17 November 2011

In hindsight

Rattex in Studio
Image: photographs from the studio sessions for Streets, Raps & Us EP. Note that in the top left corner are the original handwritten lyrics of Ewe Nje.

I remember this time very well. Perhaps to a large extent because I focused on it differently; I was writing about it, and also, of course, due to the fact that I have recently read what I wrote about it. Rattex was recording his then still unnamed – as far as I knew anyway – EP that later on became known as the Streets, Raps & Us and I had the opportunity to observe the process. I found it all very fascinating.

Clearly some time has already passed. I am reading now how I went on and on about how poorly this kind of music is treated by the mainstream media and it feels like an exaggeration. It feels like that now, because Rattex has been played at least on Yfm in Johannesburg and his label mates Driemanskap have been played probably everywhere in South Africa, but all that was a bit like the fall of Soviet Union; you couldn’t have guessed it a lot before it actually happened. It's still not great - the playing field is far from leveled, but at the time almost any chance for major airplay was still very distant. That is what the song Ewe Nje is about. At least partly. 

It has to be added here, in all fairness, that there's been quite a bit happening in my private life since these events, so I feel like all of this is a long time ago, but it isn't really. Especially in terms of music business it's been a short time and the song sounds incredibly fresh which is what counts and now there is also a video for it. It takes me back in time, but also, to me, it redefines the song. It gives it a new feel. I always liked this song and I still do – a lot is an understatement – but the visuals have added a new dimension to it. The video is stylish black and white one and it’s made by Pioneer Unit’s creative director spo0ky.

Have a look at the video, read my article Rattex: labour of love & hard entertainment and buy the EP from the label’s online store. It’s a bargain full of bangers, but since its on Bandcamp, you can listen to it first to make up your own mind. 

RATTEX: Labour of love & hard entertainment

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