stephen is 'amuzed' beatspeak

Hendrix would have loved it!

The music industry thrives on controversy. Record company marketing departments are mostly forced to travel the conventional routes when trying to squeeze their new musical product into a competitive and cluttered market. But they always add a little request in their prayers for some free publicity (good or bad!) to shortcut the process. In my review of the FNB SAMA music awards ceremony I mentioned the lateral live music menu that was used this year. The most electrifying act of the evening was the Skeem with Boom Shaka duet. Boom Shaka previewed a new song off 'Words Of Wisdom', their soon to be released third album, the totally funked-up version of our beloved national anthem, 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica'.

Skeem had begun the segment with a mostly forgettable rap chant. Suddenly they stopped and moved quickly to the back of the stage while the three ladies and one gent of Boom Shaka strode forward with raised fists. The opening drum crack seemed to hit them like a bolt of lightning and one could see the energy flowing through their bodies as they launched into the coolest version of 'Nkosi' you will ever hear. This well-known hymn, which has achieved national anthem status in many African countries (why does a country really need a song!?), has received a modern facelift and that's not a bad thing. It sounds like it was re-written by Prince *OWHICN (*Or whatever he is called now), and is beautifully sung and performed in the silky and sensual Kwaito style.

In the Mail & Guardian, Charl Blignaut discussed the controversy surrounding this song and its performance (See: but essentially it's great publicity for the group with a new album out soon. Their previous platinum single, 'Ain't No Stopping Us' will also be on this album and these two tracks are worth the price of admission alone. There was a similar outcry back in 1969 when Jimi Hendrix closed down the legendary Woodstock festival with his "Grunge Concerto for electric guitar" version of the American anthem 'The Star Spangled Banner'. Somehow that moment summed up the end of the Sixties and gave a glimpse of what was to come. In their version of 'Nkosi', Boom Shaka pause to pay viva-tributes to Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko and Chris Hani. This is clearly to show that there is no lack of respect intended by this song. With it, Boom Shaka have managed to merge the seriousness of the past with the potential of the future and SA needs this message to go out in as many forms as possible. There is nothing more powerful then in a song as amazing as this.

Barney's Peel-a radio sessions
He has his detractors but one cannot deny that Barney Simon's role in the development of a strong and vibrant indie/alternative rock scene in SA has never been truly acknowledged or rewarded. Since taking over the late night spot on 5FM, B-B-B-Barney has been discovering, exposing and encouraging a whole new breed of rock artists. His Alternative Top Ten hour on a Wednesday evening usually includes well over the quota of SA music required to be played hourly. Most bands I meet judge their success in SA by how high they got on Barney's chart, how often he played their song or how their interview with Barney went.

Now Barney, in conjunction with 5FM and TDK, have taken all this one step further and started transmitting live sessions every Tuesday night at 11.30 on his Modern Rock show. A range of exciting new bands have been lined up to perform live sessions at Radio Park Studios for this programme, which is seeking to emulate the success of Radio 1's (John) Peel Sessions. Called "The 5FM/TDK Radio Sessions", this is the first time something like this has been attempted in recent years and bands like Sugardrive, Wonderboom,Battery9, Springbok Nude Girls, Lithium and Just Jinger will each perform a half hour set and then two songs from that set will be featured during the week on 5FM. Great idea Barney and associates!

Red Hot!
Down in Buitenkant Street in Gardens, is a little colourfully painted semi-detached house which is the current home of Red Hot Rhythm Section, one of the hottest recording studios in Cape Town. The studio is run by Clive Nankin who keeps everything nice and orderly while his musical partner, Jorge Arrigones, keeps the production line flowing. And flowing it is, besides the soundtracks for commercials work which you've definitely seen or heard, Jorge has been producing some personal stuff that is going to be appearing on CD shelves soon.

Born in Argentina and raised on a mixed diet of South American music, jazz and rock, Jorge can move backwards and forwards between these genres while always leaving traces of them all in the finished product. Married to the well-known singer Ayala Katz, Jorge recently spent over a year producing his wife's debut album with the assistance of Michael Tellinger. The resulting album, while still undergoing a final mixing, is a diverse mixture of electronica, jazz and strong female vocals all wrapped up in Arrigones' exciting productions.

