WIN: Bazique Festival 2018

Bazique… And now for something different, what an exciting and bold statement made by a new kid on the block, but are they really new kids when collaborating with Sexy Groovy Love, Pop Bottles, Wolfkop Weekender, Diskotekah, Cape Town Electronic Music Festival and their overseas friends; The Secret Garden Party (UK)? Continue reading WIN: Bazique Festival 2018

Help #Unblur and win a pair of Ray-Bans

After the major success of the past 4 years, OneSight Acoustics are back with another installment of great entertainment for an even greater cause! Continue reading Help #Unblur and win a pair of Ray-Bans

IN REVIEW: Mother City Live

Photos and words by Cathelynne Walker

From the Old Biscuit Mill to the Old Castle Brewery, Woodstock is a suburb never seen without bustle on a bright Saturday afternoon. It was, therefore, surprising that what should have been a day out for the whole of Cape Town’s summer-body populace was instead a poorly attended showcase of brilliant artists without a muse.

Mother City Live was held on the 26th of November at Trafalgar Park in Woodstock, or so it seemed. Despite the well-organized and enthusiastic event staff, the largest audience that this event would see was only around one hundred people strong – and that was nearly midnight. This lack of numbers was amplified by the fact that the venue was simply miles too big for the turnout.

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Carrying the burden of this slow start, The Liminals were keen to unite the drips and drabs of scattered festival-goers in their bass-heavy, moody funk – and they were taking no prisoners. The talented front-man and backup vocals contributed seamlessly to the synergy of blues, bringing with it a wave of sound best suited to sunset. It was only a pity, then, that their set was scheduled so early, so as to fade away against the background of the blazing heat and a small crowd of ten.

Good music and good food are often coupled together, and in the mother city, this should be no exception. Unfortunately, Mother City Live fell short here again, offering very few food choices and all very far-removed from the main festival area.  The bar area, small and poorly cordoned-off, was similarly not suited to accommodate for crowds, and it is with this information that one wonders whether or not the organisers anticipated many attendees or not. In between the food court and music area were the lonely tables of two to three artists, whose works, undoubtedly beautiful, would mingle only with one another for lack of new discourse. While these factors cannot solely be blamed for the overall poor turnout, they must nonetheless be taken into account. Warm beer never made a happy hipster.

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Where other features failed, music came to the rescue. With sounds like Janice and Lana Crowster mixing in with Opposite the Other, good energy and variety were the words of the day. When it comes to attracting the largest crowd, the likes of Tehn Diamond must be accredited with the opening of the faucet. Introducing a sound that was pure energy and shamelessly black, the trio succeeded in opening the floodgates to what seemed like the beginning of the event. It is a great task that stands before any band that must open for the main act, and Tehn Diamond did not hold back in ticking any of the boxes. It was by the end of this performance that the MCs handed over the audience, whose eyes glittered with the colours of Africa, to Jimmy Nevis.

It is one thing to be introduced as constituting the main act, and another entirely to act as such. Jimmy Nevis succeeded in laying the lights for his own runway, guiding the plane safely and taking off into the air with splendour, energy and poise. A performer at heart, Jimmy succeeded in capturing the audience as if each individually by the hand, whispering sweet nothings into their ear and allowing them the favour of calling his name into the night.

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It was therefore with a heavy heart that the talented and upbeat Grassy Spark saw only half of the audience remain for their performance. Diverse in sound and teaming with eclectic energy, the two front-men took no notice of this slight and continued to entertain, with the comfortability and ease of a band practice in the garage.

The night was still far from over, and many more artists such as Phresh Clique and Simmysimmynya graced the stage, regrouping the audience for the final few acts, ended with a bang by DJ Diggy Bongz. Even this was not enough, and it was with light feet and bright eyes that festival-goers skipped their way into town to various unofficial and official after parties.

