Johannesburg based Givan Lotz is a prolific musician and artist, who has just released his new EP MAW. The title alludes to the vicious mouth of a dangerous animal. Appropriately then, there is subtly feral quality to the work. With skeletal guitars and synthesizers that crack like broken leaves, it is the soundtrack to being watched by something malevolent while you are lost in some ancient forest. Eyes glowing red embers from the blackened undergrowth… This air of malevolence gives Lotz an edge. There are many self-described artists and musicians putting their home recordings out there, but the results are often insubstantial, bloodless. Work where the artist’s vision fails to translate for the listener. By painting pleasant music with burnt edges, Maw conveys an unexpected air of malevolence.｀Watchtower’, for instance, sounds like the notebook of a stalker, an appropriate theme for the age of social surveillance.
MAW is released on decadent, royal blue vinyl, and comes with a bonus download called YAW. It’s the follow up to the similarly teeth focused Snarling. An equally languid album, it was described as an exploration of ‘obsession, loneliness, desire, paranoia, tragedy, sensuality and melancholia’.
Lotz has paralleled his musical production with forays into sculpture and drawing. Series like Feral Futures extend his nature fascinations into the visual realm, creating a kind of post-apocalyptic pastoral, a romantic dream of `re-wilding both the landscape and humankind’. Death, decay and renewal- ` I am an artist because I am uncertain. My art-objects are, first and foremost, results of a philosophical inquiry – critical thinking about what it means to be human. The moments of obsession involved in this process of art-making aspire to achieve a mood of catharsis. I have a desire for innovative and dislocating descriptions of life through a willingness to confront it in all its contradiction and complexity’.