Let’s kick it off with a global view: It’s good to see that the people in SA are ready for the future. They are thinking on marketing schemes that are the future because they often dont have any other choice. A lot of these guys were signed to labels that fucked them over before and they have shared that wisdom amongst themselves to make the entire scene grow! These guys are not thinking locally anymore, they are working on global marketing and branding techniques. A LOT of Euro/US producers could learn from how these cats stick together like glue, eventhough they are in fact the competition. But they realise they can’t do it alone and by building the entire scene they also create a better atmosphere for themselves and… as mentioned LOTS of times, for the next generation, the kids who are just coming up now and do have to make the same mistakes as they did in the 90’s. Although the hiphop scene is still oriented a bit too much towards the bling bling sorta global style, a lot of the guys have also found a new, personal voice to reach out with and that will be more interesting for the rest of the world to check out a well. We want to hear more ATCQ and less LIL WAYNE coming outta there!
On the house and kwaito front things is a bit diferent. These guys have mixed their roots, the laidback atmosphere of SA and lots of African percussion and tradional music, with modern rhythms and technology. Afro futurism avant la lettre! One of the things that really surprised me was how big DEEP HOUSE actually is in SA. You can hear cars passing you by rolling with classic Ten City material (see below), hear MOODYMANN’s tracks play in the streets and that’s really I could have never imagined. This stuff draws in about a crowd of 3 in my hometown and over there these cats fill stadiums easier than the world cup! The sound these guys are creating here from scratch is something very interesting. Also its great to see who the fall of apartheid comes together with the rise of KWAITO, which is something i’m doing an essay on over the summer. I’ll post it over here as well, mybe just a shorter version though, i’m sure you’ve done more than enough reading this week and want to get back to hearing some tunes!! so here we go, let’s kick it!
Time really flies when you are having fun and thats double time when you are in SA having fun! After last night’s bash in PRETORIA with DJ CHRISTOS, me and UMB took is slow the next day, although we did get woken up by some really beautiful traditional singing, as the wake of Peter’s partner (the Dutch guy at who’s cottages we’ve been staying) had started. It was a sad yet lush start of the morning, being awakened that way. We said goodbye to Peter and packed our stuff, and our trusted homie PROFF was there to pick us up and kick off the final day in Joburg!
We met up as well with his brother, MAX, another superfunny guy with a lot of good stories and a knack for finding and chatting up the ladies. So we rolled into DIEPKLOOF, to find that our friends ENZO, THABANG and TUKI have been working hard in transforming the NORMANS CORNER bar into a real stage and venue! We spend some time helping them get stuff together and hanging out at the bar itself, only to see that when the people from RED BULL arrive (ENZO has gotten them involved in their events to help out with sponsoring etc), they dont really care that they are on a throughway street and they start putting up a RED BULL tent right over the road there, anchoring the tent in the middle of the asphalt!! a guy with a pick-axe just swings away at the street and then rams a big iron pole in the street to set up this tent. wow. I’ve never seen anything like that, if you’d try that in Holland they’d lock you up! But the guys are all laughing and telling me ‘this is soweto man’.. yeah I guess!!!
In a midday break we head for a place in DK which serves Mexican food! I hear you thinking… mexican food in SA, that cant be good?? but hell yeah! it’s actually REALLY good! a mexican lady started this place in the hood and they whip up some really authentic, supertasty Mexican street food! I dont know the name of this place, but when you in DIEPKLOOF, be sure to ask some of the locals about this place!
We roll back to Norman’s and talk to some of the other young guys there. There’s a guy called DJ VALEUR and he gives us his latest cd, which is a double cd in fact, one side filled with house tunes and the other with kwaito and hiphop, all produced by him. good stuff! more on this guy in the weeks to come as well! Besides that we talk to the bikers who hang out at Norman’s. They are actually a bike gang called the HOOD RATS, all older guys who get drunk and silly and do donuts with their bikes and plain insanely hard driving.
We have to head out early in the evening and we say goodbye to the guys. It gets a bit emotional even, when you’ve been hanging out together every day for a week! We take our last group pics and give the guys some last minute advice on how they can reach out to the world. More coming on that front as well really soon! People are already dropping in for the SLAGHUIS event and its getting crowded there. The dj’s spin some really nice music and we dont get to see any mic battles unfortunately… We head for the airport with PROF & MAX and there’s more goodbyes, we exchange our contactinfo and we start getting ready for another 11 hour flight. Me & Umb do get a last minute chance to exchange seats with my neighbour, so we can at least sit together for this last flight home. That one is quite uneventfull, it’s a red eye, so the entire plane is asleep, but my mind is still buzzing with the stuff i’ve seen all week. There’s an old guy snoring like a maniac right next to us and his sounds kinda make me doze off When we arrive in Amsterdam, we’re both very tired and we have a last cup of coffee in the airprt before me & UMB also say goodbye, since he’s flying a bit further to BIRMINGHAM, but he still has a long wait so checks into a hotel to catch at least a couple of hours of sleep. My trainride home is very boring, and it feels surreal to walk the streets of my hometown again, just 14 hours after we left JOBURG….
These coming weeks we;ll be posting a lot of SA stuff, interviews and tunes as well and this UPCOMING week there’s a bunch of extra posts that we delayed because we wanted to focus on SA this week. so lots of stuff coming, stay tuned to GB for that ishhhhh!
One last chance to thank:
-the nice people at MUNDIAL, for asking us to do this trip in the first place! good luck on the upcoming festival as well!
-the ladies at the CDT, for all their strenght, hard work and for being our contacts in SA! the women ofSA are the future!
-ENZO & THABANG, our trusted homies from DIEPKLOOF! much respect for putting together one hell of a week in Joburg and for being the nicest guys we could have ever hoped to find out there! the world is waiting guys!
-Prof, our trusted driver and good friend, nice to meet you and we’ll see each other another time man! fo sure!!
and you, our trusted readers, for taking the time to check out our SA stories! see you tomorrow!!!