Posts Tagged ‘music’

The oldest dance in Africa, Xho-pera and the klopse

12/12/2016

One of Bush Radio’s oldest programmes is called Backchat and it sees almost 20 guests (activists, NGOs, social movements etc) come through and onto the airwaves per week. But we have a saying at Bush (one of many), “that a little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down”, so from time to time the Backchat team which consists of Bassie, Siviwe and Natasha bring in some interesting musicians and artists to lighten up the studio.

So whether it is learning the oldest dance in South Africa or experiencing a new musical form like Xho-pera, we thought we should share a small sample of these acts here:




For more videos visit Bush Radio’s Youtube Channel

Pop music is aspirin and the Blues are vitamins

16/10/2016

dr ian bell bush radio

Tune into Bush Radio via 89.5FM or online this Sunday (16 October 2016) at 8pm as we celebrate 20 years of Blues in the Bush with Dr Ian Bell.

With its roots firmly in African soil, yet germinating in a far continent in conditions of slavery and extreme hardship, the Blues has flowered and grown over generations to be the single greatest influence in modern popular music. Dr Bell (yes a real medical professional) has an extensive collection of rare blues albums and plays the music, as well as providing detailed information about the evolution of blues, the social and cultural contexts of the music, and information about individual tracks.

Since October 1996, a tasty two hours of the best of The Blues, along with something of its history, origin, development, sociology and biography, is prescribed every Sunday evening  as immunisation against the rest of the week!

From Roskilde with Love

29/08/2016

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All text and pictures by Henrik Gustafsson, except where noted.

djfjHenrik “DJ Finnjävel” Gustafsson looking for blogging inspiration in Roskilde

Morjens and greetings from the annual Roskilde Festival in Denmark!

The first Roskilde Festival took place in 1971, in June-July 2016 the Wrong Rock Show’s and Finland’s DJ Finnjävel visited the festival for the 19th time. You might already have heard my musical report from Roskilde, broadcast on Bush Radio 11 July 2016 – if not, look for it on https://www.mixcloud.com/wrongrockshow/

where all the Wrong Rock Shows are stored. Here on the Bush Blog, I will have a look at some other aspects of the festival and also briefly comment on the music.

The 2016 Roskilde Festival started with four warm-up days (25-28 June) of performances on three stages for the happy campers in the audience, followed by the four main days (29 June – 2 July) when the inner festival area with its six stages is opened. I only went for the main days, which meant I missed the only Finnish act in the line-up: the guitar-less garage trio Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? – by now well-known to all you Wrong Rock Show listeners…

janefondaHave You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? Photographer: Heidi Kero

The warm-up days give up-and-coming Nordic artists a chance to try their wings in front of a relatively large crowd. At a press conference, Head of Programme Anders Wahrén pointed out that there might be even 50,000 people arriving at the festival before the main days, some of these only setting up their tents, but an audience of 1,000 or 5,000 people is still much more than these bands can expect at their club shows back home. “And they couldn’t compete with Neil Young during the main days, anyway.”

wahrenbildeHead of Programme Anders Wahrén and spokeswoman Christina Bilde.

Unfortunately, no South African musicians were booked for this year’s festival. Previously, for instance Lucky Dube (2002), Tumi and the Volume (2008), Shangaan Electro (2011), Spoek Mathambo (2012) and Die Antwoord (2010 and on the Orange main stage 2015) have had the honour of playing Roskilde.

mandelaThe proud Danish owner of this shirt had actually bought it in South Africa.

However, there is much more than just music (by a mere 183 artists from more than 30 countries in 2016…) going on during the festival, and on Sunday 26 June, the South African performance artist Athi-Patra Ruga performed Decimation, a new chapter of his ongoing saga The Future White Women of Azania. Decimation took place as a procession from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Roskilde Festival grounds, with Ruga himself and maybe 20 invited drag performers dressed in balloon costumes parading and encouraging the spectators to join the show.

diyA DIY instrument workshop at the festival.
ranchoRunning between stages, I bumped into Rancho Aparte from Colombia, playing an impromptu off-venue show.

Africa Express

Africa Express, the Damon Albarn-spearheaded cross-cultural collaboration between African and western musicians, has been closely linked to the Roskilde Festival for a couple of years now. In 2015, the festival ended with a five-hour African Express show, involving more than 100 artists. Also last year, the Roskilde Festival Charity Society donated 1 million DKK to Africa Express for the support of education and cultural projects related to African music.

