South African born, London based producer Okzharp recently wrapped up a euro tour in which he played his new EP “Duemla 113” live for the first time. We were fortunate to catch up with him during his tour and he even made an exclusive mix for us which you can listen to below.
Can you tell us a bit about the BubblegumClub you’ve created for us?
I was inspired after the recent Hyperdub party here in London, listening to Moleskin, Ikonika and Kode9. I played live with Manthe and Sondeza, so this mix is probably a homemade version of what I might’ve done if I’d djed on the night.
You have quite a low-key presence on line, why is that?
I’m not sure really, if I think about it my head caves in. I suppose it’s not wanting too much to get in the way of what I do. Manthe says she wants to make me a mask. I’m conflicted.
Chris who you worked with on Ghost Diamond called Okzharp your reincarnation. Can you tell us how and why Okzharp was birthed?
I read that yes, thanks Chris… Okmalumkoolkat used the word in Dirty Paraffin music and we would say it all the time, used it to sign off emails and when I realised I wanted a name for what I was doing it just appeared and stuck.
Besides it being you country of birth, what is it about South Africa and the people here, why is your practice so embed in this country?
I think I’m figuring that one out. I work with a couple of people based in SA so I think that holds my focus to the place in a different way to just being an observer, more a kind of prosthetic participant. I feel a bit like that with London though too, obviously.
When I met up with you in London last year you mentioned how GQOM had become a part of your sets. Can you remember the way the crowd reacted when you first played GQOM?
Yes in 2012 there was a particular folder of tracks that dj ZharpZharp gave me that had Infinite Boys, Eduardo Paim, then there was ‘Mitsubishi Song’ by Menchess, I knew I was going to play that one. Then there was JBS, Lag, Julz, Lusiman, Emo Kid, Saybee, Thobzin, Citizen Boy, Rudeboyz, Cruel Boyz, and other boyz. I’ve only ever done one ‘gqom’ set though, which was for the Hyperdub 10 party at Corsica Studios, it was deep on the room 2 sound system with the smoke machine on blast. There’s also a night in Londoncalled Zhambeez, the dj ZharpZharp was there to headline the launch party and he slayed it with his gqomwave sound.
You were exposed to GQOM early in its international trajectory. Can you recount the rise of this genre in London.
The story is still writing itself really. There’s an amazing track on Kode9’s new album that has an almost-gqom-inspired-sounding glacial bulldozer bass, Neana and Moleskin are doing exciting things inspired by it, the virus is spreading. Lag’s EP for GoonClubAllstars is amazing. Big Space and I were joking about releasing a track we did together under the name ‘Appropriation Boyz’. At least I think we were joking. Also I hope the Zulu Compurar brings the gqomwave to life.
Dumela 113 is quite the debut, congratulations… but now you know you have left us wondering whats next?
Next is live performances with Manthe and Sondeza, Ghost Diamond film screenings and new music.