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Featured Music Reviews

Playing with beats giants: A story of how South African producer, Iindman, entered the international beats market

Let’s face it, electronic music has taken over the world of music. A musical umbrella that has so many variations housed under it, has become the chosen voice of the 21st century youth – more specifically millennials. Some of the biggest artists in the world make electronic music and it all started with innovations from groups/artists like Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and Moby. Over the last thirty to thirty-five years, electronic music has gained so much popularity that you can find traces of it in most popular genres.

With everything that has been said, what’s picking up and gaining popularity in the world is also making sizeable waves in Africa. The power of African music has finally been recognized the world over, with afrobeat artists like Wizkid and Davido gaining the international recognition they desperately deserve. The same can be said about other genres as the massive influence that African music has trickled down into genres that don’t necessarily draw large crowds. The African diaspora as a whole now, stylistically, reigns supreme – be it dancehall, afrobeat or calypso.

Traces of Kwaito undertones and soundscapes can be founded scattered around Kaytranadas debut studio album, 99.9% – a project that took electronic music to unimaginable levels. Kwaito being one of the most original genres created by South African youth post-Apartheid – a genuine voice for the youth that was given the task to lead the nation into prosperity. Kwaito was raw, rough and unfiltered – a perfection representation of the people and the times. It’s 2017, South Africa has a different kind of youth, one that is more connected to the world. Like, what’s a border to a millennial who has access to the internet? Stories are being told using art. Music as a tool to convey the human truths that we carry is liberating. The same can be said about the young crop of South African musicians that are changing the narrative, defying borders and creating a legacy for themselves. Fearlessly breaking into foreign territory, armed with nothing but music and sheer passion. Electronic music has been the chosen weapon of choice when it comes to ushering in a new era of South African music.

Iindman, a South African electronic music producer, has been laying the foundation for the South African electronic music. A Mahikeng-born musical genius who has set his sights on taking South African electronic music to another level. With releases dating back to 2013, he showed time and time again that he was undoubtedly ahead of his time. The scene was small, but connected and that’s all that matters. For an ear that is accustomed to and only limited to the music that is churned out by the majors, Iindman’s music may be a difficult listen after a few listens but it achieves one beautiful – the listener is left no choice but to feel. The feelings experienced may be a combination of confusion, but the fact of the matter is that you’re guaranteed to feel. The nature of electronic music is to challenge you, move you and thrust you into a world of the unknown. Characterized by ambient sounds, spacey subtleties and psychedelic undercurrents, electronic music is breathtaking. Iindman’s music is unique and has compelled music Singapore-based label, Darker Than Wax, to take notice.

It wasn’t connections, payola or any shady dealing that got Iindman and his trusted compadre, ECHLN, the DTW put on. The music did it and they deserve it, they deserve to be shown the love they are receiving internationally because they are dedicated and unshaken in their truth and art. The work that they have put in is definitely not in vain, as they are laying the ground work for becoming household names in the global beats fraternity. Finding your sound is equivalent to finding yourself in this twisted, unpredictable world is heartwarming and something that Iindman is proudly displaying.

There’s talent in Africa and there’s no question about it. Iindman has managed to penetrate quite an interesting space in music – one that he can completely own and innovate in. In a time where following rather leading is the preferred option, Iindman acts as the much needed voice of reason as he stays true to his lane, art and truth. The world needs that, the world needs artists like Iindman who cannot be boxed and regarded as common. A multi-disciplined creative who has a story to tell, who is building an unshakeable legacy. Find out more about him here.

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Music Premiere Reviews

PREMIERE: New joint from KaeB as he prepares to drop his Stay Cozy beat tape

Image via KaeB

We’re always honoured to receive great tunes from KaeB every Thursday for his #CozyFriday campaign. As the main media backer behind the campaign, we are aware of the privilege we have – to premiere fresh beats from South Africa’s most talented producer.

If you don’t know by now, KaeB has been releasing music every Friday in preparation to release a full project of nothing but fire beats. Over the last three months, he has released over twelve songs and has shown over and over again that he is one of the hardest working producers in South Africa. He does what he does while holding down a 9 to 5 as an animator and motion graphics artist at one of the fastest growing agencies in Johannesburg. He also produces music for other artists and has a song that is dropping soon through US-based record label – Kolossus Kulture.

Get familiar with the work. He strikes back again with catchy tune called X.

Stream the new track below:

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Music Reviews

Listen to MotherLand X’s new EP titled PPP

Image via MotherLand X

After a very successful remix challenge, MotherLand X has showcased sheer determination as they release yet another impressive body of work. Featuring some of their more prominent artists, the new EP titled PPP has world-class production and packed with different musical styles. The EP is only three tracks deep, with tracks from Rendition, Vuma and Devin Dee, serves as a dope release to draw the attention of electronic music fans.

READ: MotherLand X remixes Madala by Joburg-based duo – XMPL.

PPP is short for Preparation Practice Performance, which is a perfect description of the environment that the small label has created internally to keep on dropping quality releases.