This year, Africa Express opened Roskilde’s huge Orange stage on Wednesday 29 June when the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians + Damon Albarn + Guests wowed the audience for two hours. Back in 2010, Albarn (whose father was a professor of Arab studies and Islamic art, by the way) and his band Gorillaz were accompanied by the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians on a world tour taking them to both Roskilde and Damascus, making them the first major Western band to play in Syria. Sadly, as civil war broke out in 2011, they’re still also the last international act to have played in Syria.

It must have been a logistical nightmare getting visas and work permits for about 30 orchestra members and 20 choir members, now spread all over Syria, Europe and the US, some of them having fled the war without passports. Still, the orchestra managed to offer us a positive celebration of the musical culture of Syria, and I’m sure most of the people in the audience were not that familiar with traditional or contemporary Syrian and Arabic music before the concert.

The guests brought their own flavours to the show, and at least yours truly had never before encountered “the Queen of Arab Hip-Hop” Malikah (Lebanon/France) or Eslam Jawaad (Lebanon/Syria), the first Arabic hip-hop artist to record tracks in classical Arabic. Other star guests, such as Bassekou Kouyaté (Mali) and Seckou Keita (Senegal), were familiar even to me.

bassekou-kouyate-seckou-keitaDuelling banjos? Nope, Bassekou Kouyaté on ngoni (2 strings) and Seckou Keita on kora (22 strings) jamming with the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians.
juliaJulia Holter (USA) joined the Syrians and Seckou Keita on stage for her 2015 single Feel You. She also sang Paul McCartney’s 1968 Beatles song Blackbird as a duet with Damon Albarn.

Not just bomp bah-bomp and rama-lama ding-dong

In a world seemingly going crazier every day, many artists probably have a lot on their minds but at least in Roskilde they mostly let their music do the talking. Maybe subtle hints are more effective than onstage rants, anyway. Even the glorious PJ Harvey, whose brand new The Hope Six Demolition Project album has very politically charged lyrics, didn’t really say a word in-between songs before presenting her band.

hurrayHurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra (of Puerto Rican descent) nailed it on stage: “Fuck Donald Trump” – with two flags hanging behind her back: the flag of Puerto Rico and a rainbow one representing peace. Photographer: Laura E. Partain
gayeGaye Su Akyol from Turkey was sad and angry because of the terrorist attack “by ISIS shit” on the Istanbul airport a couple of days earlier. A couple of weeks later there was a military coup attempt in Turkey. Hope you are ok, Gaye Su.
calypsoCalypso Rose, born in 1940 on the Caribbean island of Tobago. Before playing her new song I Am African, she told us it’s an homage to her great-grandmother, who was brought there from Guinea as a slave. Photo credit: Roskilde Festival
talTal National put on a great show and taught me a thing or two about the peoples of Niger (all six band members belong to different ethnic groups).

Charity, volunteering and equality? Yes, man!

The Roskilde Festival has been 100% non-profit since 1972 and is organised with the purpose of generating funds to donate to humanitarian and cultural initiatives. The Roskilde Festival Charity Society is not allowed to use the profit for forthcoming festivals. This year, the festival was sold out well in advance: 80,000 full tickets and 5,000 one-day tickets for each of the four main days. The profit is expected to be roughly 17 million DKK (or 2.3 million EUR), and it will be donated in full to charity. Festival goers can suggest charitable projects to receive a part of this profit, the nomination deadline is 21 August 2016.

There are only about 60 salaried employees who are paid for their festival work, while some 32,000 volunteers help creating one of the biggest temporary cities in the world with more than 130,000 citizens. Approximately 10,000 volunteers do their work directly for Roskilde Festival Charity Society, while the remaining 22,000 volunteers are attached to the unions and organisations (and there are more than 200 of these) that do trade and service tasks at the festival.

Apart from the music fans and the volunteers, the Roskilde Festival also attracts hundreds of bottle and can and refund collectors, many of these originating from Africa or the Roma community, also including refugees and asylum seekers. With approximately one million litres of beer being served at the festival, not to mention other beverages, in refundable bioplastic mugs (turned into biogas after the festival), there is a lot of money literally being tossed on the ground. The people cleaning up the messy party aren’t, however, always treated as equals by the average beer-drinking festival goer.