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There are rough patches – plenty of them. The venue needed some second thought; the food needed a major boost and the bar: some market research. Improvement in these areas is sorely needed, but with those few changes, I am confident that this festival will go to new heights to unite and showcase great African talent. While it can definitely not be called an Arts festival at this stage, Mother City Live 2016 was a big reminder to all that as long as the music is good, everything else can be excused.

Cafe Roux Opens New Venue In Cape Town

Café Roux, Noordhoek’s much-loved premier live music venue is coming to the city. café Roux Cape Town is situated in the prime location of Shortmarket Street and will open on Friday November 25th.

The popular family-style café has been operating in the picturesque Farm Village in Noordhoek for 10 years. Brother & sister team, Paul Le Roux & Lindi Green, alongside Paul’s wife Bernadette opened the largely outdoor daytime restaurant in 2006.

café Roux has always had a strong music culture, starting with weekly “Braai Nights” which featured Matthew Mole strumming in the corner for the first 2 years. Lindi’s husband Dan Green, of well-known covers and party band Me & Mr Brown, spent his early days creating a late afternoon Sunday vibe that had people on tables and kids on the dance floor.

In 2013, Lindi began to experiment with staging weekly Wednesday Sessions, in partnership with Wolftrap wine. The first month saw Nik Rabinowitz, Arno Carstens, Watershed & Zebra & Giraffe on the lineup. This weekly night time offering quickly grew into four or five nights a week and the café Roux Sessions were born, attracting an exciting & diverse lineup, of SA’s most popular and talented up and coming artists.

As a family, we have always been huge lovers of SA music,” says Lindi Green, “and I grew up watching my favourite bands & musicians around the country. So, creating an intimate live music space has been the easiest and most natural progression for café Roux. The artists are looking for a room to deliver an authentic musical performance. Where people actually listen. And at café Roux, we have the audience hanging on every note and every word. The size of our venue (approx. 100-seater in both venues) lends itself to an up-close and personal, intimate and unique live music experience. Like watching your favourite band in your own home. With your friends and family at your table. It doesn’t get better than that.”

As an establishment, café Roux has always been known for their friendly, down to earth and warm service. Manager & host of the nightly café Roux Sessions, Deo Rwagasore, makes the world’s greatest host and has a gift in making every artist and customer feel like gold.  “We are so excited to take the great vibe from Noordhoek and bring it to the city. Live music is for the soul and comes from the soul. We have such fun every week, hosting these incredible SA talents & we can’t wait to bring this special experience to town.” Deo is a partner in the new venture and is integral in the staff culture and customer experience at both venues.

Joining the team in Cape Town, are Lindi and Paul’s cousin Vanessa Bisschop-Louw and her husband Michael. Vanessa has over 10 years experience of running top London Restaurants and for the last 5 years has been managing some of Cape Town’s top event companies.

As with Noordhoek, the food offering in Cape Town is simple and unpretentious. The menu will change regularly showcasing a select offering of handmade wood-fired pizzas with fresh seasonal toppings. Think ripe fig and Gorgonzola in autumn; heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and grilled aubergine in summer. Delicious vegan and gluten-free options will be available. For the not so hungry, cheese-and-charcuterie boards will also be on offer with marinated olives, garden greens and preserves. Dessert is proudly Noordhoek with Kristen’sKick Ass Ice Cream served in a sugar cone or cup.

The newly renovated space can be described as eclectic cool meets urban chic with a tiered seating plan of comfortable booth seating on raised platforms, leather bar stools and bench seating offering patrons the best viewing options. Textured wall panels and a moody blue palette with accents of brass and metal add to the ambience.

café Roux Cape Town, in partnership with Wolftrap Wines, opens its doors on 25th and 26th November with Richard Stirton’s (recent winner of The Voice SA) album launch. The month of December has a fantastic line-up at café Roux Cape Town featuring Nik Rabinowitz, Jimmy Nevis, Arno Carstens, Ard Matthews, Majozi, Watershed, Nomadic Orchestra, Hot Water and many more exciting SA artists. All tickets are pre-booked online through www.caferouxsessions.co.za. Dinner is available from 6:30/7pm and the show starts at approx. 8:30pm.

