SA Rock Digest Logo

Written by Brian Currin, John Samson and Stephen Segerman.

1. Kobus! - Kobus!

buy at One World After the demise of the Springbok Nude Girls, it wasn't long before Theo Crous was teamed up with ex-Voice of Destruction vocalist, Francois Blom, and back in the studio. These two seemed to have set out with the intention of being as bizarre and outrageous and they could be. But the resulting weird effects, whispered vocals, lyrics about those slow Sunday arvies and sums that include the number nine ('Nege'), beautiful tunes, and chicken samples, turn the ridiculous into the sublime, probably even surprising the artists themselves.

There are a number of Floydian slips, and a Velvet Underground desolation to the guitars, that give this decidedly modern SA album an attractive retro polish. From the Afrikaans artists' roll call opener ('Wie is Kobus?'), through the bouncing clucked chorus of 'Hoenderman', to the gorgeous and lovelorn 'Jou Oë', and the helium-induced vocals on 'Gee Raat!', 'Kobus!' is the sound of a mad plan coming together in the most unexpected, yet aurally wonderful way, and in the process, mapping out a whole new direction, and a few side paths, for the emerging "Klank Rock" movement in South Africa. The exclamation mark in Kobus! says it all. Album of the year!

Buy at One World

2. Picture Perfect - Perez

buy at One World Nic Olsen, Matt Wilkinson, Mike Goddard and Adam Connor, collectively known as Perez, had been making big waves on the SA live circuit with their winning mix of grunge and classic rock. So it was no surprise that their debut 'Picture Perfect' was one of the most eagerly awaited albums of the year. The finished product did not disappoint. While the slow burning title track is the centrepiece of the album, there is strong competition from the rest of the songs (three no 1's on 5fm, and airplay on both SA and US radio stations), including the swaggering opener, 'Blow Me', fragile rocker, 'Dreams and Troubles', the monster riff on 'Come Down', the Nirvana nod in 'Smells Like Music', and the lilting reggae-tinged 'Wasted Out'.

It's hard to ignore their awful ABBA cover, their even worse version of 'On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas' on the 'Santa Sessions' album, and the hysterical media gush that surrounds this band's every poep. But Perez have harnessed their strengths to produce an album that clearly proves they can make it on sheer talent and not just publicity. So, just this once, believe the hype, 'Picture Perfect' is one of the great SA rock albums.

Buy at One World

3. Disclaimer - Seether

buy at One World Having landed a US recording contract and moved across, changing names and drummer, it was now time for Shaun Morgan and Dale Stewart to let their music do the talking, or should that be growling, ranting and screaming? Re-recordings of seven songs from Saron Gas's 2000 album 'Fragile' (including 'Gasoline', which was on the Bonus disc of later 'Fragile' releases) have been supplemented by five new tracks, all produced and mixed by Jay Baumgardner, to create a rolling thunderball of sound. Searing grunge guitars clash head on with Cobain-inspired vocals, spouting disturbed lyrics that bubble up in a pool of boiling anger. buy at One World

With the backing of the US Wind Up label it looks likely that we may soon be able to utter Seether's name in the same breath as Miriam Makeba, Hugh Maskela and Four Jacks and a Jill as being SA artists who have cracked the charts in the US. Undoubtedly these make strange bedfellows, but based on this exceptionally strong US debut, it may be that this little one (with the big sound) is saying to the others "roll over". The album picked up a *** review in Rolling Stone, and reached new ears as the band toured on the OzzFest extravaganza. Then, to cap a great year for this pioneering SA band, 'Gasoline' roared off with our Top Song of 2002 award.

Buy at One World

4. Maanhare - Valiant Swart

buy at One World 'Maanhare' is Valiant Swart's first studio album since his tour of the Mississippi Delta and on this album he has transplanted the blues sound from the south of America to the south of Africa. In these unsettling times, 'Maanhare' is a perfect album to lose oneself in. It's a gentle jacuzzi of sound, scented with quite beautiful poetic images and made extra soothing by Valiant's whiskey smooth vocals. Shadows stand watch, fish in the harbour know all the fishermen while travelling salesmen steal kisses with volstruisveer aunties. Tracks like 'Weeskante' and 'Sonvanger' are achingly fragile while those like the title track and 'Waar Die Dromers Dwaal' rock in a relaxed blues way.

