Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Mlungu Death Machine... Live!

Flopping onto the cape town music scene, from some local punk and ska legends, surfaces the internationally ignored supergroup, Mlungu Death Machine! Armed with the best local band name of all time, an unrestrained Loopy, and musical instruments... These punk ass hippies are going to genocide your ear holes with their sweet magical dream flop (I have only heard a part of a live band practice recording off of Loopy's phone in February... but it sounded cool)

So for those unfamiliar with the word "Mlungu", what follows is some lazy internet research where I cut and past a bunch of shit from a single source. Empirical much!

"Many white South Africans believe umlungu is a derogatory term referring to “scum of the sea”, while others believe it simply means “white person”. This prompted the Dispatch to look into the origins of the word.

Zola Wababa, director of the University of Fort Hare-based IsiXhosa National Lexicography Unit, the legal custodian of the language, read the definition from the unit’s hefty Greater Dictionary of IsiXhosa.

An umlungu is, firstly, “a white person [a person of European extract]”, and secondly, a “member of the abeLungu clan descended from whites shipwrecked on the Pondoland coast circa 1700 and absorbed by the Pondos … ”

He said the word was coined during a time of colonialism and apartheid oppression but “semantic extension” has seen it being used in “polite or rude ways”.

“Words are just letters – it is the emotions attached to them by us humans which give them their power for good and evil,” he said.

“There is no history of the word being associated with white scum or foam from the ocean,” he said.

Today “ama-BEE” and “umlungu” are terms used interchangeably by people in townships and from rural areas to describe a black or white boss with power and money."

(Source: dispatchlive.co.za - Experts say ‘umlungu’ is not negative in meaning )

They are jaming their second or third show: Seventh of October, Saturday at 2 PM - 5 PM, Octopus' Garden in Muizenberg.

The band is:

James Klopper - Sings songs and plays the guitar.
Leo Burnett - Jams them sweet foot-stomping dad tunes on the gueetar.
Stigue Nel - Blows the horn and does some singing of songs.
Ray van Wyk - Plays the rhythm cupboard in leather gloves.
Loopy - Shouts and plays les bass.

Post by: Shaun

Friday, 22 September 2017

Some Glitched Footage Of The Final Touched By Nausea Show

TBN played a final show on April 21, 2017 at The Bohemian in Johannesburg. It was a final farewell to possibly the longest running crust punk band in South African music history. This show came promptly after opening for Leftover Crack, on their SA tour, and laying down a final album of songs at Atomic Garden Studios. This show featured once off live performances of some of the songs to be featured on this new album. Release for the album should be later this year or early 2018. I tried to film the show but the camera was glitching and crashing. Realizing that the piece of technology was waging its final stand against its meat sack overlords... I gave up on filming and ate some vegan pizza. 

Show information was as follows:

The time has come for TBN to call it a day. Brian & Grant are immigrating this year and the band has decided to finish on a good note by having 1 last gig. TBN are finishing up the recording of their first full length album and it promises to capture their latest and greatest songs. 

It has been a long road of 12 years with 2 international tours (Europe and South East Asia), gigs and recordings. TBN have met a lot of awesome people along the way and in their own town. TBN have played gigs in library halls, house parties, squats, rehearsal spaces, warehouses, festivals and local bars.
TBN thank all the people who watched them, bought a shirt, listened to their music, organised gigs, helped with equipment, bands they’ve played with, filled in the absence of members, transported them, gave them a meal or gave them a place to stay.

The Line Up:
09:00: Mutually Assured Destruction
09:45: Noxious Terrorstrike
10:30: Corax
11:15: Touched By Nausea

No cover charge!

Post by: Shaun

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Atom Band by Paddy Eriksen

Hi its Riaan Nirhoo, rhythm guitarist from Atom Band. Couldn't get the full band so I'll be answering all of your questions :-)

How long have you all known each other/how did you all meet?

Riaan: So firstly here's a little back story to Atom Band's formation.
Atom Band's original formation as a project and not as a full band unit goes as far back as late 2011 or early 2012. Back then we never jammed together as a full band longer than a few months - we've always lost drummers. Most recently our original lead guitarist and also one of the original founding members of Atom Band, left sometime in 2013. Our other founding members that's  myself, my brother Vassan Nirhoo (Vocals) and our bassist Ryan di Domenico, who's been a close friend since our Varsity days, are the only surviving members of the original line-up.

