine and CD is now out and should be grabbed (and paid for) on sight. The attached CD, 'GTFO 6', features the new Wendy Oldfield single 'Duwayo' as well as a track by the new Gauteng crossover sensations, Anti-Gravity. There's also a song by the New Zealand hip-hoppers Dam Native called 'Behold My Kool Style' and tracks from Sipho Gumede ('Ubuntu') and Magic Cactus ('Eddie'). The magazine section has the usual pot-pourri of gonzoid articles, reviews and pictures including a photographic tour through the toilets of some of Cape Town's better-known clubs. GTFO can be purchased online from One World.
So what do we have for you this week? The two recent Sheer Sound releases, the Cheikh Lo album and the 'African Jazz Men' compilation, are featured in our Reviews section. Pop into One World, our online CD store that stocks practically every and any South African CD you can think of. Visit The Great Rodriguez Website and post a message on the web-board. Keep a red-eye on the Gig Guide, the best online source of concert action. As always I welcome all and any info, feedback, opinions and queries concerning SA music news, bands, artists, gossip, albums, and new releases. If you feel the urge, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope we all have a "Great '98". And, hey! Let's be careful out there…
Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman
by stephen 'Sugar' Segerman
The Great Rodriguez Website
Your online CD store
Lager Mentality - Interviews, Features and previous Beatspeak and News articles