Picks of the Week
The Jameson INDIE Channel’s selection of the week’s best new releases, ideas, and opportunities from South Africa and the rest of the world.
Death Grips – Eh
Fresh from nabbing the coveted Best Documentary prize at the 2016 Durban International Film Festival for ‘The Journeymen’, maverick director Sean Metelerkamp showcases his versatility with an effects-heavy explosion of line and colour for Sacramento-based hip-hop trio Death Grips. Reducing live action performance sequences to a series of electrified lines the video for ‘Eh’ harkens back to the vivid surreality of Metelerkamp’s early band photography, a distinctive style that that really out him on the map. Accomplished in no small part by the post-production alchemy of collaborator Christopher Bisset, this digital hallucination is already pushing the quarter-million mark on YouTube and is testimony to a director with a highly sophisticated vision.
A catalyst for conversation and ultimately an educational tool, Graham shows us what we might look like if we were built to survive on our roads. He’s a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies really are when speed and impact forces as low as 30km/h are at play. This beautifully interactive website is a bizarre yet surprisingly effective component of the ‘Towards Zero’ campaign, an Australian road safety initiative. Steering clear of shock and horror techniques, the approach here is to create a hypothetical being designed to withstand the impact of a car accident. The result isn’t pretty, but then again neither is the current rate of road deaths around the world. Anything that might make a dent in these unacceptable statistics is a great idea in our books, more so when the approach is so innovative.
I’m not sure how I managed to miss this at first, but I’m glad I’ve finally caught up with the brilliant animated web series Noko Mashaba, created by Jonas Lekganyane. Clearly influenced by the animation style and general irreverence of South Park, Noko Mashaba is an unmistakably South African creation, where the ancestors are just a WhatsApp away, and Number One gets dealt some brutal comical blows. Started in 2013, the series already has enough episodes to keep you glued to YouTube for a couple hours, and judging by the millions of accumulated views, Noko Mashaba is clearly resonating with the South African public.
A couple months ago we commissioned Anja Venter to illustrate some Jameson gift packs with the faces of the finalists in our INDIE Channel Music Video Grant competition, and ever since then we’ve all become massive fans of this Cape Town-based artist. There’s a subtle undertone of feminism infusing her surreal sketches of bad-ass babes, and her use of line and colour makes her work distinctive from a mile away. We highly recommend following her on Instagram, where she’s currently active with a daily series of illustrations (she’s already on day 205 the last time we checked). Anybody looking to build an Instagram fan base would do well to replicate Anja’s consistent approach.
Endless Daze Festival 2016
Oooooohweee! This is something to get excited about. Those long-haired, tattooed, denim-jacket-wearing gentleman form the Psych Night collective continue to ramp things up. After effectively establishing the psychedelic rock scene in South Africa, they’ve brought several of the genre’s most notable proponents to our shores – bands like Night Beats, Golden Animals and Allah La’s. Now, towards the end of the year, they’ll be staging their first fully-fledged festival in the Western Cape. Endless Daze is happening up the west cost of Cape Town from 11 – 13 November, and it looks set to be an absolutely incredible party; more on the boutique side of things with a beautiful coastal location and a limited number of tickets. In addition to the 20+ local bands, there are two big international announcements scheduled for this month, so keep an eye out. The INDIE Channel will definitely see you there!