I would definitely say Atom Band as a fully fledged band unit only formed in mid 2014 with the addition of our new lead guitarist Robert Krause and drummer Bernard Burg. This we consider the rebooted version of Atom Band and our current line up has been going strong for 3 years now. Robert and I met while I was on vacation in Cape Town around January 2012. We both shared common tastes in music and we immediately bonded. I was pretty ecstatic when he moved up to Johannesburg later that year.  Bernard found us through a Gumtree AD we placed online. Since Atom Band's sound has always been rooted in post-punk, Bernard's legendary history as a session drummer for some of the most influential post-punk bands from the Manchester scene, was a perfect fit.

 Who are your major influences?

Riaan: Each of us in the band have such diverse influences but personally there has only been 1 constant in my life and that's Radiohead. They have been my favourite band since I was 9 years old and it's not surprising that they are my major influence as a guitarist. In popular music for me Radiohead's body of work represents an unprecedented scale of epic artistic innovation and beauty, brain searing intelligence and material that can switch from horror to melancholy whilst being extremely socially relevant and forward thinking ...as someone put it "They are the Kafka and Samuel Beckett of our generation"  and their albums for me easily rank alongside the greatest accomplishments in art. Like Jonny Greenwood or even Robert Fripp (King Crimson), I too wish I could throw the blues scale out the window and go completely left-field but I'm also a avid lover of great rock n' roll and Indie music in general and I cannot resist the visceral power of riff monster legends like Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), James Williamson (The Stooges), the sheer dynamite swagger cool of Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) or the innovative pioneers in Indie such as Graham Coxon (Blur)  the jangly melodic brilliance of Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and the noise landscapes of Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine). I'm a kid of the 90's and I rejected most American bands at the time so I almost exclusively dived full on into the British Indie and Trip Hop scenes. I was massively into bands like Blur, Suede, Oasis, The Verve, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, Massive Attack and Portishead. These bands still remain a major influence for me when I create music for Atom Band.

 Most recently I've been inspired sometimes by even non guitar sources such as classical or avant-garde composers like Steve Reich, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bernard Hermann and also jazz giants like Charles Mingus, Miles Davis as well as neo-soul pioneers like D 'Angelo.

As a band our debut EP was influenced by melodic sources like The Smiths, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Bowie and our second EP drew inspiration from edgier/darker sources like Manic Street Preaches (Holy Bible era), the noise-rock of Sonic Youth, The Horrors and Iceage. Though we draw influence from a massive repository of bands, we never directly homage these bands. We instead take in their influence and inspiration  to create our own unique sound.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

 Riaan: There has been a noticeably huge evolutionary leap forward in our sound since Atom Band's original formation. With the original line-up back in 2012 we were still in the infant stages: finding our feet with song writing and most importantly learning to play our instruments! I only picked up the guitar for the first around 2012! Like most bands we started off as a garage rock band....our sound leaned heavily towards noise-rock and no-wave punk those days.

Personally although I still love those genres, the music I truly wanted to make needed to be directly derived from my art and Indie rock background: I wanted to make more melodically layered and nuanced songs that were also far technically superior than anything in our old catalogue.....Not that we completely scrapped our old songs, in fact a few of our old songs still appear in our live set lists and studio recordings. The essence of those older songs like "Betsy" and "Panic in Needle Park" haven't been lost, they're just far more polished and layered these days.

So when we started jamming again with such versatile and technically professional musicians like Robert, Bernard and Ryan in 2014, Vassan and myself were sort of thrown into the deep end and we were forced to push ourselves artistically as well get our technical skills several notches up!  So it's pretty rewarding to finally put out the type of music you've always wanted to make.

Is there an ultimate direction or goal for the band?

