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Featured Music Reviews

Audio-visual, concept-driven art: Cape Town’s, RxSolo, releases the flower EP to illustrate the good, bad and the ugly that life brings

In last five years, the release of experimental and concept-driven music projects has increased rapidly. The typical South African music listener is quickly growing tired of seeing the same faces, the same style of music and the same ideas being pushed in the media. The new South African music listener is looking for an experience, an experience powerful enough to stretch their ears, mind and perspective. Finding artists that make left-field music is not a difficult task as these days you can simply unplug from traditional, mainstream media, and plug into what really moves your soul and what you genuinely relate to.

Cape Town born artist, RxSolo, is an artist defined not by what he has, but rather what he has to offer conceptually. As young as he is, he understands how important art is in society and with that being said, he wields his artistic power purposefully to communicate ideas that could shift culture. In the context of mainstream art or content consumption, what RxSolo does can be regarded and boxed as left-field, experimental and alternative, however what is beautiful about what he does is that he creates from a genuine, personal and honest place. He forms part of a group of new artists in South Africa that are challenging the status quo, pushing cultural boundaries and ushering a new era of consciousness. Artists like are RxSolo are not only creating and experimenting with new sounds, but they are also designing and moulding a new listener, one that is open to ideas that are beyond the norm.

image of rxsolo from flower ep short film
Still from the Flower EP by RxSolo.

To push boundaries and cut a lane out for himself, RxSolo releases the Flower EP – a musical representation of his journey through life. The EP has six songs that speak on different aspects of life, life’s struggles and joys, and death. With this EP, he shows the listener and observer that art is beautiful when it shows the good, bad and ugly side of life. The EP has a visual element to it which comes in the form of a short film. The short film touches on all the ideas and concepts that RxSolo touches on in his EP.

Be prepared to be introduced to new ideas and concepts. RxSolo prioritises an abstract, concept-driven creative direction which carries a certain amount of shock value, but the beauty within all of this is that we get an invite into his world, or at least the world he creates, and a snapshot of what goes on in his mind.

Stream the Flower EP on Spotify.

Stream the Flower EP on Apple Music.

Categories
Featured Music Reviews

Five new progressive South African songs that you need you hear right now

TSA Feat. ByLwantsa & Spoek Mathambo – Ten fold

Johannesburg based multi-disciplined artist, TSA, partnered up with one of South Africa’s most talented rappers, ByLwansta, and township tech pioneer, Spoek Mathambo, to drop a dope joint called ‘ten fold’. A fusion of different styles, the three artists with TSA leading the pack, offload their frustrations, share their thoughts and take charge in owning their greatness. You can hear it in how they deliver their verses, back to back rapping reminiscent of nostalgic 90s rap with a modern sound.

Kid Fonque & D-Malice – Tshamiseka (Dwson remix)

South African underground music legend, Kid Fonque, and UK musical phenomenon, D-Malice, have consistently been releasing amazing music. As a production duo, rkls, they have managed to bring back a 90s-era Hip Hop sound with a modern edge. Their collective effort has resulted in music releases that can exist in different genres and with that being said, we are called to speak on the recent DM Recordings remix project. The three-track project, which brings three of South Africa’s best House producers to remix Tshamiseka, a song by the two legends. The remixes are from Dwson, Fka Mash and Sean Munnick. Dwson’s remix stands out the pack, particularly with the pacing, structure and composition. Stellar song which does justice to an already beautiful song.

East Side Yacht Club – Delilah

The innanetwav camp is back again. The undisputed innovators of South Africa’s Hip Hop scene and it is ludicrous to think of how many people still do not know about this camp. This time around, they come through a banger of note. East Side Yacht Club, a Johannesburg based rap group, comes through swinging with a gully bar-filled rap song that will certainly entertainment Hip Hop lovers. The dope thing about these guys is how they sound, their slang and their lyrical delivery.