One could dismiss this album as being lightweight and socially irrelevant, but in today's day and age, albums like this that take a step back from the violence and rage and instead highlight things of beauty are exceptionally important. When they are as delicately crafted as 'Maanhare', they are more than important - they are essential.

Buy at One World

5. Freefall - Ian Henderson

buy at One World Every year young singer-songwriters take their best songs and head into a studio to produce their hopeful debut album. Why do some rise above the others? In Ian Henderson's case it's because he had a really good bunch of songs and a studio that helped turn them into full-bodied works beyond the call of duty. Credit to Angus Kerr and David Birch and all the Durban musicians who worked on the album. 'Freefall' is an entrancing collection of songs that still sounds as fresh as it did all those months and plays ago.

Henderson's warm voice and engaging style draws immediate parallels with the two Davids (Gray and Matthews) in songs like the opening 'Crash Landing', 'I Believe', 'Grandfather', and the album's big single, 'Beautiful Life', where acoustic instruments, lovely piano, and personal lyrics mix comfortably with their electronic cousins. A little gem of an album.

Buy at One World

6. Communate - Starskii

buy at One World These ex-Amershamers (Adam Lomas and Nathan Waywell) quietly delivered their first project under the Starskii banner as the year began. 'Communate' is only 48 minutes long, but crams enough unfolding ideas, diverse melodies, perceptive lyrics and sheer invention into its 12 songs to make it almost feel timeless. But it is really just a "day in the life of" song cycle from the quiet opening 'Monday Madness' of the first part of the album, through to the five songs of 'Part 2', which take us into after-hours territory.

There's the duo's speedier percussion-driven chill-out anthem 'Ecstacy', the upliftingly happy folk song called 'The Boy Who Flew Too High', and the album's closer, and first single, 'Did You See It Coming?', which is as close as this album gets to a conventional song with its chanted title and grinding guitars. 'Communate' is a head album, and ahead of its time in many ways; and it will wrap itself around you like a warm duvet, if you let it.

Buy at One World

7. Between The Lines - Cutting Jade

buy at One World Cutting Jade first started making themselves noticed when the striking 'She Says' was included on the excellent 'Showcase 3: Unearthed' CD compilation. And then '10 Seconds' hit the airwaves mid-2002 and attracted major attention with its hooky chorus of "10 seconds from a nervous breakdown, 10 seconds from losing my mind" (Try getting that chorus out of your head!).

The album 'Between The Lines' followed a while later and did not disappoint as it was packed with more of the same powerful, punchy rock. This highly rated five-piece from Pretoria also included their debut album from 2001, 'So There We Were' as a free bonus disc in the same packaging. It was a smart move of David Gresham Records to grab this "cutting edja" band. All eyes on them in 2003.

Buy at One World

8. Bignity - Van der Want & Letcher

Van Der Want/Letcher had deserved critical success with their album 'Low Riding', and found time to produce the 'Kombuis Musiek' tribute album to Koos before releasing 'Bignity', definitely their career high point to date. This innovative and evocative album is anchored around the lo-fi harmony of Van der Want's and Letcher's vocals which intertwine in a beautiful macramé of sound. These wonderful voices are set off against some interesting and unusual sounds.

With the aid of Lloyd Ross they make the most of the studio technology to produce these arrangements with startling results, culminating in a quite stunning studio assisted 'a cappella' version of the Springbok Nude Girls' 'Blue Eyes'. On 'Bignity' this Shifty duo make folk sound grungy, grunge sound disinterested and disinterested sound fascinating. After a bit of 'Low Riding', this creative and talented duo are riding high on the back of this. Big 'Dignity' or just Dig 'Bignity'.

Buy at One World

9. Odd Times - Sons Of Trout

cd cover With their brand of funky rap rock, it seems that these trouts had been seasoned with a few red hot chilli peppers as they shimmy their way through the tracklist with tight and accomplished vigour. From the first stuttering guitar sounds of 'Extra Larry' to the ska-funk of the unlisted closing track they display a real maturity and dedication to perfection. There is a pervading sense of fun both lyrically and musically, but this is kept in check by some more serious lyrics.

