What’s been keeping me up at night? We unhealthily compartmentalize the world burning of course. So other than the end of humanity as we know it, what else?
The abundance of indie/small pub/small label music and writing there is. In this crazy information age you find yourself constantly drowning. There’s good drowning and there’s bad drowning. The abundance of amazing art drowning tends towards the good I rate.
I posted about African Speculative Fiction earlier in the year. Keeping that line of thought, I’ve purchased and am excited to read Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and The African Diaspora, Stephen Embleton’s Soul Searching , and I’ve been eying Mia Arderne’s Mermaid Fillet rather greedily. That sound’s gross somehow. The new issue of Omenana is coming in October, and the line up looks great! Also, I’m in it! Sorry, nobody has marketing budgets anymore, ok! We’re all our own promoters down here, in this grimdark rabbit hole.
On the music end, this weird thing’s been happening over the last couple of years where I’ve been interacting (on the internet haha, still don’t leave the house) with a lot of South African producers over the last couple of years. It’s a very surreal experience really. This all seemed to get rolling when I left Cape Town somehow. My cousin asked me the other day how I like rural life, and I told him it agrees with me. I told him I’ve somehow, very ironically, been networking more. The irony being, when I was right in the CBD and had access to everyone and everything, the madness of living in the CBD left me so mentally exhausted, I never had the energy to deal with people anyway. In person or online.
Somehow, now that my headspace is clearer I’m a bit more friendly. On the internet at least, can’t say much about phonecalls. I’ve been engaging with South Africa’s producer scene a bit more, and have been finding amazing talent, and amazing music. Seventhgaze, another South African talent, put together a really diverse list of South African music. This list isn’t just producers. It runs the gamut right up to our vibrant jazz scene.
Here’s the list: https://buymusic.club/list/seventhgaze-black-south-african-sounds
I can’t vouch for everything on here, as I haven’t listened to all of it. My intention is to go down the list, check out the stuff I don’t know, see what tickles my fancy. However, some projects or artists I’m familiar with.
I’m a huge Reza Khota fan, and his latest Liminal, is a phenomenal record. Also caught his quartet live when they were trying the songs out, so obviously it has sentimental value too. But it’s amazing. A journey. Find some time, sit down, and just listen to that album. The album art is also amazing!
I’m not too familiar with Asher Gamedze, but Buddy Wells (also on Liminal) plays sax on the album recommended on the list, and posted about it, so I’ll just assume it’s good. Blind buy good I’m assuming. (Update: I’m listening to it while writing this. It’s fucking good, what did I say!?)
Keenan Ahrends is on there. Not familiar with the project on the list, but I own his Narrative album, which is good, Nick William killing the keys like a mofo. So yeah, I’ll just assume that’s good too.
Tune Recreation Committee is one of Mandla Mlangeni’s bands, and you generally can’t go wrong there either. I have the previous album, Voices of Our Vision and its good. Good good!
The Brother Moves On is on there. Another local great! Amazing live shows! I’ve seen them play with Shabaka Hutchings whom they collaborate with frequently. So that album is a definite want as well.
I’m on there, lol. Next to some of my favorite people, which is sick! And weird…
That’s about all the stuff I know know, and honestly it’s mostly the jazz stuff. Specifically I’m saying I’ve delved into those catalogs, seen them live a bunch of times, that kind of thing. So this isn’t some kind of ranking system. I’m aware of a lot of the names on the list, and I can assure you there’s a lot of talent to go around, depending on your personal tastes. So if you’re not necessarily a jazz fan boy like myself, I recommend going down the list according to your own genre preferences. I’m sure you’ll find something you like!