This year, the Danish artist group Superflex built VIP lounges, Flagship Shelters/Bottle Collectors VIP, in the festival’s Art Zone for the refund collectors. The architecture of the lounges was inspired by some of the most exclusive fashion stores’ headquarters in Tokyo.

vipOne of the VIP lounges for the refund collectors, with some bloody barbarian pissing on it.
graffitiMore than 1.5 kilometres of fences and facades are decorated by international artists in the festival’s Graffiti Zone.
gloriaThe beautifully designed, intimate indoor Gloria stage (with a capacity of roughly 1,000) is situated by the Art and Graffiti Zones. Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld were among this year’s performers.
equalityThe festival’s standpoint theme as graffiti.

One of Roskilde Festival’s goals is to change and improve the world and the future, hoping the young festival goers will return home with new ideas. From 2016 to 2018, the festival will focus on equality. This year’s standpoint theme was Equality 2016: Stand up for your rights, concentrating on political equality and human rights.

When the first campers arrived in Roskilde, they saw signs stating that the festival would “collect and indefinitely store all text and phone conversations (received or sent) while on festival grounds” and that “all internet activity will be monitored”. Furthermore: “we reserve the right to share this data with our partners”.

This pissed people off, until it was revealed that it was actually a prank by the activist art group The Yes Men. On Tuesday 28 June, The Yes Men interviewed American whistleblower Edward Snowden live via satellite from his exile in Moscow. The conversation with Snowden about digital surveillance was shown on a big screen in the festival’s camping area.

A sustainable food festival

At a press conference, the festival’s official spokeswoman Christina Bilde talked about Roskilde’s two-legged sustainability strategy 2016-2019, built on environmental impact and social impact. Bilde herself called the strategy “utopian”, but it is something the festival is striving for. The goal is to create a carbon-neutral festival with a 100% fossil-free energy supply and where all waste is a resource. Both festival participants and partners ought to make choices having a positive social impact with respect for human rights and human resources.

The food served at the festival is a big piece of Roskilde’s sustainability jigsaw puzzle. In fact, no less than 40% of the festival’s CO2 footprint comes from the meat eaten there. However, all food stalls are required to have at least one vegetarian dish on the menu – that shouldn’t be too hard, one thinks, but keep in mind that Denmark is found among the Top 15 countries on worldwide annual meat consumption per capita listings.

As a vegetarian myself, more than once I have had to reassure the food vendor that I really do want a seitan hot dog and not one made from dead animals. Still, things may not turn out as expected. At previous festivals, I have for instance ordered a veggie pizza, only to find it covered by a ton of ham. This year, a hummus sandwich I bought was in fact stuffed with tuna spread. On the other hand, I also enjoyed delicious surprises such as Ugandan vegan chapatis this year.

Furthermore, in 2016 Roskilde required that all food stands must use at least 75% organic ingredients (50% last year), and the organic goal will be even more ambitious in 2017: 90%. 2016 was also the third year in a row that left-over food (more than 50 tons of it) was turned into meals for “socially marginalised people”. Truly a great way to make the excellent Roskilde Festival even more sustainable.

tacoBarburrito’s vegetarian tacos may have looked a bit suspicious late on Sunday evening, but they tasted great.

The Guy is Alive (Tattoo giveaway)

01/06/2016

guy is alive bassie

Awesome instrumental trio The Guy is Alive popped by the Bush Radio studios a couple of weeks ago with Alanna Joy and promised Backchat listeners a special give away.

The group is giving away a R500 tattoo voucher from Cape Coast Tattoo and Piercing.

To enter this lucky draw all you need to do is sms the keyword ALIVE + NAME + SURNAME to 32158 by 2pm on Wednesday the 8th June 2016.

To qualify you need to send a minimum of 5 entries (SMS cost is R1 each)

The winner’s name will be announced in Backchat on that day.

Needed: Open minds and a thirst for bass

03/03/2016

bass ed

Bush Radio’s The Dankish team present: Bass Education 2 on Friday the 4th March 2016 at The Bang Bar starting at 9pm.

Bass Education is a journey exploring all aspects of bass music and giving DJ’s the platform to showcase a different side to themselves with no genre limitations within in the bass music spectrum.