Rxsolo – Tre$

Cape Town born artist, Rxsolo, has genre-fluidity embedded in his artistic being. Being based in Hungary for his studies, he has built up a clearly different sound which speaks to how his surroundings influence him. Before his departure, he was making Indie and Alt-rock influenced Hip Hop as part of a group called Sway.Ed, and now he has switched things up a notch with his adoption of an electronic music sound with his latest release. The song is question is called Tre$, a song which opens us up to the chaotic but creative mind of Rxsolo. The beat is spacey and otherworldly with vocals that were doctored to fit the overall mood of the song. He raps too, but not your typical lyrical-miracle rap style, here he vibes out and draws you trapping you in a trance-like state. A definite vibe which goes to show that South African music has grown.

Cornelius SA Feat. Jackie Queens – Feel It Now (Kususa remix)

Pretoria based producer, Cornelius SA, has been the talk of the town in recent with months. The Dopewax records artist has continually pushed himself to shift the electronic music scene in South Africa. With a string of releases under Dopewax and other active labels in House music in South Africa, he has added weight to his name. He comes through with a short collaborative project with the beautiful songstress, Jackie Queens, called Feel It Now. The project boasts an original mix and two remixes, one by Kususa and the other one by Cornelius. The project in itself is breathtaking as it prioritizes the African elements in composition and places Jackie Queens at the center of the songs, not as a supporting act but rather as a vital piece that completes the song. The stand out song from this project is the Kususa remix as it has a great build up that works well with Jackie Queens’ vocals. This one is for the dance floor for sure.

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Culture Music

Under Pressure Sundays: A promise, a vision and a platform to celebrate South African beat culture

Cape Town is undoubtedly the hub for electronic music in South Africa. Some of the best and most recognised talent from South Africa hails from Cape Town. Sure, Johannesburg may have the biggest entertainment industry in Southern Africa, but Cape Town holds it down when it comes to unearthing talent that gets celebrated on the international arena. Christian Tiger School is a great example of such talent, which is backed by organisations like Red Bull Studios CPT.

As small as the Cape Town music scene may be, one would expect that the creative landscape of the coastal city is limited or leans more towards a more popular style of music – something that is clearly not the case. Small niche scenes exist on the edges of the entertainment industry – the music is not the most popular, the shows are more intimate and a spirit of comradery is what keeps the scenes afloat. Collectives like Under Pressure Sundays, play a massive role in not only growing the Cape Town electronic, bass and beats scene, but also creating a platform that celebrates South African producers who are often overlooked. In some cases, it is not even a case of producers being overlooked, but rather a situation where there is not enough media to cover the growth of niche communities in the entertainment space. It could also be there are not a lot of platforms that offer themselves up to help nurture talent in these scenes. This is where, Under Pressure Sundays comes in – providing solutions and not backing down from adversity.

It takes an unimaginable amount of effort to get a bunch of creatives scattered across South Africa to believe in something bigger than themselves and an even bigger task of ensuring that resources are there to keep the dream and mission alive. Under Pressure Sundays has been active in the electronic, bass and beats scene for about two years – having started out as something only shared amongst a tight group of friends to it being a home for some of the best talent the South Africa has to offer. The collective has to have its ear on the ground to find some of the best upcoming talent in the country, which means they have to take up A&R responsibilities to filter the chancers from the more serious acts.

With a catalogue that boasts 170 tracks from South African producers, you are forced to give props where they are due. And not only giving props, but also seeing the bigger picture and what Under Pressure Sundays is doing for the South African electronic beats scene. The amount of streams on the songs released through Under Pressure Sundays should not factor in when assessing the health of the platform and what it does. The collective doubles as a record label where talent can get their music heard and the impact may not be seen online, but the collective sure as hell has an influence on the ground, more specifically in Cape Town. An influence and impact that is slowly finding its way up to Johannesburg.

Under Pressure Sundays is a promise, a vision and a platform to celebrate and promote the South African electronic, bass and beats scenes. From events to releasing music, the collective has to be respected for what they do for the culture.

Stream the latest project by Under Pressure Sundays, which has work by artists such as STHRN, RxSolo, Vitu, Bonolo Thomas, Thobe and NDRZLA.