Not to be outdone by his spouse, Jorge has almost finished his own trance album which, based on samples that I have heard, could contain the most potent combination of African music and sounds and trance. We will be interviewing Jorge, Ayala and Clive as soon as the CD(s) are ready. Watch this space.

Lithium Competition
There is still time to enter the Lithium competition in which you can win a signed copy of their new album and a Lithium T-shirt. There are two of these sets to be given away so please just email me at and tell me a) the name of the new Lithium album and b) the name of the Lithium drummer (you can find the review of this album at Please also send me your name (durr) and Shipping address to where you would like your prize to be sent.

What's on this week's Amuzine menu?
In our Reviews section we try to figure out who or what Marcy Playground are. While waiting for a new Lager Mentality interview to raise its bloated head, I suggest you catch up with the ones you may have missed. Email your reviews on that "thing" you saw that had you drooling with happiness or choking with anger, there's a place for it at The Show Must Go Online and we've been hearing how lots of Net psychos are getting it all out of their systems with this online media-purgative. There's always some weird stuff going on when the lights go down at the Bioscope. Browse the live music fare on offer at the Gig Guide or get an alternative opinion on SA sports issues at Sugar's Sport Shorts. Finally, take a browse around the huge SA music categories at One World, the best SA CD store on the pla-Net. You can order a CD in five minutes and have it the next day, postal service willing.

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!

Listening to anything interesting? (he asked himself!).
Here's 5 current likes.
Jeff Buckley - Sketches (For My Sweetheart, The Drunk)
The eagerly but sadly awaited follow up to 'Grace'. These are the songs that Jeff Buckley had intended for his second album but they were not completed when he tragically drowned in Memphis last year. Still, this is a double album packed with the last proper material we are going to hear by this awesome singer.

Tricky - Angels With Dirty Faces
'Maxinquaye' was wonderful but then Tricky went a bit strange and 'Nearly God' (yeah right!) and Pre-Millennium Tension (appropriate title!) left me cold ( to quote the not-missed Mr Jimmy Kruger. This new CD is more beaty and bouncy and sees Tricky getting back to the trip-hop he does best.

Soundtrack - Good Will Hunting
Haven't seen the movie yet but I love this soundtrack featuring a wide variety of very cool performers like Danny Elfman, The Waterboys, Jeb Loy Nichols, The Dandy Warhols and the enigmatic and untidy Elliot Smith whose theme song for GWH was nominated for an oscar.

Koos Kombuis - Elke Bomelaar Se Droom
Got this friend who has never heard KK or this album so that was corrected immediately and now he's hooked. This sprawling, continuous stream of Kombuis words, music and song rewards repeated listenings with a sensitivity, longetivity and an unsurpassed hour of music. If you live in the Cape then listen carefully to "Bicycle Sonder A Slot' and weep.

James - The Best Of
First band ever to tell their fans to sit down! I missed out on their early stuff but caught up later and a best of compilation is the perfect way to approach this band who manage to produce excellent singles but boring albums. Review to follow.

So be well and try and avoid this awful "Sydney" Flu that's struck SA like the New Zealand forwards, or, come and visit me and get at least four days off work. Peace and music,
Stephen "Sugar" Segerman

The One World Top Ten
(based on sales at Seedy's and One World in Pretoria and One World on the Net)
1. Makhendlas: 'Jammer'
2. Boom Shaka: 'Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now'
3. Rebecca: 'Somlandela'
4. Awakening: 'Request'
5. TKZEE: 'Palafala'
6. Springbok Nude Girls: 'Omnisofa'
7. Just Jinger: 'Something For Now'
8. Run DMC vs Jason Nevins: 'It's Like That'
9. Dion,Celine: 'My Heart Will Go On'
10. Savage Garden: 'Truly Deeply Madly'

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

  • The Great Rodriguez Website

  • One World
    Your online CD store

  • Music links

  • Archive
    Lager Mentality - Interviews, Features and previous Beatspeak and News articles

  • Reviews

  • Contact
    Created and maintained by Amuzine
    Copyright 1998