Musical contributions from Schalk Joubert, Barry van Zyl and Simon Orange are spot on as are the backing vocals of Tasha Baxter while Mike 'Renwah' Rennie's violin playing adds the final touches to this masterpiece. The Trouts followed the release of 'Odd Times' with an extensive national tour as well as finding time to include some London dates, these gigs along with the album were met with much excitement and critical acclaim. The London gigs were particularly good for those suffering from Sub-Saharan Homesick Blues.

Buy at One World

10. Glory Glory - Dolly Rockers

cd cover This was the year the Dolly Rockers made their long-delayed comeback. Greg Donnelly, the band's lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, had been exploring the darker side of the recent revival while staying true to his early new wave influences like Echo and the Bunnymen and the Psychedelic Furs. 'Glory Glory' stands proud alongside those other gloriously desolate works. With its jagged-edge vocals and eerie guitars, 'Glory Glory' is not a happy album.

However, it also not a depressing album. Yes, the subject matter is anything but cheery (songs titles like 'Kissing the Coroner' and 'Pain' give that one away), but the Dolly Rockers have managed to somehow inject this sadness with a real sense of triumph. Listen to 'Oh My God' and the title track and one cannot fail to somehow feel uplifted. The band has mastered their melancholy and have crafted it into some of the most tuneful and glorious songs since the Smiths broke up. 'Glory Glory' is probably best summed up in a phrase from the song 'Pain'. These are "love songs about pain". So celebrate your pain by listening to 'Glory Glory'. Who knows, you might just enjoy it.

Buy at One World

11. Ordinary Day - Fortune Cookies

cd cover A great debut from Cathy Stadler and her Fortune Cookies. 'Ordinary Day's ten songs pack a range of introspective lyrics and irresistible pop symphonies into less then 40 minutes. All the songs on 'Ordinary Day' were written by Cathy Stadler, with the exception of first single 'Nightingale', and were given the Brian O'Shea magic production touch at the Farm Studios in Midrand during 2001.

The album opens in a sombre mood with 'What's The Reason' and 'Make Me Your Religion', before the zesty 'Ordinary Day' skips into sight, with a happy-sunny-in-the-city feel and sound similar to acts like UK group Saint Etienne, early Edie Brickell, and SA's The Sunshines. There's also 'Nightingale', and the equally addictive 'I Can't Get Enough Of You', 'Wait A Little Baby', 'Closer (Than I Hold My Breath)', 'Fallen Angel', and finishing with the sweet taste and sage advice of 'Take Your Time'. All round, 'Ordinary Day' is a short, intelligent, and delicious pop album.

Buy at One World

12. Groenkitaar - Gian Groen & Spinnekop

cd cover In 2000 Gian Hanekom wrote some songs, got together with a few friends, called themselves Spinnekop and released the superb 6-track 'Soet September' CD. This debut promised much with its Afrikaans poetic lyrics combined with good solid rock. Spinnekop played live at every opportunity and built up a loyal fanbase.

And then late this year, with a slight name change, Gian Groen and Spinnekop released this "klank rock" album, full of songs about life in the Cape, from Stellenbosch to Mitchell's Plain. Aching love songs rub shoulders with angry rockers; gentle acoustic guitars give way to searing guitar solos. This album is where poetry and power meet and it works beautifully.

Buy at One World

13. Kelvin Declined - Kelvin Declined

cd cover This fiery foursome began the year by scorching a trail across the rock stages of Cape Town and then further afield during 2002. Their eponymously-titled 10-track debut album managed to capture the energy and passion of those live performances. Frontman Mark McCree on vocals and extra guitar is the focus of the band with his wiry, ginger intensity and bravado. But the band's skilled and diverse rock attack masks McCree's vulnerable lyrics that mostly arise from that emotional grey area between the unsatisfactory ending of a relationship and the aloneness of the aftermath - eased considerably by the prestige and promise of being the frontman in a rock band.