Riaan: When we started gigging in 2015 our major goal was to reach bigger live audiences and ultimately play a major festival which we did...we played at Oppikoppi in 2015. Our direction changed in 2016 when we recorded our 2 EP's and we focused our efforts on becoming more of a studio recording band.  This change in direction was also due to us not fitting into any of the Joburg live rock scenes . The scenes became progressively smaller since 2016 and noticeably more elite, closed as well as cut throat in almost business like fashions: these bands majority of the time only organized shows that only included bands in their circles (and personal friendship circles as well)  and rarely reached out to a band outside of their scene. So weekend after weekend the live venues across the city would host the same group of bands over and over with little variation. This includes the so-called "underground" and garage rock scenes as well. Also major festival organizers became exclusively interested in booking bands that either fit these fashionable scenes or commercial bands who ranked impressively with their social media statistics. With recorded material we were able to achieve significant radio as well as TV airplay, received glowing reviews and written pieces from well-known music and art publications as well as achieve cult followings when it came to an occasional live performance.  Strange enough I never consider our music to be avant-garde and underground - the fact that we received significant radio airplay (even beating some of the biggest bands like Shortstraw on local charts)  proves that there is potential mass appeal and appreciation for our songs.   In our very early stages of  gigging as a full  band around March  2015  I decided to send in a very rough live demo of one of our more rockier tracks "Description of a Struggle" to one of the Oppikoppi organizers and we were  immediately told that we would playing the festival that year  based alone on how much we impressed with our sound. So I would say our ultimate goal as a band is to create timeless music via recordings that even if when looked back 10 or 15 years from now, will not date and will be still be enjoyed.

What other local bands are you into right now?

Riaan: I am all for the primal, visceral or raw power of rock n 'roll but there appears to be an over abundance of this type of rock in South Africa currently and less of the type of rock that incorporates genuine song writing craft - don't get me wrong the majority of these bands do feature gifted  musicians who do actually create technically impressive music: but I also want music that will linger in my head long after I've rocked out on the dance floor. This means not simply being a throwback or  heavily relying on traditional  rock n' roll traits but rather finding new ways of  approaching rock n' roll  with your own unique angle. The current international rock bands most revered in South Africa like the Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age both approach rock n' roll with their own unique slant  and you can hear the variety in their sound across their discography: they can switch from dance-rock, punk to  heavy stoner/desert  hard rock but more importantly  to even slower tempo sweet and  melancholic ballads. All of their songs are memorable and well crafted lyrically. Bands should and can be both sweet/melodic as well as aggressive and edgy.  So at live shows audiences are often surprised when we present our generally more melodic tracks at the beginning of our set lists then we progress half way through with our  darker/ aggressive material.  I feel  SA live audiences sometimes have little patience and become accustomed to bands with a just one sound.  There's also an overabundance of live audiences who are seeking music for the sole of purpose of  complementing partying lifestyles rather than seeking out music for genuine musical appreciation.  Several local bands have exclusively been incorporating dance beats with a combination of goofy vocals and almost  juvenile humour tailor made for these audiences.

To get right back to your question without any further deviation, one of the  local bands I  really admire  is probably Pollinator who are genuinely excellent... strong vocals, awesome song writing and guitar work. Follow Me Follow You are also a amazingly  talented group of musicians and produce of the some of the country's finest  post-rock/math-rock. Sakawa Boys from Cape Town also produce their own impressively layered and atmospheric brand of Indie Rock.  I'm inspired by the darkness of Medicine Boy... we often attempt to top their songs with much more complex arrangements and less reliance on reverb effects. Nakhane Toure has certainly paved his own path in South African music and makes uncompromisingly personal music that I find very powerful.

Who writes the songs and what is the song writing process like? Lyrics or music first? Are there any current projects you are working on?

Riaan: With this rebooted version of Atom Band our song ideas usually originate weirdly enough from myself as a guitar riff or basic guitar  melody (the bones).  I then present the rough sketch to Robert who will then add the significant  flesh and meatier parts at our song writing sessions. At the song writing sessions, which consists of  just the 3 of us (Vassan, Robert and myself), Vassan will usually present vocal ideas and melodies and will start writing down the lyrics.  We then present the partially completed song  to our rhythm section (Bernard and Ryan) at a full band practice to complete as a fully fledged track.

We are currently busy at work writing new tracks that will be included on our first full length album which are hoping to record sometime in 2018.

