Felix Laband- Digging Up The Dead

In a cover feature he did with Bubblegum Club earlier this year, Felix Laband told us of his desire to push his music forward by making it more topical and confrontational. But sometimes you have to retrace your past steps to go forward. Dropping on the 30th of September, the Bag of Bones EP seems…

Una Rams – True Confessions

Being sad about failed love and emotional disasters is almost de rigueur for any self-respecting contemporary star.  It shows your human side by connecting with universal experience.  In rap and RnB, (primarily male) pain has been a dominant style since Kayne released the morbid 808’s and Heartbreak in 2008. Almost every major artist who has…

DJ Diloxclusiv’s Dancefloor Distinction

“Lale ilalilale! Wavuka ekseni awazi ulalephi!” For the past two hours, our cluster of festival-goers had supplanted the Wodumo chant over almost every beat that descended from the decks of that Oppikoppi stage. Somewhere amid the heaving hilltop congregation, a whistle punctuated each off-beat, driving the chant forward. The gqom banger, Wololo, had become so…

Dion Monti- Colour Explosions

Exuberance is the best word to describe the work of multi-media artist Dion Monti.  His practice in film, soundscapes, music and installations all share bright colours and warm tones. Operating out of Johannesburg, his various projects have the quality of being deceptively simple. For example, he produced a series of geometric human figures painted onto…

Ghost Diamond – the Liminal Loop of Johannesburg

Digital snow dissipates into industrial plumes of smoke foregrounded by a hazy sun-kissed grassland. Mounds of barren gold-dust emerge from the surface, translating into geometric layers of brick and mortar. A gritty aesthetic echoes the abrasive undertone of the urban landscape. Johannesburg. Articulated in a multiplicity of entangled narratives, the journey begins. Crystalline purple shimmers…

Frank Ocean- Endless Nights

When I heard Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia Ultra for the first time in 2011, his captivating voice and dissolute lyrics were great enough.  But what really made me flip out was a line on the song ‘Novacaine’ where he (or at least its protagonist) compare themselves to Stanley Kubrick. It’s a unique mind that thinks to…

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…

Sehrrge- No Permission Needed

‘Fuck your tuition …. Ready to take it without your permission’ goes the arresting chorus of Sehrrge’s No Permission. Aka Dumisane Maseko from the Vaal, a  BPharma student by day, the song moves political commentary into the trap era. With a slurred beat from Polo, Sehrrge talks about how young people in South Africa are…

That Dusty Love: stories from the Unsea

I’ve cried over Milo milkshake at a Northam strip mall; coughed up ten rounds of mud-dust; dug the dirt from my nails; slept for fifteen hours straight; shaken the twiggy debris from my tent; plunged into nostalgia every time Wololo airs on radio; and added five new artists to my playlist. All in the aftermath…

Suup Zulu- Living In The Future Past

Sibusiso Tshona, aka Suup Zulu, is a young rapper and producer from the township of Alexandra. Over the last year, he has been steadily winning attention with a diverse body of solo tracks, like his debut Uyezwa and various collaborations. His production style is simultaneously  contemporary, while also casting an ear back to South Africa’s…