There's the rollicking crowd favourite 'Standing In A Bottle', smash first single '42', 'Stan 229', 'Girls In Black', and 'Funky Chicken', a solid rock groove with its '70's "wakka wakka" guitars. Kelvin Declined seem to have have latched on to a winning formula - irresistible radio-friendly rock tunes with a vulnerable but cool-and-tough core.

Buy at One World

14. Karoo Kitaar Blues - David Kramer

cd cover Karoo Kitaar Blues began life as a one-off show at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees when David Kramer showcased a group of musicians he had found making fascinating sounds in the nooks and crannies of South Africa. This progressed to a run at the Baxter Theatre in October/November 2001, the last night of which was recorded. Dubbed by some as the "Beaufort-Worcester Social Club", this group of ageing musicians astounded audiences by sliding out the melody on their guitar with a spoon in their mouths while playing the guitar normally or with a unique brand of Karoo-ography.

The artists here are Tokas Lodewyk, Hannes Coetzee, the Jaers brothers and Siena, Jan and Magdelena Mouers. The latter's distinctive vocals shine on songs penned by the family prompting the question 'Why wasn't this album called 'One Man Went to Mouers'. The oft-used phrase "this sounds like nothing else around" is a cliché but could not be more apt when talking about 'Karoo Kitaar Blues.' A desert Boland Disc.

Buy at One World

15. Swimming With The Women - Mikanic

cd cover This is the debut release from Mikanic featuring the duo's acclaimed live set from the first series of Wonder Gigs in Cape Town. Nick Turner is Mikanic's Robert Plant-lookalike rock-steady acoustic guitarist from Sons Of Trout and Mike Rennie is his violin-playing 'Trouts' bandmate. A casual side jam session a few years back, to explore the two's alternative musical tastes, eventually evolved into Mikanic and an invitation to fill a slot on the Wonder Gigs.

The duo's delicate acoustic sound still bears traces of the Sons Of Trout's unusual blend of jazz and folk, but these are all new songs that mostly explore South African themes with intelligent, tuneful arrangements. The highlight is the achingly delicate 'Don't Push' with Ernestine Deane on guest vocals, but there's also a stream of new ideas in songs like 'Africa My Love', 'Masaganja', 'Making Love With The Sunshine' and the groovy title track. Take your karma to this Mikanic!

Buy at One World

16. My Love Is A Leopard - Frosted Orange

cd cover Guitarist Albert Frost and keyboardist Simon Orange have being paying their dues for a long time in bands like the Blues Broers and the Valiant Swart Band. And with Jacques Schutte on drums, they have produced a pigeon hole-resisting album of intelligent jazz, blues and rock. Simon Orange and Albert Frost first met late in 1989 when Albert's father, Frank D. Frost (RIP), sat in as the Blues Broers drummer for their first recording, 'Shake Like That'. Albert was a shy freckle-faced teenager while Simon was a long-haired, introverted and quiet band member, usually reading a book in the corner of the studio's garden.

The Blues Broers started touring extensively in 1995 and it was here that Simon and Albert became close, as musicians and as friends. They soon realised they had a mutual interest in pushing their boundaries beyond blues so they started working together and, after weeks of preparations and name searching, Frosted Orange came into being. From the noisy guitar-rock of 'Kamakasting Land' to the quietly beautiful title track 'My Love Is A Leopard' is an all round polished performance from 3 masters of their craft.

Buy at One World

17. Holy Water - Wendy Oldfield

2002 found Wendy Oldfield very occupied despite her new growing family obligations. She appeared on the Mondetta album from 2001, and then during 2002, recorded and released 'Holy Water', her impressive new album on the SAFM label. 'Holy Water' is a strong return to form for this confident and talented SA artist and confirms her undoubted talent. The 11-track album features a new batch of original songs like 'Life', 'Heaven', a reworking of the song 'Sun' off the Mondetta album, as well as other emotional, water-themed songs like 'Rain Won't Come'.

