Archive for October, 2008

Music and Me: An Introspective Rant

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Over the past week, I’ve been kinda re-evaluting my stance on music. I try to live by the ideal that I will listen to any music, despite prejudices, connotations, ideas and notions; ergo have an open mind.

A previous blog post last week I went into ranting about how I hate zealous bidding of bands such as Fokofpolisiekar and all their respective children they have spawned, but somehow they were not a part of my ideal. I had judged them before I truly listened to it. On a even deeper level: I judged, and that is not part of my life philosophy. I live by the ignorant notion that I shall not judge anyone or anything based on whatever they do. I was not granted the all mighty smiting hammer so I could damn everyone, because they do ‘bad’ things. Who am I, to take that role?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll not be a totally void of opinion, because I’m scared of judging people. That’s a whole different ball game. Let’s take music as an example again:
I like music, and I try to listen to every kind of music. However, when someone plays me some music, and unless the band or artist is musically horrendous (bad notes, flat, rhythm is off etc), I will take it in for subjective growth experience it provides. I might not go ape shit over it and hail it next messiah, but I will most definitely not say, that shit is horrible. Some things I like more than other, but I’m not in the position to condemn it.

So, taking Fokofpolisiekar, Van Coke Kartel and aKing as examples: bands which I have completely condemned, because I despised them for various reasons, I will now remove that veil and go listen to their music. In the end I’ll have a more informed opinion, although I might not necessarily like them, and I’ll know that I at least gave them a chance. And if I don’t like them, I’m going to go about evangelizing the support for bring down band ‘x’, because of ‘x’ reasons.

So, in retrospect, The Afrikaans Phenomenon post was uncalled for. I felt strong about something, but I should’ve rather focused on the constructive rather the destructive.

Cheers,
Niel

Infinite Toys

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I found this funky list on Digg.com just now:
http://gizmodo.com/5068177/10-gadgets-that-provide-perpetual-pleasure

But, the most awesome thing there is the perpetual bubble wrap popper. OMG!

“Bubble Wrap Toy: This PuchiPuchi Bubble Wrap Toy kicked off Japan’s new found fascination with “infinite gadgets”—toys that allow users to enjoy mundane but strangely thrilling experiences over and over again. Apparently, it’s just as satisfying as popping real bubble wrap, except that ever 100th pop greets you with the sound of a fart, barking dog, door chime or sexy voice.”

All I can say is: “Awesome! That will definitely help me procrastinate even more!”

LAN

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Calling themselves after the sought after nerd activity, LAN, comes three synth lovers to rock up your dancefloor.
http://www.myspace.com/localareanetworksa

With a first demo tune up on there Myspace, it sounds like they have some potential. I’m super eager for a dance band scene to start being established in South Africa in the similiar vein such as guys as Simian Mobile Disco, LCD Soundsystem, Digitalism etc.

Currently South Africa is flooded with metal, punk and indie rock bands, now let’s get some dancing in there too. Go have a listen. Hopefully we will see them gigging soon! Only thing that I don’t like about that tune is the vocoded vocals, I’m not a big fan of that, but it’s not a complete deterent.
If you like them, check out Cutout Collective as well.

The Afrikaans Phenomenon

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Here we are in a changed South Africa, a culture rainbow allsorts, embracing many views, styles, noises, sneers and, then, music. Now, I’m not a South African jellytot man omniscient of all music in South Africa, but I’ve found myself in the middle-to-upper-class-bored-to-death-hood. The one where kids in D.F. Malan with rich daddies and uninspired lives turn to music.

Before I start, I would just like to add that I talk Afrikaans at home, with friends, parents etc. I only write in English, so this is not all a Soutie being obnoxious to the boere. Now more closely, I’m talking about the Afrikaans alternative music scene, which has seen an amazing birth recently due to MK and Fokofpolisiekar. I for one was never a hardcore patriotic, “Vir jou Suid-Afrika!”, but rather skeptical of this Afrikaans “foofie”.

When Fokofpolisiekar became the gods of the SA teens, I realized something was astir. I, with an objective mind listened to Fokofpolisiekar and quickly realized what was messing with the minds of so many lost teens – Afrikaans. I’m going to make a bold statement, but when you take FPK and replace them with an English faggot you get boring rehashed nonsense. Obviously there are exceptions, Hemel op die Platteland and Skynheilig among few, but most are generic punk.

Since when does singing in a different language constitute ignorance toward something original? It completely fails me. Perhaps I’m not that a big lyric listener, but this is just ridiculous. Now, many teens from bored lives and anarchist tendencies follow suit in Fokofpolisiekar’s path to unoriginality. Every time I see a band on MK I throw up, because they think they can get away with just singing Afrikaans and having sub-par punk churned dredge as accompaniment. The sad thing is it works for them. Other bored teens go ape shit over their rehashed nonsense. South Africa’s generation X? After Apartheid perhaps they are lost and feel the need to connect to their “Vaderland”. FOK DIT!

