Healer Oran- Serving The Afro-Noise Medicine - Bubblegum Club

Healer Oran- Serving The Afro-Noise Medicine

Since 2014, Healer Oran has been creating a library of ‘afro-noise’ releases. Healer hails from the Eastern Cape, but has more recently been based in Johannesburg. And much like the harsh  Midrand sprawl,  his aesthetic is all about  the power of disruption and  dissonance. His ear is tuned to the abrasive potential of the many genres this continent has produced. Relentless percussion and repetition tell the story of social realities  moulded by an apocalyptic past, runaway technologies and strange mutations.

In his previous interviews he has listed an enticing list of influences. His love of furious music ranges from the stately jazz of Charles Mingus, to the provocation of Throbbing Gristle and The Fall and the epic post-hardcore of Texan legends At The Drive-In.  Most intriguingly he has drawn from the demented world of Japanese Noise and in particular the infamous Hannatrash. During the 80’s, the group terrified Tokyo audiences with their destructive tendencies, including bulldozers being driven into the back of venues and plans to throw Molotov cocktails off the stage!

But unlike some of his more brutal antecedents, Healer Oran favours subtlety and nuance over raw power. This has been a consistent theme in his prolific run of albums too date- The Recognitions, Jerk, Love Is My Only Shield, Darling The Pickled Fish and Mirror For A Saint.

‘Camomile Parrot Blues’ begins delicately with whispered vocals. As the song progresses it starts to steam and hiss, culminating in a menacing beat. On the more aggressive Jerk, the songs show a punk quality, which is given the genre categorisation of ‘violent house’ on his Band Camp page.  It’s a useful description for his work as a whole. By focusing on the aggressive aspects of African music, he entices the listener down into the dark alleyways of contemporary life.

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