'Holy Water' was produced by Wendy Oldfield and Neal Snyman and features Douglas Bean on guitar and backing vocals, Tigger Reunert on acoustic guitar, Concorde Nkabinde on bass, and Riaan Van Rensburg and Barry van Zyl sharing drum duties. The year ended tragically for Wendy with the death of her ex-Sweatband partner and mentor, John Mair. The two had recently appeared in a reformed Sweatband at the Heritage Concert and the band's first album, 'Lank Sweat', was re-released on RetroFresh in the week Mair died. But there's a new sense of strength and understanding in the songs on 'Holy Water' and Wendy Oldfield sounds like she's doing well and moving forward.

Buy at One World

18. Moved To Change - Andrew Janisch

cd cover Someone once described fishing as "Transcendental Meditation with a punchline". They could have been talking about 'Moved To Change', ex-Woodshed member Andrew Janisch's debut solo album, whose 12 songs seem to lull one into a state of dreamy bliss, while continuing to pose those contemporary, existential questions that affect many of us in this new, strange age.

These are all sensitive and emotional songs, with minimal instrumentation save for Janisch's lustrous guitar and pleasingly raspy voice, and some laid back fretless bass from Nelson Barbosa. From the wide-eyed future shock of the opener 'Millennium Boy' ("Here it is, here I am, just another Millennium Boy"), to the closing optimism of 'Fly Away', 'Moved To Change' constantly maintains its soft melodic and wordy punch. 'Moved To Change' is a thoughtful, relevant and beautiful album!

Buy at One World

19. Equilibrium - Koos Kombuis

cd cover 'Equilibrium' is Koos Kombuis' first album of new material since the 1997 pair of 'Madiba Bay' and 'Blameer Dit Op Apartheid'. Kudos must go to Albert du Plessis of Rhythm Records and Benguela who built the quite wonderful soundscape around the guitar and voice tracks that Koos laid down. This instrumentation is as vital to the brilliance of the record as are Koos' lyrics as they create an atmospheric backdrop to the poetic imagery of the words.

Rockers like 'Sestien Jaar met 'n' Vals Kitaar' and 'Ou Mense Wil Nie Rock 'n' Roll Nie' alternate with the darker tracks like 'Equilibrium met Lithium' and 'Kerke van die Nag'. This is occasionally interrupted by quite beautiful songs like 'Wrapped Around the Moon' and 'African Skyline', which have a feel-good factor. 'Luierliedjie', a song for his recently born son is the only disposable diaper on the album. Rich in texture, 'Equilibrium' is not a return to form for Koos, it's a morphing into another quite different, but equally fascinating form. The Bard-father is back.

Buy at One World

20. The Orchard - Mann Friday

Rob Burrel left Zimbabwe for Cape Town, formed a band, and immediately began writing songs about his troubled homeland. During 2002 he and the members of Mann Friday dropped out and settled into recording their debut in a studio set up on the banks of the Theewaterskloof Dam. The result was this impressive bunch of emotional and absorbing acoustic guitar ballads - including 'Diamond Eyes', 'Gin And Tonic Sky', and the obligatory 'Robinson Crusoe'.

Some of the songs on 'The Orchard' also popped up in the 'Zimbabwe Ruins' audio-visual stage show which also focused on the troubles up north and wowed the Grahamstown Festival. 'The Orchard' is a brave album that matches catchy strummed melodies to Mann Friday's relevant and evocative modern Southern African minstrel tales. Fruit for thought.

Buy at One World

21. Beyond The Blue - Steve Louw and Big Sky

cd cover 'Beyond The Blue' is Steve Louw's fourth studio album and, as always, is packed with good rocking songs including 'Flying', 'Chainsaw Blues', 'The Road Ahead' and 'The Story Of Vicky And Dan'. This incarnation of Louw's Big Sky backing band features a stellar line-up including drummer Anton Fig (ex-Hammak, Spider, currently with Paul Schafer's house band on the David Letterman Show in the USA), Keith Lentin (ex-Alpha Set, Hammak, Spider, bass), Blondie Chaplin (ex-Flames, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, guitar, backing vocals), Pat Thrall (ex-Asia, Meatloaf, Hughes/Thrall, guitar), Adam Holzman (ex-Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, piano and keyboards), and Steve Louw on acoustic guitar and vocals.