What is your favourite venue to play in Joburg? Are there any local venues or events that you would like to play that you haven't?

Riaan: We love playing at playing Rumours - their stages, professionalism and superb equipment puts us at ease when we get on stage.  It's always a pleasure to rock out there. We would absolutely love to play at The Good Luck Bar  probably the greatest venue in this country  but as I mentioned earlier due to the exclusive or closed band scenes:  event/festival organizers and the venue management are either impossible to get hold of or are completely non responsive to bands who are not operating within the trendy band circles.

Obligatory band name discussion Question: Why Atom Band?

Riaan: When coming up with the band name I wanted to completely avoid current trends in South Africa such as choosing catch phrases or anything that would come off as goofy. Instead I opted for something that would sound as well as look elegant on paper.  I wanted a name that also had a certain level of  abstraction to it.  My  aim was for people to see us a unique band amongst other Indie bands in the country and therefore take us seriously as a art rock group.

Thank you for your time and allowing me to ramble!

Questions by: Tiffany Livingston

Atom Bands second EP is up on WDTR:





Friday, 8 September 2017

Music By PTA Skate Punx No Comply!

So there was a show in Pretoria that Monday Morning Justice were playing that i was supposed to attend but for some reason never did. I would soon regret not having gone due to receiving a message from Conley saying that the show was a blast and that some local band from Pretoria had busted out a flawless version of Waiting Room by Fugazi... Now this is surprising on many levels that would take far too long to explain... Now while No Comply have some interesting twists and turns for your average skate punk band they do fall into a very common trend for local bands, that of naming the band by a name already used by a band or bands overseas and often by bands/a band in the same genre of music. This always makes me wonder if the frequency of this phenomena is due to: a) South Africans reluctance to google? b) Our slow internet speeds and high data rates? Or c) That we think that people in other countries can not own band names and that Americans especially can go get fucked...?

Anyway... all jokes aside, No Comply kick up some groovy jams and we have uploaded their first two EPs for your smelly ear holes.



Post by: Shaun

Thursday, 7 September 2017

One broken contact lens & Methyphobia in a car full of beer.

So this was found while going through draft posts on the blogs back end... This was a post that Misha was working on but had not finished and for some reason we had all forgotten about. His writing has been posted below unedited. On April 19, 2015 Misha Ecroignard passed away in hospital after jumping off the roof of a building, by the Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, committing suicide. He was 20 years old.

Misha had a few music projects. Galactic Fish was his ukulele punk project that he wanted to involve with us. Among some others that he was joining or starting, he also played bass guitar in a Pretoria-based metal core band.

Around the time of suicide Misha had found work at an animation studio in Johannesburg. Michael Way and myself, Sloppy Folk's founding members, had similarly, that year, also started working at an animation studio, a different one, with no prior qualifications. The current We Did This Records cat logo is Misha's design. He is greatly missed.
- Shaun

One broken contact lens & Methyphobia in a car full of beer.

