Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Afrikaners Is Plesierig

There are very few South-African songs to be found on the internet, which is a shame because generally the singers are very good. Of course the audience is narrowed down by the fact that the lyrics are often in a rather niche Dutch dialect, but many are not (it is after all a very multilingual country) so I am endevouring to change this state of affairs.
The songs I'll be adding will mostly be in English, but I'm sure I'll add plenty in Afrikaans too, since they are very beautiful in nature.
First up - Johannes Kerkorrel En Sy Gereformeerde Blues Band (Johannes Kerkorrel And His Reformed Blues Band)
An anti-Apartheid band from the 80s, this group's music was banned by the government and the tapes were for some time only available on the black market.
Eet Kreef! is a near-faultless album covering genres from straight-up rock and roll (Ossewa) to ballads (Hillbrow and Ou Ou Lied Van Afrika), this is an untapped source of protest-rock known to very few outside of the Afrikaner community. Probably the strangest track on the album is BMW, which while probably indulging most of all the songs in heavy satire is almost post-rock-like in its execution - the sounds of passing cars are created through the instruments and the heavy, dark beat underpins the very serious message found in the lyrics, about unfairness and class and race conflict.
Unfortunately Johannes Kerkorrel committed suicide in 2002.

Now for something more modern, I turn to my favourite Lienka song,
The Muse and Karen Zoid's Pleased To Meet Me. Two very different female artists, Zoid is definitely in the rock mold while Lienka tends more towards the female singer-songwriter genre. Hearsay tell me Zoid personifies that musician's fairy story - she was a busker in South Africa who got noticed and offered a contract.

Johannes Kerkorrel En Sy Gereformeerde Blues Band - Sit Dit Af

Johannes Kerkorrel En Sy Gereformeerde Blues Band - Hillbrow

Johannes Kerkorrel En Sy Gereformeerde Blues Band - Ou Ou Lied Van Afrika

Johannes Kerkorrel En Sy Gereformeerde Blues Band - BMW

Lienka -
The Muse
Karen Zoid - Pleased To Meet Me

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Ooooh No No No No Mosquitoes

Short post.
Listen to this.
Yes I know it's long.
Listen anyway.
Towards the end of part one
The do the Drug Speech
Fear And Loathing.
If only for this
It is cool.
Longer post when am less tired.
Yay have MacBook back.
Can now blog again.
Go download.
Go like.
That is all.

DJ Todos - Kilchurn Session 1
DJ Todos - Kilchurn Session 2
(By the way track listings can be found here)

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


I meant to post this a while ago but I got interrupted and forgot about it :\
The album I was absolutely obsessed with a few months ago is a gem of Björk's I found by chance on the internet. It is the soundtrack to the Lars von Trier film Dancer In The Dark , and the album itself is called SelmaSongs.
It sound very much like a film soundtrack and the first track, Overture, establishes that right away with a long orchestral introduction. The entire track features not only full orchestral scores but also music made from everyday sound. I've heard the explanation for this is that in the film the main character goes off into daydreams and constructs musical theatre scenes out of the world she can barely see because she is going blind. But the track I love most of all is I've Seen It All, a duet by Björk and Radiohead's Thom Yorke. It is haunting and utterly delightful, and now I am deperate to see the film.

Björk - Scatterheart
Björk - 107 Steps

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Dark Side Of The Lawn

Okay, so taking the blog in an abruptly different musical direction, I'm going to rave for a while about The Dresden Dolls.
I justify this by being excited about their new album, which was released last week. It's essentially an album of stuff that was left off of their 2006 album, Yes, Virginia..., along with some B-sides and other material, named, almost predictably if you know the backstory, No, Virginia... I first heard about it when I subscribed to Stereogum's newsletter, The 'Gum Drop. Along with the weekly prize giveaway Stereogum also give you a free downloadable mp3 of a band they're promoting. Pretty sweet, and the stuff is diverse so you never know what they'll send your way next. And on the 23rd April 2008 that mp3 was Night Reconnaissance.
It's a very quirky cabaret-verging-on-showtune number and therefore solidly in the style of Missed Me and Coin-Operated Boy. As in The Jeep Song after you listen to the lyrics they make you smile for the references to other famous songs misquoted in the lyrics (hence the title of this post. If you don't get it shame on you and go stick your head in a bucket of Pink Floyd til you are safe to walk society once more). I can't yet review the entire album because I haven't managed to obtain it at the time of writing, but if it is as good as that track is, I have high hopes, particularly given some of the reviews available on the internet.
The mp3s with this are particular favourites of mine. Missed Me was how I got into their music and was the only thing I played on my iPod for a solid week, and with which I can freak out a friend by halfway through (I'm grinning as I write this). Coin-Operated Boy is just fantastic in its own right and Delilah is a slower song which shows the angry, hurt side of their music in a very different way to Missed Me.
Let the Epic Cabaret continue!

Night Reconnaissance - The Dresden Dolls
Missed Me - The Dresden Dolls
Coin-Operated Boy - The Dresden Dolls
Delilah - The Dresden Dolls

Oh, and as a side note and because it's interesting, here is the letter that sparked the names of the Yes, Virginia... and No, Virginia... albums (and explains the Christmas theme of the CD cover of the latter album).

Dear Editor-
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it's so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
-Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
(Printed as is, from the New York Sun, 1897)

Kinda sweet, don't you think? Wish it were Christmastime so I could wish you guys a Merry Christmas. Ah well :)

Monday, 19 May 2008

Seven Hours Well Spent

At 6am this morning I realised I had just spent a good seven hours listening to electro music. I found some truly sick tracks including the new DVNO single EP remixes by Justice. The remix by Surkin is particularly good, and only happened because his label Institubes made an exception to their 'no remixes' rule, which is in place until he finishes his own full-length album, Next Of Kin EP.
And the Chewy Chocolate Cookies are suddenly appearing everywhere. I found some of their remixes nearly a year ago and last night realised they've gained a lot of popularity since releasing their tracks for free download on RCRDLBL. More of a dance/club sound, as their name suggests they tend to be a lot of fun and not too heavy, but they're nevertheless not afraid of putting their mark on the hits by the big boys, and have remixed Justice, Simian Mobile Disco, DJ Mehdi and Digitalism, among others. Check out their website for free downloads.

Well at least insomnia comes in useful sometimes.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Ends And Beginnings

Having entered into the public milieu of opinions that is blogging I now have to figure out whether I have anything to say. However I think I'll let the music speak for itself and add a couple of tracks that have suited the end-of-university buzz.

Had a lot of fun dancing to Hervé remixes last night once we hijacked the speaker system and wouldn't let anyone else close enough to put on anything else, and as ever we started with The Salmon Dance Remix (originally by The Chemical Brothers). I wish there were decks at that house party; if there were the dancing wouldn't have stopped til morning.

The Chemical Brothers - The Salmon Dance (Hervé Remix)

Happy summer! Now to go and find a job til September :)