Rock downloads and releases
First, the hugely popular Tuks FM has issued a 40-track double CD called Total Radio Takeover, which includes mostly SA rock tunes by some of the country's luminaries.
Second, the groundswell of underground punk-metal and rock in Cape Town has produced a 19-track independent CD of demos and singles by bands who share no connection other than the fact that at some point all of them have played at the Wynberg Sports Hall venue.
While most of the bands on the first collection enjoy a label contract and/or radio play and decent media presence, most of the artists on the latter find themselves below the radar, fiercely independent and - dare we say - on a somewhat subversive bent.
Total Radio Takeover
The much-publicised jump to Tuks of radio legend Barney Simon has galvanised the university broadcaster into an unprecedented surge in listenership, and their fierce commitment to playing broader selections of rock and especially local music is probably key to that success.
The Tuks FM CD isn't exclusively SA, and the international choices made balance the collection nicely. It is nice to see left of centre acts like Juliet and the Licks and Yellowcard on the track list, in favour of the usual gang of MTV muppets. But their complement is minor compared to the substantial chunk of SA tracks that bulk up TRT.
Besides the usual national radio apples (because a few apples a day keep Icasa at bay) The Parlotones, The Finkelstiens, 340ml, Cutting Jade and The Narrow, it's grand to see some other names get on the playlist: Hog Hoggidy Hog and Fuzigish enjoy massive live support around the country (and in Germany - yet somehow have largely escaped mainstream radio), and the quality of Beeskraal, Fokofpolisiekar, Wickhead and friends, State Far Better and several others is hard to pass over.
The artists featured reflect a new wave of mainstream sweeping SA. These are the artists you're likely to see headlining major festivals and supporting international bills. They're crisp and professional enough to tour most parts of the country, and they pretty much earn their living as full-time professional musicians. They also mostly compare well to their international contemporaries on this disc, which is a blessing...
And while we're at it, the Best Band Name on the Disc Award goes to the instructive Dogs Die in Hot Cars.
Download other songs by these artists free from MWEB MP3:
WickheadDownload them here
340mlDownload a couple of tracks here
FuzigishFokofpolisiekarDownload songs from both bands here
16 StitchDownload a few of their songs here
The NarrowDownload a couple of tracks here
Delinquent Disco Volume 1 - Holding Cell
Delinquent Disco boasts a rougher framework, mainly due to vastly differing production values and a less 'formatted' approach (bands were asked to submit tracks if they desired, and none were rejected on artistic grounds). It's an edgier, dirtier, altogether more punk affair, but it contains that elusive ingredient so often missing from mainstream compilations: variety.
There's a unexpectedly rich goodie bag that bounces between the familiar skank of Hog Hoggidy Hog, crazy country punk from Three Bored White Guys, dub reggae stylings of 7th Son, the old school one-two punk of Three Chord Theory, the driving straight rock of High Trailor, all-girl NY-styled rock from Mitsoo, and even hardcore entries from VOL, Hoax and Armour for Nightmares, and freakishly respectable metal punk efforts from relative unknowns Mental Junto and Sleeping at the Popes.
The rest all really reflect the drive and passion of bands that slog on regardless of the lack of recognition or monetary reward, but the CD release does do a great job representing the cross section of young, original rock music in Cape Town. It's a bit less friendly that Total radio Takeover at times, but does stand its ground as a document - (and it would make a great soundtrack to a documentary or film about the scene, if any producers are watching).
And the best band Name on the disc? A tough one, but the Mweb music committee eventually settled on Millhouse, though Sleeping at The Popes and Captain Stu and the Llamas are close to the carrot.
High TrailorHalf PriceHog Hoggidy HogDownload them all here
LP ShowDownload here
Three Bored White GuysThree Chord TheoryDownload them all here
So there you are: two great CDs covering 2005 in South African rock. Total Radio Takeover will be in your local music store. You'll have to work a bit harder to get hold of Delinquent Disco. The CD is available from any and all of the bands featured on the disc, so you'll have to visit one of their shows or websites to get hold of them. Told you they were subversive!- Anton Marshall
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