When Shaun messaged me post-tour, asking me to write a little iddy bitty thingy for the blog, the first thing that came to mind was starting said iddy bitty thingy with this intro. After that, I hadn't a clue how to continue. So much happened in the space of 2 weeks that I've yet to process the magnificence of it – and it's been a month. The day I wrote my last exam (ever), a friend exposed me to a rad folk-punk jiggy named Sloppy Folk. We found that they were “signed” by a record label covered in similar material. Discoveries like this are always the coolest. It was only a week later that said friend pointed out that said label was local – and after 5 minutes an email was heading to Shaun's inbox with such ferocity and speed that I'm surprised it survived the impact. Within that email lay the very first infant recordings I did with a webcam microphone in my bedroom three years prior. Upon hearing them, the first thing Shaun did was tell me how it made him cum... This is how our relationship started... So he invited me on a horribly organized tour to Cape Town and back. Take that in. A week after finishing Matric, I was going to Cape Town with a group of (the fucking coolest) strangers, armed with nothing but a ukulele. It was god damned terrifying. It stayed similarly terrifying when I discovered that all my comrades were politically savvy herbivores. Intimidating stuff for a medicatedly unshy kid like me. Forward a bunch more, skipping a very long drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town, we arrived at our first venue at around 6pm. The gig was to start at 7pm. Naturally, it only did so at 9:30pm. It was explained to me that this was just the way everything worked in Cape Town. Shaun, performing as All These Wasted Nuts, kicked shit off with songs about animals and the best kind of professionalism. 3 acts later, I nervously got on stage, made a joke about my nerves, and began yelling a Spoonboy cover. By the end of the evening, I had made people dance, attracted a washboard player, yelled back at other acts, and met the most radical American lady who had just happened to pop into a bar that just happened to be filled with musicians playing music she seemed to enjoy thoroughly. We spent that night crashing at our first floor of the week. The first of a few. The rest of the week saw us attending a noise-rock show in an old underground skate park (with much moshing), and an Anarchist Book Fair that saw no more marketing than a bit of graffiti on the pavement, yet had the most surprisingly awesome turnout. That evening, I made fun of Shaun for not having a setlist, and somehow got people to laugh about it. More songs, more singing, more admiration of my fellow musos, and a big ball of the coolest and grooviest vibes. I'm doing my best not to go on and on about the people I met and the things that the peeps from We Did This let me experience, but I fear that a tl;dr might be impossible, then. So, tl;dr: Going on tour is fucking awesome, even if you're methyphobic and the car is filled with beer – let alone when your contact lens is torn.
- Misha Ecroignard
  circa 2013

Post by: Shaun

Friday, 4 August 2017

Hasten the Storm

Some crusty hate city punk (circa 2007) from the bands first recording session. Previously unreleased.

A downloadable version will be placed on archive.org as the source of these recordings were digitally encoded as mp4 files and conversion to wav or flac files for this website will involve a lot of audio quality loss when later downloaded and converted a second time as mp3. - HERE

Recorded by Johnny Way.
Hasten the Storm were Jonathan, Rob and Pat.
Later the line up changed to Rob, Rodan, Ryan H and Pat.
The cover photo was taken at London Calling in Jozi on 16/Feb/2007

Track List:
1. Cul-de-sac 02:40
2. The Halloway Song 03:22
3. Meat is Suicide 02:47
4. The Jock Song (Stop the Jock Invasion) 01:47
5. Treated Like an Animal 03:31
Post by: Shaun

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Leftover Crack - South African Tour! Oooh... Look! Sexy Poster!

Leftover Crack -  South African Tour

A New York City Anarcho Ska Punk / Death Metal band will be gracing our turbulent country in February of 2017. They will be playing 6 shows between Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, and Cape Town. The band write mostly political lyrics of a radical leftist nature. The band formed in 1998 and are ANTI-RACIST, ANTI-SEXIST, ANTI-HOMOPHOBIC, and ANTI-BREEDING but PRO-CHOICE. Their songs oppose religion, capitalism, and authority. They are the Good, The Bad, The One and Only, Leftover Crack! For the first time in South Africa! Bringing the Crack Rock Steady Beat

Our little local Do It Yourself punk collective known as We Did This Records are organizing the shows. Supporting acts will be announced soon.

Tickets are available on Quicket @ R270 (EFT or Credit card) and tickets at the door will be R300 (CASH ONLY!!!!)

The shows are as follows:

FEB 3 - Rumours, JHB
event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1265040016889520/
ticket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/22006-leftover-crack-south-african-tour/#/

FEB 4 - Sundowners, JHB
event: https://www.facebook.com/events/133451743808013/
ticket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/23813-leftover-crack-south-african-tour/#/

FEB 5 - Wolmer Bush Lounge, PTA
event: https://www.facebook.com/events/390197984646109/
ticket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/23823-leftover-crack-south-african-tour/#/

FEB 8 - Cool Runnings Durban, DBN
event: https://www.facebook.com/events/229791774121671/
ticket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/23816-leftover-crack-south-african-tour/#/

FEB 10 - The Mercury Live, CPT
event: https://www.facebook.com/events/380071058996388/
ticket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/23821-leftover-crack-south-african-tour/#/

event: https://www.facebook.com/events/596550497198446/
ticket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/23819-leftover-crack-south-african-tour/#/