'Amuzed' - 12/12/97

stephen is 'amuzed' beatspeak

Well, I used to be disgusted,
But now I try to be….Amuzed!


It's mid-December in the sleepy little coastal port of Cape Town and one's thoughts turn to no-work situations, late sleeps, sunny skies, braais and Chevvies. Time to look back at the year that's just sped by and try and glean some meaning from it before '98 arrives. It's been a very good year for SA music and, thanks to our radio stations' quota systems, a whole bunch of musos found the exposure they deserve. There's been stacks of new SA CDs in the shelves and judging from the excellent response to our One World online CD store, there are many fans of SA music all over the globe.

On Saturday night the Three Arts in Plumstead, Cape Town, will host British band Skunk Anansie supported by Henry Ate and Prophets of da City . The word from their Jo'burg shows is that this is an unmissable concert. The point is that Skunk Anansie are the first current, good and relevant alternative band to play around these parts for ages. All we seem to get are big established bands with ten albums or more and greatest hits compilations clogging up the Musica shelves where much better stuff could be displayed. U2 are coming next year and already the tickets and flights are booked, the one million boxes of stage parts are on the high seas and their back catalogue is being re-pressed for the expected onslaught. To hell with that -- bring out the cutting edge bands and artists like the Verve, Manic Street Preachers, 3 Colours Red, Prodigy, Embrace, Spiritualised, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Findlay Quaye and many, many more. That's who the young fans want to see. So go and support Skunk Anansie and make those dozy old hippie promoters catch a fat wake-up and stop bringing in bands which they want to see for their own nostalgia agendas.

Its highly likely that the music that will mostly be heard at many of the Xmas parties around SA will be locally produced. If you don't have Oom's 'Beats And Peaces' CD yet, put it on your list -- they're dancing to it in Australia, I believe. The hottest dance music in SA this year has got to be kwaito, which is spreading like a veldfire. There is a batch of new releases out now, including Thebe's 'So'gum', Bongo Maffin's 'Final Entry', Chiskop's 'Relax', Twins' 'Higher And Higher' and the most popular of the lot, Trompie's 'Trap en Los'. While drum 'n bass continues to take melody and instrument-free dance music even further up its own nether regions, kwaito offers the more attractive, earthy and sexy sounds of the SA bash-beat. If you're feeling a little more spiritual then you should get the latest Ladysmith Black Mambazo CD, 'Heavenly', which mixes old standards with some gospel stuff in their usual acappella style. I personally like the track with Dolly Parton -- "Knockers On Heaven's Floor' or something like that.

Next week I will attempt to list the best SA CDs releases from a great year as well as some essential international offerings. If you happen to have compiled a list of your favorite 10 CDs of the year, local and not, please feel free to email it to me at

This week we urge you to check out our new Lager Mentality interview with Dorp. There's a review of the debut CD by Elephant Sun. Do your Xmas CD shopping online at One World. Track down the festive season concerts and happenings at Gig Guide. Send Rodriguez a happy Christmas message on the web-board at the Great Rodriguez website. He will definitely get to read it and maybe even reply, I wonder…

If you have any SA music news, contrary views, new releases, gig reviews or dates or just want to say "Hi-lo", please email me at

Music to get you into the Christmas holiday spirit:
Nick Cave - 'The Boatman's Call'. Kind of like Leonard Cohen singing 'Blood On The Tracks' beautifully.
Radiohead - 'OK Computer'. KingPinkCrimsonFloyd for the late '90s. Buy for and listen with someone you really love.
Various artists - Great Jewish Music. The John Zorn-produced tribute to French genius Serge Gainsbourg. Fantastic selection of songs and artists even though I don't understand a word.
Chet Baker - anything, as long as he sings on it.
Monty Python - the soundtrack from 'Life Of Brian'. Just because 'tis the season to be jolly.

by stephen 'Sugar' Segerman

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