stephen is 'amuzed' beatspeak

The Full (tribute to) Monty

The name Monty Weber may not mean as much to most music fans as the names Dollar Brand / Abdullah Ibrahim and Basil Coetzee. Yet Monty Weber is the man who provided the underlying percussion and rhythm on the seminal, classic and much-loved 1974 album 'Manenberg (Is Where It's At)'. Weber accompanied Abdullah Ibrahim on his international tours in the Eighties and has always been active on the SA scene in a playing and educational capacity. Earlier this year we lost Basil "Manenberg" Coetzee to cancer and now Monty Weber had to have both his legs amputated due to damage caused by Diabetes.

On Sunday evening there will be a benefit concert for Monty, to be hosted by the Blue Note jazz club in Cape Town. Among the artists appearing will be one of the Cape's favourite sons, Jonathan Butler, who is currently recording the new TRC 'Freedom' song. I assume the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be releasing a soundtrack album. Will it include, I wonder, Bishop Tutu's appeal for an apology from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela spoken over a understated kwaito groove and the subsequent "Sorry" (doesn't make it better! - Karma ed.) that Winnie haltingly, and reluctantly, came up with. The introduction of Boom Shaka's funky, new version of our national anthem halfway through this mumbled monologue could see this "Sorry" track and the entire TRC album going straight to the top of the SA charts.

Robbie Jansen, also of Manenberg fame and currently in fine health, will be performing along with Winston Mankunku, Jimmy Dludlu and Mark Goliath. All the evenings takings will be be donated to help pay for Monty's medical bills. It's good to see our musicians paying more than lip service to the concept of a caring community of artists.

Massive tour news

Having spent this week growing very attached to Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine', the new and equally awesome follow up to the 'Blue Lines' and 'Protection' albums from the Bristol posse, I was thrilled to hear that the Massives will be doing a three city tour of South Africa in October. 'Mezzanine' entered the UK album charts in the top position and is still sitting there while showing no signs of moving down, proof of the incredible interest in this British musical collective. Massive Attack have never really toured as a band; their shows for the 'Protection' tour were not very fleshed out and were more a collection of vocal, vinyl and audio-cassette samples strung together.

The three basic members of MA are Grant "Daddy G" Marshall, Robert "3D" Del Naja and Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles, who first worked together as the Wild Bunch in Bristol in 1983. On all their albums, these three musicians have enlisted the temporary talents of artists such as Horace Andy, EBTG's Tracy Thorn and Shara Nelson. On 'Mezzanine', MA have used the vocal talents of Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser on three of the songs and once again they have called in reggae legend Horace Andy to handle the vocals on the next single, 'Angel'.

The dates for the Massive Attack tour are: Monday, October 5, at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg; Wednesday, October 7, at the Village Green in Durban; and Friday, October 9, at the Three Arts in Cape Town. Tickets are available at Computicket and are expected to move quickly for what should be a full-on musical extravaganza.

Dizu's drumming machine

At last week's FNB SAMA awards, Dizu Plaaitjies accepted the Best Xhosa Traditional album award on behalf of his group Amampondo for their exceptional 'Drums For Tomorrow' album. Plaaitjies, who has been ploughing the same musical furrow for years without widespread South African respect or interest, took the opportunity to voice some of his grievances about the local music industry, not all pleasant and thankful in the way that these acceptance speeches are meant to be. Amampondo are leaving soon for some gigs in Budapest and then Japan and will playing a warm-up concert at the Drum Café in Cape Town on Saturday night.

Their 'Drums' album has been acclaimed for its refreshing mixture of world music, contemporary jazz and reworked African melodies all blended in with the usual Amampondo percussion invasion. I recall seeing Amampondo during the Eighties at the Market Theatre in Jo'burg, a performance that left me rigid with boredom from the unrelenting assault of a perfectly executed but totally tuneless marimba and traditional drum jam. Since then they've been assimilating some contemporary styles into their music to freshen up their sound and they achieved some Rave cred when they collaborated with ex-Malombo legend Mabi Thobejane and the techno-wizardry of Ben Watkin's Juno Reactor at the River Club shows in January. Their 'Drums For Tomorrow' CD, out on the cool new Melt 2000 label, is expected to be the opus that finally thrusts Amampondo into the global spotlight.

Lusikisiki and ye shall find

Still planning their aural assault on the SA and world markets are Trans Sky, the fruitful pairing of muso-producer extraordinaire Warrick Sony and the viola-toting "creep" from the 'Urbs from Durbs", Brendan Jury. These two have inked a deal to record an album for SA and global release on the Blue Note label, the same company that put Amampondo, Juno Reactor and Mabi on the same stage.

The album will be produced by Greg Hunter, one of the big names in the current Trance arena. Hunter has worked with, among others, David Bowie, Sheep On Drugs and The Orb. Hunter and Sony, with a wealth of experience and sublime talent between them, could prove to be a winning combination. Having seen Trans Sky perform some of their newer material recently, I am still convinced that this could be the SA band that finally gets mentioned in the same breath as the other big hitters in the trip-hop-world genre: Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead, to name three of many. I recently found a rare CD copy of the as-good-as-imagined 'End Beginnings' CD featuring Warrick Sony (in his incarnation as the Kalahari Surfers) and Lesogo Rampolokeng. I will be interviewing Trans Sky soon and the resulting expose will be viewable -- and audible -- in our Lager Mentality forum.