The Acoustic Element Release New Single “For The Day” Featuring Four

Photography courtesy of Carla Correia

Today marks the release of the musical duo The Acoustic Element’s new single “For The Day” which features Four – the winners of South Africa’s first season of X-Factor. It is a dreamy piece of violin and percussion backed up by Four’s brilliant vocal work. It truly reflects the laid-back multiculturalism of Cape Town with its sweeping violin melody and mixture of delicate guitar chords and beatbox-styled percussion. In light of the release of the single, which can be purchased on iTunes, we sent over a few questions to the musical duo to discuss how they started, being on the same label as Jimmy Nevis, and their plans for the future.

One of the biggest things people tend to miss when they’re interviewing new artists is to establish the artist’s origins. I understand that the two of you are cousins but how did you come about deciding to combine your musical talents to create Acoustic Element?

It was Christmas day, 2010 when we both received new instruments as gifts from our parents. We decided to start jamming together. We walked down the road and played Christmas carols for our neighbours, one of the neighbours gave us a R50. We realised and said to each other: “Hey, we can make money from this!”

You’re signed to the same label as Jimmy Nevis. How did that come about and has this placed any pressure on you to live up to the enormous shadow cast by Jimmy Nevis rocketing to commercial success?

It’s actually quite an amazing experience, really. We’ve known Jimmy for a long time. I (Jody Abel) met him whilst they were studying UCT, since then AE and Jimmy have come a long way and it’s great to say we’re still good friends. He’s an amazing performer, musician, composer and all round great human.

Pressure? We thrive on it. Bring it on!

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Your new single “For The Day” stands as a musical embodiment of many aspects of Cape Town’s boiling pot of multiculturalism. Do you take a lot of influence from your geographic location when writing music, or is it simply a result of being exposed to all these different cultures on a daily basis?

I guess geographic location definitely has a great impact but with technology and social media the world is really quite small, the music world just as small and we take our inspiration from specifically chosen sounds out of an array of music we listen to and enjoy. For The Day, is a song born out of those sounds, fuzed with the vocals of amazing musicians, FOUR and the production of the amazing Colin Sher of Cosher Recording Studios.

You worked with the first South African X-Factors winners on this particular song. What was that like and would you do further collaborations with Four?

It was a truly awesome and chilled experience working with the guys from FOUR. They’re such great musicians with such a cool vibe about them. We’d love to do more collabs with them. I think we could cook up some more cool tracks.

It is always tough for new artists to break into the South African music scene, but you’ve done pretty well for yourself through your performance at corporate events. Do you have any plans to break into the more mainstream and music-based events while also performing at the likes of the J&B Met?

Yes. That’s exactly what we’re aspiring towards. It’s really weird actually, we’re just a guitar and violin duo in our minds, but seeing, or rather experiencing the response to our music in audiences is a convincing factor which makes us want to do it on a larger scale. AE HR (93)

Finally, what are the plans for the rest of the year? Is there an EP or album on the horizon?

We’re very excited to announce that our debut album will be coming July/August 2016! Check out our social media pages for more.

 

 

Ameen Harron Releases New Single “Higher” feat. Lakato Silva

You may have heard Lakato Silva’s “Do Re Mi”, or AKA’s “Problems” feat. Reason, or even Jimmy Nevis’s “Do You K now”. Who am I kidding? Of course you have heard these songs. At some point, it was impossible to turn on the radio and not hear these songs. They all dominated radio chart, and received a fair share of airplay on 5FM. The question I pose to you is if you have ever heard of the man behind these local radio hits?

