An Afrofuturistic Playlist For Virtual Intergalactic Travels
Imagine travelling through time and space on a Village Chief’s spaceship. We suspect a few local musicians have, and they’re reporting back with sounds and visuals that allow us to take the journey too. Rooted in tradition, and drawing on distinctly local sounds, these pioneers are blending the familiar with the unknown – giving us a glimpse into the future through their music.
Put on your headphones and prepare for lift-off in 3, 2, 1…
Bio: Thato Ramaisa aka Fela Gucci and Buyani Duma aka Desire Marea are the names behind this sound / visual / performance duo, who are actively busy reshaping the identity of black and queer creativity.
Sound/Visuals: Their approach and output is so unusual that it cannot be condensed into one existing genre. They combine ancestral chants, gospel hymns and Gqom with raw progressive electronic-ish sounds, which they then pair with glitchy lo-fi visuals to create work that is striking and gripping in all the best ways.
FYI: Their first video ‘From A Distance‘ was released in 2015 and completely shook the scene. Early in 2016 they dropped the music video for ‘Isifundo Sokuqala’. Later that year they released their much anticipated EP ‘Bottoms Revenge‘, a 30-minute masterpiece consisting of 3 tracks.
Bio: Jakinda is a conceptual artist whose work explores black masculinity and the spiritual journey of self-discovery.
Sound: He is relatively new in the music scene, but already developed a distinct sound that sits comfortably between traditional and futuristic. He fuses electro and techno elements with Zulu, Masai, Ethiopian and Tanzanian chants and beats, making tunes that are raw and catchy.
FYI: In less than 12 months Jakinda released two EPs: ‘I Can’t Sleep’ (2016) and ‘Afrika 3000’ (2017). He is also one half of the recently formed electronic music duo Stiff Pap, with AyemaProbllem. They have two singles under their belt and their debut EP is due soon.
Beardur x Wavey Don
Bio: Beardur and Wavey Don are two musical brothers hailing from Mitchells Plain. They’re not interested in following any industry rules, and set out to create their own instead.
Sound: Their main influence is Khoisan chants, which echoes throughout everything they do as individuals and as a duo. Beardur describes his unique style as “Cape Tek”, which fuses Soul, R&B, Footwork and “Future Beats”, while Wavey Don pushes Grime, Dubstep and the recent instrumental “Noir Trap” wave.
FYI: Beadur’s EP ‘Cape Tek’ dropped in 2016 and the first track ‘Khoisan Funk’ features Wavey Don. The song is a sexy mash-up of jazz-ey trumpets, electro elements and Khoisan chants – leaving us wanting more and more.
Bio: DJ Zuluink is an emerging DJ / producer who is busy carving out a sweet lil’ niche in a cluttered industry.
Sound: Inspired by his Zulu heritage, his music incorporates bursting drums and loud electro beats to create mixes that his ancestors would and his decedents will be proud off.
FYI: Rumour has it he’s working on his album in 2017, so stay tuned…
Bio: Dion Monti is a multi-media artist who experiments with sound.
Sound: Drawing from a library of field recordings taken across the globe, he produces abstract sounds that can be described as minimal-techno house. Based in JHB, many of his recordings naturally include familiar, distinctly local sounds. He mixes these with bits that are nostalgic and bits that are futuristic to create some neat beats.
Bio: Healer Oran is an Afro-noise musician from the Eastern Cape, now living in Johannesburg.
Sound: Drawing on influences like Ghanaian High-life, Rumba and Maskandi, he mixes field recordings with cosmic sounds to create experimental noise music.
FYI: With a free-flowing set up, he usually performs with his equipment on the floor. His work attempts to capture the dark heart of being African while avoiding the pseudo-happiness which coats the ideals linked to this label.
Credit: All artwork by Gabriella Jardine.
Did we miss anyone?
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