It's a Live Fact

The new Rodriguez album, 'Live Fact', recorded live at the second Johannesburg concert at the Standard Bank Arena, will be released within the next few weeks in South Africa. Consisting of the full set-list of 17 songs performed by Rodriguez in this show, the album will doubtless be a worthy addition to the three albums ('Cold Fact', 'After The Fact' and 'Best Of') currently available from this enigmatic artist. Rodriguez has been invited to perform at a concert in Sweden and will be taking along the South African musicians who accompanied him on his recent SA tour.

The album is released by Sony and the tracklisting is: 1. I Wonder / 2. Only Good For Conversation / 3. Can't Get Away / 4. Crucify Your Mind / 5. Jane S. Piddy / 6. To Whom It May Concern / 7. Like Janis / 8. Inner City Blues / 9. Street Boy / 10. A Most Disgusting Song / 11. Halfway Up The Stairs / 12. I Think Of You / 13. Rich Folks Hoax / 14. Climb Up On My Music / 15. Sugar Man / 16. Establishment Blues / 17. Forget It.

The total running time is 65:03 and the album will be available at One World online SA CD store as soon as it is released. For more details go to the man's two official websites: The Great Rodriguez Website and Climb Up On My Music.

Lithium Competition

Though I've received a lot of entries for our Lithium giveaway, there is still a bit more time to enter. Just email (1) your name, (2) your shipping address, (3) the name of Lithium's new CD and (4) the name of their drummer to: You could win one of the two Lithium gift sets, each of which contains a band-signed copy of their new album and a Lithium T-shirt. You snooze, you lose...

This week's Amuzine specials! (Going cheep!)

Fancy yourself as a critic? Always believed that you can do it better than those newspaper / magazine ous? Well, put your moaning where your mouse is and post a review at The Show Must Go Online, on any show, movie or gig that moved you. Check out our Reviews page for the word on the Kerr-unt Simple minds album, 'Neapolis'. Which reminds me: Knock, knock! Who's there? Neapolis! Neapolis who? Neapolis station is the safest place to park these days (Vomit, puke, kotch -- Jokes ed.).

Meanwhile, the wit and wisdom of Afrikaans music icon Koos Kombuis can be investigated at our Lager Mentality interview page. Keep an eye on the Gig Guide for all the concert news from these parts as well as a pretty funky site generally. We are also getting a great response to our Gonna Make You A Star page, where we will expose new SA artists and their demo recordings to a national and worldwide audience. Send your demos, biogs, photos and other relevant stuff to Stephen c/o P.O. Box 2670, Cape Town or email me for further details. Oh, and there's some new reviews at the Bioscope page and some sporty-type stories at Sugar's Sport Shorts.

By the way, all the CDs that have been previously mentioned in these pages, as well as practically anything South African or not that is round, flat and shiny and comes in a far-too-fragile perspex case with teeth that break off, etc, can be purchased online and easily at One World, the largest and most efficient online SA CD store on the pla-net.

All advice, criticism, news, freebies, review copies, T-shirts, release dates, gossip and music that has anything remotely to do with "", should please be emailed to me at Remember also to always keep your ears open for new South African music and when you hear something that gets your gut all tingly, go out and buy it! (Can't they steal it but take responsibility for their actions if caught? -- Human Rights ed.)

Stephen "Sugar" Segerman

Five of the best! My current CDs of choice:

Paul Hanmer: 'Trains To Taung'
I keep replaying this to try and figure out how the "judges" in the FNB SAMA awards failed to find any award with which to honour this incredible album. If I had a "hanmer", I'd "hanmer" some sense and taste into those blocked ears.

Mick Head introducing the Strands: 'The Magical World Of The Strands'
Mick Head is a British music legend and well-kept secret. Known for his work with Eighties indie band The Pale Fountains, this is the follow-up to the debut 'Waterpistol' album and is a classic in the Nick Drake and Daintees tradition.

The Corrs: 'Talk On Corners'
Irish sibling country band with female harmonies up front and traditional Irish reels, instruments and spirit all round. Sweet and lasting.

Massive Attack: 'Mezzanine'
Still lodged permanently in my CD player and still throwing up new ideas, sounds and directions in every song. Absolutely, er, massive.

Biff and Jethro: 'I Guess This Is The New South Africa'
Still haven't found out who Biff and Jethro are or who "Biff's Friend" is who adds those jazzy la-las to the end of this intelligent, pertinent and damn fine, hip hop, anti-SA-crime protest blast.

The One World Top Ten (based on sales at Seedy's and One World in Pretoria and One World on the Net)

1. TKZEE: 'Palafala'
2. Boom Shaka: 'Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now'
3. Just Jinger: 'Something For Now'
4. Rebecca: 'Somlandela'
5. Makhendlas: 'Jammer'
6. Springbok Nude Girls: 'Omnisofa'
7. Savage Garden: 'Truly Deeply Madly'
8. Run DMC vs Jason Nevins: 'It's Like That'
9. Dion,Celine: 'My Heart Will Go On'
10. Awakening: 'Request'

(CDs available at One World online CD store at: )

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