'Beyond The Blue' was produced and mixed by Kevin Shirley (Steve's old SA chom who's been doing very nicely these days) at Hit Factory in New York City. It's got all the usual Big Sky ingredients - strong acoustic ballads, broad ideas, and a warm and positive feel. And it also has that cheeky little 'MP3' single that, well, says it all!

Buy at One World

22. Roadside Heretics - The Awakening

cd cover As the Awakening's mainman (well, its only man actually!), Ashton Nyte has always allowed himself to be generously affected by many classic rock influences. So on this late-2002 opus we find old rockers like Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop jostling for pole position with Goth gods Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus and The Mission. Mix all that up with the nu-metal feel of Rammstein and Linkin Park and you have come a little way in discovering the sound of 'Roadside Heretics'. This album will melt your heart and your speakers.

Buy at One World

23. Tap Into the System - Dorp

cd cover 'Tap Into The System' sounds a bit like a record collection in a blender as the influences are many, varied and dotted around. A few DVD's have been thrown into this mixture as samples from movies pop up every now and then. The result is an intriguing sound of quirky, original and highly entertaining music. Wacky Beck-like lyrics are set against some funky guitar while a drum 'n bass rhythm blasts out.

Samples fly around to great effect while the Bobby McFerrin-ish 'Badoum Badoum' is overdubbing at its best. Pieter Bezuidenhout and Kevin Kieswetter have been tinkering with the Dorp sound and line-up for a number of years, but seem to have struck gold here with probably their most accomplished work to date. This is underlined by the fact that the group signed a UK record deal during the year. However, being UK-based they are not getting much exposure in South Africa, so this qualifies as our under-plugged album of the year.

Buy at One World

24. Spergebied - Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes

cd cover On their debut album 'Spergebied' the Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes sing about the dark side of South Africa, based on their own very real experiences. There are songs about living and jolling in Brixton and Melville ('Brixton-Dae'), the merits of getting drunk on your own ('Dronk Op Jou Eie'), road rage (err, 'Road Rage') and a song for those that leave SA for greener pastures ('Geen Land').

'Geraamtes In Jou Kas' is about the nightmares that are suffered by the soldiers that had to go into the townships to "maintain the peace". "Jy onthou die vure/ en die wiele van 'n Casspir/ en die reuk van brandende rubber/ deur die neus van jou gasmasker". This is not a very cheerful album on the lyrical side, but the music really rocks. So, to mis-quote Syd (Kitchen, not Barrett), this CD is not for sissies, but the brave listener who ventures into this Restricted Area will be rewarded with some very unrestricted Afrikaans Rock.

Buy at One World

25. Icon - Jo Day

Jo Day has the voice of a horny angel (apologies to Jim Steinman who was actually referring to a guitar when he said this). Her voice swoops and soars like an angel, but it drips with sexuality and lust that leaves the listener panting for more. Want proof? Look at these titles: 'Breaking Point', 'Down & Dirty', 'All The Way There', 'Confession' and 'Do You Want Me?'. Toxic Shame's Jon Buckley produced this album and his guitar riffs complement Jo's voice perfectly. Listen to this album hard and loud.

Buy at One World

26. Gypsy Soul - Roger Lucey

cd cover After his politically charged debut, 'The Road is Much Longer', the system moved swiftly to close Roger down. So, in a post apartheid South Africa, we are more than pleased to see the return of one of the finest folk rockers that this country ever saw. With contributions from Nico Carstens, Ray Phiri and Kech Sanchez, the album is given a sakkie sakkie, township pan pipe sound that wraps itself around Lucey's gruff vocals. Lyrically, these songs are cathartic and decidedly less angry than those on 'The Road is Much Longer' as Roger overcomes the pain and anger that apartheid brought.

But there is still space for a bit of venting especially on 'The Night Harry J Went to War' where Brendan Jury adds some edgy viola to a hard-hitting song about the violence in the country. With album titles like 'The Road is Much Longer' and 'Gypsy Soul', we can possibly look forward to an album called 'I Wander'. 'Gypsy Soul' proves that Roger Lucey is still capable of making great albums, and no matter what he calls the next one, or how long it takes to arrive, we will look forward to it with great anticipation. Seems Lucey's road is much longer after all. A triumph of the spirit!

