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Sweat X vs. Max Normal.TV: The Way of the Kwassie

2007-08-13 12:06
X marks the spot “Bring out the pussy! Bring out the pussy! Bring out the pussy!!!” incites a poncho be-clad, day-glo glam-shade sporting black rapper while his identically attired albino sidekick jerks a stream of glitter-ball rave-house grooves and glitch-funk beat jism into the audience. Anyone left in the pit somehow not shaking their booty like there’s no tomorrow immediately starts ass-boiling it. Big time.

It’s a kwassie-moistening moment that nailed just why Sweat X’s set on the Sipho Gumede ‘dance’ stage rocked Oppikoppi. Actually, tagging these sonic surfers as ‘bling’ or ‘booty’ doesn’t cut it. Ghetto-tech is much better. See Spoek Mathambo (freestyling X-raps) and Markus Wormstorm (sweaty beats) know that rock’s sex appeal is dangerously past its sell-by-date. Anyone who caught Dorp or Jimmy Eat World warm up the fans with their neo-industrial and emo-pop crowd-pleasing piss might agree.

But chill, Sweat X also knows that backpacker consciousness is so 90s. The future is all about partying, people! And Sweat X delivers. Their B-grade electro bump ‘n grind spoofs grab guys by the balls and girls by the kwassie thanks to a mutant mash-up of lust-lubricating elektro-disko-funk. They’re not just your average genre surfers either: rave may be the madness, but there’s a lucky packet of Pop culture methodology in their ADD strip-tease that feeds off everything from gangster rap, vintage house and R&B to Chicken Licken, Kraftwerk and the AWB.

The revolution will not be televised
And then there was Max Normal. Yep, leftfield rap legend Waddy Jones introduced the Gumede stage faithful to his new b®and: corporate hip-hop crew Max Normal.TV. Say what? You mean bling like Diddy, Dre and Jay-Z? Not quite. Still, whether anyone in the veld even noticed his motivational speaker preach, power point presentations, and vintage polyester suits were actually an arty deconstruction of Diddy’s bling is unlikely? Then again, were they even a deconstruction at all? Um, no. Yes. No wait, shit I dunno…you never know with Max normal. But still, they’re flippin’ cool hey?

Nope. Waddy’s preacher/teacher tip just isn’t hip anymore. Something’s changed in his migration from utopian independence to corporate number puncher. The idealism that fuelled fairytales and lullabies like “Super Evil” has been replaced by ridiculously slick reality TV narrative spiels about keeping it real while selling out. Meanwhile PA Yolandi Visser’s playground rhymes and Justin Denobrega’s Real Estate Agents-lite beats are about as stimulating as product control pie charts and employment equity assessments.

But hey, maybe this is the secret DNA of the ‘Way of the Dassie’. If hip-hop really still is about self-expression, then Waddy is keeping it real on his own terms. So he doesn’t give a shit if you don’t ‘get’ what he’s doing. In fact he spits his denial straight in your face on one of his hi-energy boardroom burps. Still, a self-deprecating shrug that masks the very real possibility that you’re taking the piss out of your audience purposefully doesn’t cut it: resorting to Andy Warhol's Pop irony just isn’t good enough guy.

* Check out Sweat X and Max Normal.TV in our highligts video.

- Miles Keylock

Mutant Afro-elektro duo Sweat X battled corporate hip-hop crew Max Normal.TV at Oppikoppi last night. Guess who won?
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