Stream the EP below:

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Music Reviews

Culture Cartel drops new breathtaking gems to prove to us that South African bands are alive and well

Pretoria based band, Culture Cartel, first came up on our radar in 2016 when Nusoulhub Radio was still based in Pretoria. Young, creative, carefree and expressive are some of the words that one can use to describe the band members. A band that was clearly formed through genuine friendships, a fiery love and passion for making music and a sublime act by the Universe to connect the band members to make history. Notwithstanding the usual commitments that 21st century young people have, such as getting an education or having to work a 9 to 5, Culture Cartel beat the odds by leveraging the time afforded to them in their busy schedules to create.

The group boasts artists that are notable creative powerhouses who have impressive solo careers, namely Una Rams and Naye Ayla – two acts that are amongst the new crop of up-and-coming acts to grace the South African music industry. The other members juggle school or work with making music and creating a legacy for themselves. The band has been rocking and entertaining crowds in Pretoria and Johannesburg, gaining momentum and building a strong audience.

Culture Cartel is covering a lot of ground in the youth entertainment scene in Johannesburg, as Una Rams was included in the Capsule Fest where he was performing alongside A$AP Ferg, AKA and Frank Casino. Naye Ayla rocked the Braamfontein masses at the first Lets Play Outside Festival. The band has been definitely moving, catering for different types of crowds.

The group, showing its intent of becoming a household name, has released two tracks where TOM and Naye Ayla handle the vocals to capture our ears and hearts.

Stream the tracks here:

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Music Premiere

PREMIERE: KaeB drops WINE IT, an exciting track for his #CozyFridays campaign

The Johannesburg based producer brings another incredible joint to prep us for the weekend – W I N E I T. With this release, we get to deep dive into KaeB‘s creative range as he continues to drop music that carries and possesses a varied amount of inspirations and influences.

With over ten songs already released as part of the #CozyFridays campaign.

Stream the track below:

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Music Premiere Reviews

PREMIERE: MelV drops another dope track for his #FayaFriday campaign

MelV (real name Melvin Mpolokeng) is hell-bent on perfecting his trap sound. With a couple of releases under his belt for his #FayaFriday campaign, he has showcased his range within the trap sub-genre. It is quite clear that MelV draws inspiration from some of the more prominent trap producers like Zaytoven and Metro Boomin.

The trap sounds is growing in popularity in South Africa and MelV is aware of that as he works towards being a household name for African trap. On his latest release, he gives us an interesting interpretation of Chief Keef’s breakout single, Sosa.

Stream the track below:

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Featured Music Reviews Uncategorized

Danger Power Ranger gives us a glimpse into his life on his new track titled ‘Selfish’

Johannesburg based creative, Danger Power Ranger, swings back with more incredible music as he prepares to release his upcoming mixtape, The Character Of An Unfortunate Situation. A talented creative, who is skilled with words and visuals, we are definitely in for a surprise and treat.

With a cover art that was inspired by the 90’s animation cow and chicken which was broadcasted on Cartoon Network , the now 26-Year-Old rapper Danger Power Ranger gives us his 3rd single from his upcoming mixtape “The Character Of An Unfortunate Situation”.

READ: Enter the vivid & imaginative world of Danger Power Ranger.

The song starts with Danger painting a picture of how was in his days of  addiction, from dodging work and being confronted by his own mother about his selfish ways that he on his own couldn’t see, comparing himself to a wondering Pilgrim far from home lost on new soil not knowing what tomorrow may bring and seeing his talent not going anywhere since he was just floating around and writing songs that no one will get to hear.

Image via Power Danger Ranger

In the second verse he talks about relationships and how selfishness can destroy them without any clear sign that there is anything to gain from being greedy. Here he accepts that when it comes to greed he cannot change it in other people if they cannot see it themselves and at the end lists the traits of a selfish person that he once was.

Listen to the track here:

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Music Premiere Reviews

PREMIERE: KaeB partners with MotherLand X co-founder, Vuma, to drop a vibe-filled jam for the weekend

Following the successful remix challenge and campaign built and hosted by MotherLand X, where KaeB was the creative director and Vuma (one of the co-founders of MotherLand X) was the lead project manager, comes a new collaboration from the two creative geniuses.

The two producers use the power of technology to make their collaborations happen, as Vuma is currently based in the United States and KaeB is based in South Africa. Pure determination and passion is what is displayed with the work created by Vuma and KaeB. Their collaborative efforts bring us a vibe-filled jam called , 0 0 0 0 , as we head straight into the weekend.

Stream their track here:

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Business Culture Interviews

Kea Mooka: On the importance of collaboration, the beginnings of Artizens of Joburg & plans for the future

Towards the end of September, we had the privilege and opportunity to speak to Kea Mooka, who is the co-founder of Artizens of Joburg. Artizens of Joburg is a creative movement and business that is invested in youth and creativity.

Listen to the interview here:

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Music Reviews

Meet Devin Dee: A young producer from Swaziland taking part in MLX’s remix challenge

Image via Devin Dee/MotherLand X

Devin Dee is a 19 year old producer/beat-maker from Swaziland, Mbabane. He became involved in the music scene in 2010 when he and his best friend (Wordsmith Felix) discovered Fruity Loops. He was an independent musician until mid-2014, with his craft and skill improved, he was recognised by a collective, MotherLand X on Soundcloud. That was the initial phase where his music career blasted off to space and his musical experimentations came to be. He released an EP last year on Soundcloud called Basement Experiments and it has received positive reviews since its release.

Stream Devin Dee’s Madala Remix below: