Many artists today pay lip service to the ideal of collaboration, and the ethos of working with a network of creators. However, this sprit often fails to translate into their work. By contrast, Cape Town producers CodeKid and Sound of Xee has been grabbing all the opportunities for collaboration that are provided by the internet and social media platforms. CodeKid ( real name Thulani Mbambisa) hails from Khayelitsha and is prolific generator of both music and visual art. Heroically describing himself as the new ‘ King of Pop’, his production is best highlighted on the 2015 Pink Noise EP, which seamlessly veers from stripped down techno to ambient house. Through his blog and Facebook page, he combines his music with videos and selfies to portray the image of a regal artist effortlessly gliding through the world. The result is infectious and witty, as seen in the newer production The Core in which a distorted video of his face is combined with the track to create a pleasantly hallucinatory effect.
CodeKid works closely with fellow producer Sound of Xee (Xolisa Tshomela). Their work together includes the epically mournful Long Donut. In its emotional tone, the seven minute track is reminiscent of Amnesiac era Radiohead- enjoyably miserable. Xee actually cites the British band as one of his influences, along with other mavericks like Prince and Nina Simone.
Xee has also branched out into online radio, with Globalise Yourself Stereo. The program is aired twice weekly on Redbull Mobile, and is co-presented with singer and producer Sakhile Moleshe. The show has been building a following with its eclectic mixes. Along with house and techno, it has hosted tributes to J Dilla and finds space for experimental artists like Actress.
With their diverse influences and platforms, CodeKid and Xee are pushing SA house into totally unexpected new directions.