You probably haven’t, but if you listen to 5FM then you have probably heard his song crop up in the daily playlist. The man’s name is Ameen Harron, and he is the producer behind an extensive list of songs – most of which have gone on to perform incredibly well in South African. One could say that he is South Africa’s version of Ryan Tedder, but without the pop rock band. No longer content with remaining a faceless man that sets behind the production desk in the studio, Harron has decide that it is high-time that he releases music of his own.

“Higher” is the first single off of his highly anticipated debut album Masks. The song steps away from the traditional pop and hip hop songs for which he does production work, and rather sees Harron dabbling in African influences while delivering a solid core of drum ‘n bass as the basis of his sound. The African influences comes in the forms of tribal-styled chanting that inserts itself into the track, and the drumming sections of the song draw their rhythmic pattern from a very similar tribal influence upon which KONGOS based their sound. The combination of Harron’s auto-tuned vocals and Silva’s grimy vocals gives the song a very edgy and progressive feel – it comes as a breath of fresh air to see South African pop music drawing influence on  the underground electronic scene, where such sounds are prevalent.

I spent some time in London that changed my entire perception of music. London had so much to offer with their unusual sound and rhythm selections, and along with genres like Grime and Garage, the energy I felt from Jump-Up DNB pretty much perfectly captured the emotion to this awakening to this entire new experience. It sounded like growth, and progress – a powerful life experience in sound that I needed to share, to show that strong sense of uplifting cultural identity the UK showcase without compromise! – we can learn from that.”

I am looking forward to this album and cannot wait to see what this man creates.

Jimmy Nevis Releases New Single

Yesterday marked the release of Jimmy Nevis’s new single “7764” off of his new album The Masses. It is an effortless, and graceful, song that pays homage to Athlone – the area where Nevis grew up. It was shot over two weeks in Athlone using the new GoPro Hero 4. In light of the release of the new single, we sent a couple of questions to Nevis for him to answer. Read his responses below, and then watch the music video.

For those who don’t know, 7764 is the area code for Athlone, what made you decide to write a song about the place you grew up in?

I was so inspired by community and my culture. Accepting the good with the bad is not always easy but there’s an honesty that really exudes hope, faith and pride. I wanted to share those feelings with the world so that they may feel the same way about their own hood – no matter how crazy it is, its beautiful and it’s yours.

You grew up in Athlone, did this have any effect on the music you eventually created, and the person you became?

Ofcourse, it was my childhood. I don’t think it really affected my music but it did affect the message in my music. I love that my community is so unique and so nuts, and that it’s apart of who I am. I honestly am so proud of where I come from.

What do kind of message do you hope to send to people with this particular song?

Be proud of where you from. Take ownership of the good and the bad and be a part of what’s happening in your community. It’s not only in your best interest be be active in your community but it’s your responsibility. You don’t need to be an activist but just talk to your neighbours…its a start.
What is your fondest memory growing up in Athlone?
Going to get gatsbys with my cousins and my grandfather. Playing in the street with the neighbours kids and going for long walks in the sun to one of the three house-shops that were running in my community.
If you could change the place that you grew up in, would you?
No. Its made me who I am. We need some rain and some dirt to grow and bloom.

 

Review: The Masses by Jimmy Nevis

Review by Floris Groenewald (@Flrsi)

Photos by Earl Martin

“Your love loves deeper than the ocean,” opens Jimmy Nevis‘s sophomore album, The Masses. It might not be the most original line/image/metaphor, but soon he redeems himself with “You saw light in my emotion and turned it into an horizon.”

Continue reading Review: The Masses by Jimmy Nevis

All about Music Exchange + Win double tickets!

Over 50 Speakers and Panelists confirmed for the 2013 Music Conference

Music Exchange, South Africa’s 3rd Independent Music Conference that gets everyone in the music industry talking, is set to take place from 21-22 March, with an additional day confirmed for the 23 March 2013 for workshops.

The most influential names in the music industry have signed up to impart and share their knowledge and expertise at this year’s Music Conference. Continue reading All about Music Exchange + Win double tickets!