I’m a slight music purist, and try to as objective to any type of music, but this recent surge of idolatry towards sub-par Afrikaans music is making me rage in ire. The only Afrikaans band doing something original while still creating interesting lyrics in their “moedertaal” is Foto na Dans. Those chaps are my heroes. Another interesting band to check out is Vermoor Jou Vriende, last year’s JIP Rockspaaider North Winners. They try something slightly different, albeit still having the stock guitars, bass, drums and vocals formula, I’m keen on hearing their album, which has recently been released. I’m ordering a CD, and will review it in a future post. Of course there is still: Zinkplaat and Die Helde with some good stuff. Do you have any other suggestions of any good Afrikaans bands? Maybe I missed something obvious? Comment me!

So, I beg you, please when you hear another Afrikaans band, stand back and think a bit; take away the language and what do you get? Does this sound like anything produced before?

Cheers,

Niel

P.S. – Fok Ef-El, hulle gooi ‘n kickass live show en het mal catchy tunes, maar ek het hul nog nie vergewe nie. Oja, Straatligkinders ook.

Two Channel Only Compilation Released

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The much anticipated Two Channels Only Compilation, spearheaded by the innovative little-scale, has finally been released.

Download it from here:
“WOO HOO! The two channel compilation is finally here! We got Nestroyer, Jellica, 8GB, Unicorn Dream Attack, Random, Failotron, esc AND LOADS MORE! Each artist has had to make a song using only two channels of their choice, making the restrictive art of chiptune even more restrictive! Watch this space for a one channel comp soon, then a non-channel comp! (the last one may not be true) – Artwork by CDK fave Sparkyboy!”

Thanks to Sparkyboy for the artwork!

Thanks to CDK Records for hosting and releasing this one!

Tracklisting
Disc 1
1. Orphanage by The J. Arthur Keenes Band
2. Post-Apology Nation by little-scale
3. MPDJ by Ten Thousand Free Men & Their Families
4. Y2K by Astro Zombies
5. Modus operandi by Emartransformo
6. Manhattan Dynamite by Vintaque
7. Cobra Attack Squad by Sybi0t
8. 2ChanLifespan by Joedouken!
9. Gold by Lazerbeat
10. Space Dust Inhilation Theory by TristEndo
11. Galway Funk by 8GB
12. Whack Attack by TurboDaze
13. The Drone by White Circuit
14. Shortwobble1 by Jellica
15. Strangers by Nestroyer
16. 2 Tones by Subway Sonicbeat
17. Neko by SMES

Disc 2
1. Treehouse by Arms Akimbo
2. Mutoid Bit by Buskerdroid
3. Alabaster and Tears by Unicorn Dream Attack
4. Reminiscences by Secret Lab
5.Why Chip Tune Sucks In 26′ by Flashbob
6. Jupiters by Micro Knight
7. Double Espresso by Random
8. sClick2 by Infradead
9. 2channelproductions by failotron
10. History by Sparkyboy
11. BRB, BRKDWN TYM! by TRASHAPPY!
12. The Journey Of Squarrel by Varia Vaku
13. Flying Laser Sharks by Flegmatical
14. RocketShoe by L-Tron
15. 97 Minutes by Environmental Sound Collapse
16. Donkey Lasher by Fluxxin

I did the artwork and made a track for it. The challenge was interesting, but even more interesting is that there is a One Channel Compilation in the works.

Enjoy!

Final Fantasy – Owen Pallet

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Owen Pallet going by the name Final Fantasy (yes, it is from the flamboyant game series) uses his violin to get to some interesting new places. He is better known for doing violin work for Arcade Fire on both Funeral and Neon Bible and has often toured with them.

His music has a video game/movie score feel to it and it would fit perfectly in games such as… Final Fantasy. Hooray for Captain Obvious! But alas, his music is fairly classical and it would not be most people’s cup of afternoon tea, but I myself find listening to him on a lazy day with a glowing sunset to be very soothing.

Fightstar Releases New Single

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Fightstar, a UK band fronted by ex-Busted pimp, Charlie Simpson, has released a new single, The English Way. Listen here.

I’m a big Fightstar fan, because they use their musical talents to create an extremely full sound and excellent harmonies. The English Way is no exception to their winning formula. The drumming once again very inventive and Charlie sings with passion. The choirs seem a little flimsy and not integrated well, but it’s a welcomed change.

I’m not usually a fan of hard rock, but Fightstar brings forth passion, complexity and harmonies together in a new appealing way without alienating listeners. For more listening try getting the songs We Apologise for Nothing from their sophomore album One Day Son This Will All Be Yours and The Grand Unification Part 2 from their debut album Grand Unification.

A neglected blog…

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When I started this blog, I set out to be active in this blogging endeavour, but alas like most blog missions, it fails after a few posts.

However, I now aim to pick it up and at least try to post two blog posts a week. After reading Luca Vincenzo’s awesome blog about the South African Music scene:
http://lucavincenzo.blogspot.com/

I realized, shit son, I’m wasting my valuable musical interest by letting it rot in my brain, but now that rotting knowledge will spew forth into a new brain zombie. Let it run free my friend.

Peace Out,
Niel