Line-up:

DJS:

  • Bonzig
  • Uncool Luke (The Bang Bar Resident)
  • Dunn Kidda (The Bang Bar Resident)
  • Sircula (TheDankish Class Clown)
  • Rebel Clef (AUDIO INPUT)
  • Rvwr (DO WORK)

Live Performance:

  • Mvula Drae

FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

Win tickets to Micasa’s Dare to Love Tour concert (CT)

02/09/2015

mi casa home

*****UPDATE 4 September 2015*****

Congratulations to Godfrey Hlazo from Langa and Nikita January from Grassy Park who won the tickets

Bush Radio 89.5FM is giving away two sets of double tickets for Mi Casa’s Cape Town Dare to Love tour taking place on the 4th of September 2015 at The Grand West Casino in Cape Town.

Mi Casa will also be releasing their third studio album, Home Sweet Home soon and the concert will feature songs from this album. This highly anticipated album features news tracks like “Hallo Baby”, “Chokolat”, “We on the night” with guest featured appearances by Cassper Nyovest, Big Nuz & DJ Tira, and leading East African group Sauti Sol.

How to enter:

Answer the question: What is the name of the new album Mi Casa will be releasing?

SMS: MICASA + The Answer + Your name + surname to 32158

Unlimited sms entries per person – the first two correct entries drawn will each win a set of double tickets
Competition closes at 09:30 on Friday 4th September 2015.

Winners will be announced on The Morning Cruise on the 4th of September 2015. GOOD LUCK!

SMS costs R1 each and free minutes do not apply.

So Wrong, Mixcloud thinks we are right

18/08/2015

wrs2015

Bush Radio 89.5fm is pleased to announce that The Wrong Rock Show was a finalist in the 2015 Mixcloud* Online Radio Awards.

online-rdio-awards

Leading up to Bush Radio quietly celebrating its 20th “legal” on air birthday on the 9th August 2015, Mixcloud was sifting through 24 categories and over 5000 nominations to draft a shortlist for the 2015 annual Mixcloud Online Radio Awards in association with the International Radio Festival.

The Wrong Rock Show was 1 of 5 programmes shortlisted by Mixcloud in the Alternative/Rock Show category.

A big congratulations to Botha, Greg and team!

mixcloud* Mixcloud is a online music streaming service for the listening and distribution of radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts. Its notable users include Wired, Harvard Business School, TED Talks, and Barack Obama.

Are you happy with the proposed local music quotas? ICASA invites your input.

04/08/2015

UPDATE: ICASA has granted an extension on written submissions
new deadline: 31 AUGUST 2015
chad saaiman vodfunfest alThe Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) have recently called upon individuals and groups to make written input into the draft regulations on South African music content (ie quotas)

The regulations will guide all radio stations in SA as to how much local music they must play.

Highlights of the proposed regulations are:

  • Community radio 80% local (eg Bush Radio*, Zibonele, CCFM etc)
  • Commercial radio 35% local (eg KFM, Heart, Smile, Highveld, YFM)
  • SABC “Commercial” 35% local (Metro FM, 5FM + Good Hope FM)
  • SABC Public radio 70% local.(excl SABC “commercial” above)

Written representations with regard to the draft regulations must be submitted to ICASA by the14 August 2015. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS)

Enquiries should be directed to 011 566-3259; between 10h00 and 16h00, Monday to Friday.

Persons submitting written representations are asked to indicate whether they want to make oral presentations as well.

*Bush Radio currently plays a minimum of 50% local music.

The Distortion of Sound

30/07/2015

distort of sound logo

This past Wednesday for our regular staff development session, Bush Radio staff and trainees watched an interesting documentary called “The Distortion of Sound” about their perceived decline of sound quality and how technology has changed the way we listen to music.

Featuring: Mike Shinoda, Slash, Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki , Lianne La Havas and others the documentary makes for some interesting viewing.

The documentary raised some interesting questions and comments from the group – ranging from progress versus technology to agenda setting.

Thanks to Ernestine Deane for directing us to this documentary and several others.

Open House

29/04/2015

bush tiny planetJoin the Bush Radio Open House on the 1st May 2015 for a double celebration of 22 years of broadcasting and launching our digital studio.

Bring your family and friends, and take a tour of our premises.

The Bush Radio Open house (330 Victoria Road, Salt River) is on the 1st May from 10am – 4pm

For more information, call 021-448 5450.