It's been reported that the first consignment of the new wonder drug Viagra to arrive in South Africa has been stolen from Jan Smuts airport in Gauteng. A police spokesman said that the search is on for some hardened criminals.
New disco.za compiliation
With all the diverse musical styles in South Africa, it wasn't long before someone took little bits of hip-hop, rap, disco, mbaqanga, reggae, soul and r&b and stirred them all together in that musical pot at the end of the rainbow nation. The resulting confection is now known all over South Africa, and in Europe and Britain as well, as kwaito. This infectious, loose-grooved urban dance's artist roster has been swelling daily as new CDs appear on the shelves and move off them just as quickly.
So you're keen to discover this new music but have no idea where to start or what to buy. The sensible thing would be to buy a compilation and see which artists you fancy exploring further. There have been some reasonably worthwhile kwaito compilations released over the past few months but now there is a new EMI 16-track kwaito collection imaginatively titled, er, 'Kwaito Hits'… says it all so perfectly don't you think?
The selection on offer, however, more than compensates for the sheer "cheapniss" of the cover and title. This CD (and low-priced cassette) fizzes with the strongest tracks by the illuminati in the kwaito kingdom: Arthur ('Oyi Oyi'), Abashante (the sizzling 'Dance Hall'), Boomshaka ('Its About Time'), Bongo Maffin, TKZee, Chiskop, Skeem ('Waar Was Jy?'), Kamazu, Makhendlas and Trompies. With this music already starting to elbow garage and house off some of the British dance floors, its time to find out what the fuss is all about. Credit to the compilers of this collection for making that task so much easier.
Who's who in the ZA music Zoo
The South African music industry has seen a large and exponential growth in all its myriad sectors over the past few years. There has been talk about compiling a directory of all the relevant SA music industry information to serve both as a networking guide for those in the SA music biz as well as a information digest for international interested parties and newbies in the SA market.
SunCircle Publishers in association with the Music Industry Development Initiative (Midi) have released the 'Music Africa Digest '98' and it is a staggeringly complete directory of all the various facets of the SA music industry from musicians, sound and lighting houses, songwriters, studios, producers, major and independent record companies and more. This directory is in its second year of publication and is the first and only directory of its kind in SA. Midi, which is a non-profit organisation, was established in 1996 following discussions between the Musicians' Union of South Africa and the tobacco company Peter Stuyvesant and is the only organisation of this kind serving the SA music industry.
Midi Trust general manager Rosie Katz is confident that all the work and information that has gone into the Music Africa Directory, "will go a long way to fostering a community spirit among the various branches of the SA music industry as well as being a valuable networking aid". To find out more about this worthwhile publication, one can email Midi at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone them at Johannesburg (011) 482 7037.
Hitting the SA jazz nail Oppikoppi
In 1997, the very successful Oppikoppi music festival organiser's initiated a series of "Best of the Band" competitions in conjunction with the South African campus radio stations. These competitions were a great success and the winning bands received the opportunity to gain valuable experience and perform in front of far bigger audiences than normal. As a further result of the positive results of this effort, the 1998 Oppikoppi festival will be overseeing a nationwide campus tour involving the seven major universities in SA (Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, Grahamstown, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Bloemfontein).
The motivated and conscientious folk at Oppikoppi however, are not resting on their laurels, couches or behinds and have instigated a similar type of competition for the African jazz genre. This 'Oppikoppi Savannah African Jazz competition' will be initially hosted in three different venues in the Gauteng area. These venues are Kippies, 206 Live and the Bassline. The Bassline recently put its weight behind SA jazz with a sparkling compilation CD of some of the better acts who have appeared in this venue recently.
To enter this competition, any unsigned band can take their demos to one of these venues and the best four demos will be selected at each venue and those bands will be invited to play in the final competitions. The winning band will receive a cash prize of R1500 and an invitation to play on the Savannah jazz stage at the 1998 Oppikoppi festival. Closing date for these entries is June 13 and the dates and phone numbers for these venues are:
206 Live - June 20th - (011) 728 5333
Bassline - June 24th - (011) 4826915
Kippies - June 25th - (011) 833 3316
Information can also be received from the the Midi trust whose email address and phone number appear above. Kudos to these organisations who are prepared to put their money where their mouth organs are and support the development of all kinds of worthy SA music and musicians.
Lithium competition resultss
Thanks to everyone who entered this competition. The correct answers we required were firstly that the new Lithium album is called 'Zennon Supertroopers' and secondly that the drummer for Lithium is Simon Portlock. The two winning entries drawn out of the pile were from Jean-Pierre du Preez and Andre Bakkes.
These two will each receive a copy of the 'Zennon Supertroopers' CD which has been signed by all the members of the band, a black Lithium T-shirt and some Lithium stickers. Congrats to you ous and your prizes are on their way. Keep an eye open for our next competition/give away.
This week in Amuzine-land
Not much new and interesting on the SA CD front so this week we Review the new 'Best of' collection by the group James. The new Rodriguez 'Live Fact' CD should be out this week and it can be securely ordered online from One World, the largest SA CD store on the pla-Net. Details of this album can be found at both The Great Rodriguez Website and Climb Up On My Music. Our hot new demo site is nearly ready for action, Gonna Make You A Star will be a website dedicated to exposing your demo musical efforts to a global listen-ear-ship. Please email email@example.com for further info. Have you ever seen The Show Must Go Online. That's where you go when you are simply bursting to share your informal review about anything with anybody. The Bioscope page has the usual Karon and Ian reviews and other filmic verbals. The best online concert site is still the Gig Guide so go and see why!
My current fave five CDs:
Various Artists - Kwaito Hits
As described above, a good introduction to kwaito featuring the best from the best.
Soundtrack - City Of Angels
An interesting and moody selection to accompany the Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan remake of Wim Wenders' 'Wings Of Desire'.
A quality debut from this African-American country-rock-soul-folk group. Difficult to describe, eclectic to listen to.
Largely ignored when it appeared, it has taken some European success to get this noticed in SA. These brothers will be appearing live in Cape Town and are, apparently, worth seeing. The CD is sweet.
Smashing Pumpkins - Adore
The third in the 'Siamese Dream' and 'Mellon Collie' trilogy. Is it as good? Is it a hat-trick? Groaning Billy is back and the 'Adore' single is a sure-footed pointer to the quality on this album.
Any thoughts, requests, problems, complaints, praise or interesting and relevant SA music news, please email it immediately to:
Ciao for niao and keep listening carefully!
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. Various Artists - Kwaito Hits
2. Sibongile Khumalo: 'Live At The Market Theatre'
3. Simply Red: 'Blue'
4. Makhendlas: 'Jammer'
5. Boomshaka: 'Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now'
6. Rebecca: 'Somlandela'
7. Springbok Nude Girls: 'Omnisofa'
8. Run DMC vs Jason Nevins: 'It's Like That'
9. Awakening: 'Request'
10. Just Jinger: 'Something For Now'
(CDs available at One World online CD store at: http://www.oneworld.co.za )
The Great Rodriguez Website
Your online CD store
Lager Mentality - Interviews, Features and previous Beatspeak and News articles