Buy at One World

27. dream hope fear - New World Inside

cd cover Bright stars in the emerging SA punk scene, these Cape Town low-trousered maniacs took the speed and exuberance of their debut EP and reworked it into an even more impassioned punk performance on this their first album proper on the Revolution label. You have to see these dudes bashing out a punk version of the Beach Boys' 'Barbara Anne' to fully understand the appeal of this new mixture of pure pop melodies beaten senseless by a sonic punk assault.

In a year when it seemed like Will, Gareth, Heinz and the other Karaoke Kids Klub members were going to take over the ear-waves with all those over-produced bad covers, it is more than encouraging to see hordes of young, frenzied SA teens turning moshpits into jelly to the sound of the new young punks. Old Skool, New Skool, emo-punk, Ska-punk or punk-ska, whatever, it's short, fast, and you can scream along and shake to it. SA punk is flourishing and New World Inside have captured all that on this.

Buy at One World

28. China - Tony Cox

When your chinas include the likes of George Phiri, Sibusiso Victor Masondo, McCoy Mrubata, Ron "Bones" Brettell and Barry van Zyl, you know you're in for a great jam when they all come round. The style of 'China' is so relaxed that one could almost believe that Tony Cox had the tape running on one such evening. These are mostly instrumentals from the litling township sound of 'Kwe-Kwe' through the warm blues of 'Karoosin' to the jazzy 'Just One of Those Days' and quieter tracks like 'In the Distance' and 'Wintersong'.

Tony Cox is a world class guitarist and 'China' is an album jam packed with bluesy, folky, jazzy guitar-led tunes that are firmly rooted in Africa, but still out of this world. Plucking Brilliant!

Buy at One World

29. Hero Of Heroes - Brian Finch

cd cover It had been a long, long, (and possibly lonely) time since Brian Finch's first solo album 'Bringing Back The Good Times' way back in 1974. Brian's rich, deep voice wraps itself around your soul on 'Hero Of Heroes' as he sings songs about living, leaving and loving.

'Hero of Heroes' is an album about moving... it moves from "his open sea and sky SAfrican roots, to his American-influenced country rock boots"... and it moves the feet, the heart, the mind and the soul. Fly on Brian, fly on.

Buy at One World

30. Die Borrelbad Insident - Diff-Olie

cd cover This debut 5-track EP from klank-rockers Diff-Olie grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shakes you up until your ears hurt. But this is not an unpleasant experience, because as soon as the last notes fade away you want to hear it all over again. Hard rock mixed with biting Afrikaans lyrics; "Afrikaans Met Attitude", indeed.

Buy at One World


'Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie' - Frank Opperman (Kombuis Musiek)
'No Man's Land' - Breyten Breytenbach/Arno Carstens (Lady One)
'The Night Harry J Went To War' - Roger Lucey (Gypsy Soul)
'Brixton Dae' - Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes (Spergebied)
'Diep In Die Bos' - Valiant Swart (Maanhare)
'Glory Glory' - Dolly Rockers (Glory Glory)
'Hoenderman' - Kobus! (Kobus!)
'Extra Larry' - Sons of Trout (Odd Times)
'Gasoline' - Seether (Disclaimer)
'Karoosin'' - Tony Cox (China)
'Wrapped Around The Moon' - Koos Kombuis (Equilibrium)
'I Remember You' - Brian Finch (Hero Of Heroes)
'Rockpop' - Diff-Olie (Die Borrelbad Insident)
'I'm A Man' - Swamp Funk Quartet (Go Funk Yourself)
'Still Want You Back' - Off The Edge (Unfinished Business)
'Bring Vir Elvis Terug' - SAM (Bring Vir Elvis Terug)
'Remember' - Jo Day (Icon)

Buy CDs

Buy South African CDs from
One World

One World


Download South African mp3s


TOP back to where you came from
South African Rock Digest

South Africa's Rock Lists