30 September 2010

New Neighbourhood


Spotcast: WSOM Vol. 7.

Long time since the last Spotcast, but then again, I never made a promise to keep these weekly. But not to get too much stuck with the schedule with which I compile these lists, here is another instalment. And it’s nice one. Fair bit of all different types of traditional influences and then just general brilliant music. Have a listen and if you live in a Spotify enabled country and don’t have an account, do get a free one.

1. Rattex – Ewe Nje (South Africa)
2. Akala & Sincere – London State Of Mind (UK)
3. Wawesh – Mjanja (Kenya)
4. Ben Sharpa – The Eye Seen (South Africa)
5. Loudmouth Melvin - Top Ten List (UK)
6. Promoe & Timbuktu– Ge oss Sverige tillbaka (Sweden)
7. Control Machete – De Perros Amores (Mexico)
8. Outlandish – Kom Igen (Denmark)
9. Paleface – Talonomistaja (Finland)
10. X Plastaz – Msimu Kwa Msimu (Tanzania)

23 September 2010

Minor Linkage

I haven’t had much time to write here. How incredibly predictable and atrociously boring starter for a blog post. But like said the last time, moving to a new place has taken a lot of time. When you leave a country and arrive to a new one the problem is that a moment after you’ve done away with most of your possessions like furniture and home electronics you find yourself looking for new ones. Unless you invest in shipping – but those fees were  pretty steep. So yeah, that’s my excuse for not having written too much here. But when I don’t have much to say, I let the music speak on my behalf. Other people’s music.

This Internet era is so great for a music fan like myself. I don’t only have access like I’ve never had before, but also I learn about artists and their art that previously I wouldn’t have. Also with the artists I already know I get to experience their art in many new ways. Last couple of days I’ve been following the recordings of  the future classic songs by Ben Sharpa and the Pioneer Unit peoples in Cape Town. They’ve been broadcasting the sessions live through their Ustream channel and I suppose they will still continue for a day or so. It made me think of a Public Enemy DVD London Invasion where there is a bit where Flavour Flav is trying to memorise some at the time brand new lyrics that now are part of the musical history known by so many people all over the world. It was a moment in history that was significant because while now we know, then at the time it wasn’t clear how important those hype raps were to become. That’s how I feel when watching the recordings of Ben Sharpa, but in a real time. And while I hope this music would play the part in history that Public Enemy has, that’s not what I’m suggesting here. The music these days for me is far more personal experience and it’s popularity has less significance one way or another. But following the recordings live is a cool thing to do. It certainly makes me feel like part of something and quite frankly that’s good enough on its own. Although the fact that the new songs sound great helps also a lot.

Another Southern African artists I’d like to mention today is Isosceles. He’s from Lesotho and with Nemesis Inc. he’s released a free EP and it is available on their Bandcamp site. There’s a youthful freshness of an underdog combined with seemingly infinite determination in the mix here – this type of stuff is my focus mode music, and normally that playlist is mainly full of Klashnekoff. The high production standard and the mixture of English and Sesotho raps create a very solid EP and I definitely recommend it. Try out the track Dream to Rap from the player. In that track instead of asteroids, metaphysics or imaginary Lexuses (is it Lexi?), Isosceles talks about parental response to his artistic ambitions. That's real life raps if anything and kind of two fingers to the appearance centric self-big-up that seems so common these days. It's my favourite song there together with Never Underestimate.

<a href="http://corporatenemesis.bandcamp.com/album/untitled-ep">Untitled EP by Corporate Nemesis</a>

Lastly, a new video out for Akala's Your's and My Children. Watch, listen and learn.

13 September 2010

New Season

Last sunflower of summer

Photo: The last sunflower of the summer.

A few quiet weeks on the blog front hardly means that it is the permanent reality. Not at all, I have been working with some content in Finnish which has been unusual, but fun because it’s so much easier – can you believe it – I actually have a language with which I’m not even considered to have a weird accent or anything of the sort.

On top of that I have also addressed the matters of accommodation and very soon it is time to move to our own place after a temporary arrangement we were lucky to have when we moved here. Our new home is a very nice flat in Helsinki and I am very excited to be moving there towards the end of the month.

A new season has brought welcome changes, but what a summer it was. A very hot one, and that was on top of the fact that I had already had a hot summer this year in South Africa. I guess this is the other side of the coin from the years 2006 to 2007 when I had three winters in a row. That was one of those never again experiences. But I like autumn. We think that spring is nice; the last month of it is, and the rest is just terrible, but to me, autumn is the kind of season that I can wear comfortable amount of clothes and feel comfortable in them. So I am feeling pretty good about that and in general.

12 September 2010

This day in history

Steve Biko

It's a sad day in history today. One of the brightest minds there has been was brutally murdered by the apartheid policemen thirty-three years ago. Shame. His philosophies are largely applicable beyond the primary target groups he was addressing, and anyone who believes in the transformation in South Africa should get to know him. Only people who actually need to read him more are the ones who don't believe in the need of transformation in South Africa. Rest in peace Steve Biko.