Friday, February 19, 2010

Become. Be. B Familiar

Coarse toe jam and the promise of new freckles, it’s a pretty picture from where I stand. Cape Town beaches are all ‘wish you were here’ post card moments. Standing on the beach, I’m surrounded by fembots, topless Germans and the irritating little vendor guys selling granadilla popsicles. I’m here to check out a scene that is still ruled by the kids who do it for no other reason than passion, pleasure and mainstream release.
I’m here today to open my mind to the subculture of skimming.

Trying to educate myself a bit, I’ve spent the last few days watching borrowed DVD’s and YouTube clips of skimmers around the globe. Aside from realizing the speed, timing and concentration necessary to pull of the skimming tricks, I am aware of the void of media infatuation that hierarchy structure I find in surging. Tricks on the streets and the snow have now been brought to the water.

Since the late 70’s with Victoria’s inception of fiberglass boards, skimming has since evolved into a XXX sport that’s growing with each high tide. And we’re beginning to see it all around us. And rare, in our capitalist currents, is that this is a subculture determined to keep alive the vibe of the underground – there’s no
space here for egos or media sluts, just plenty of room for reveling in the fun, adrenalin and good times skimming brings them.

I’ve found some guys who are behind this movement. Meet B Familiar, an inniative that’s all about “skim
boards for skim boarders made buy skim boarders”. B Familiar is committed to keeping the beautiful, raw uncontaminated spirit of a subculture breathing, and pushing ‘local’ forward in style.

I caught up with Stew Gardner to get to a bit of familiarity for myself.

Where did inspiration for starting B Familiar come from?

“I have always skimmed since I Young but the product has always been hard 2 get my hands on or a little
pricy .the sport being so huge over sea s I guess we just saw a up and coming market in this sport.”

Who is behind the brand?

Well I’m (Stewart Gardner) the shaper and involved in glassing, spraying and sales. My bro Shaun is handling
the advertisement and design side, and our dad Frank Clayton is our voice of reason and manager of B Familiar”.

What is B Familiar’s ethos?

We stay away from the industry of mass production, putting passion and attention to detail into each of our boards.

What are your boards made of?

They are shaped from polyurethane foam with two layers of 6 once fiber glass cloth on the bottom and 3 layers on the top. We use polyester resin 2 seal the fiber glass

Give me three words that set you apart from others involved in the production and design of the boards?

Quality, aesthetic innovation, strength.

Thanks Stew…

With my arm hanging out the window riding the wind’s current, myself and two skimmers are off to share a beer and make the most of the few hours of sunlight. Looking at them talk in smiles; I realize they are two guys part of a sub culture of friends. The ocean is a part of them, it lives in their veins and shines through their eyes, this was never about the money, and never will be.

Let’s keep supporting this subculture of individuals, who are in it together.

A place where everyone has a story...

Only 20 minutes south from the concrete couture, assembly lines and hard nights, you'll find the endless serenity of South Africa's mother city. While many are quick to complain about Cape Town, I’m sure even some MOOKS Report readers have felt discontent towards it - you know - can’t really see yourself ‘living it up' in a city filled with crime and punishment. But just like Dostoevsky’s classic novel, Cape Town is a city of depth and intrigue, and one that requires you to read between the lines to fully understand. To look without judging and to venture off the beaten track, where you'll discover a different side to Cape Town.

While it may not be the yellow brick road, the road that leads to Kalk Bay, a fishing village along the rugged terrain of the Western Cape coastline, makes for a delicious Sunday drive with visual toppings thrown in for free. As the urban landscape softens and the abrasive vertical and horizontal lines transform into organic curves and endless skies, it's Valentines Day and my destination is the beautiful - you guessed it - Kalk Bay. A charming multi-coloured, multi-cultured rustic location by the sea, where everyone has a story to tell, including me.

Unfortunately mine has a word limit. But take a closer look at the smiling, honest faces, sporting expressions of gratitude for life’s simple pleasures. It reminds me of New York's Soho, only by-the-sea. There's a distinct beauty and rich array of colours that make Kalk Bay, Cape Town’s place to be (Bakhtin would dig it here). Nestled below the rugged mountain, Kalk Bay’s harbour is lined with splintered boats, squawking gulls and humans by the droves – an image many have tried to capture and sell in city galleries.

Below me, underneath a bridge, is what seems to be a gathering of one large family. Dispersed members are absorbed in a game of dominoes, and have attracted a crowd of seagulls and others like me who pose with a camera hoping to capture something special.

Old antique stores are filled with dusted treasures that remind me of bougainvilleas and dinnertime china that my mom would never use. A second hand book store is a place where each bound story, fiction or non-fiction, carries in it a tale that's not written by owners long gone.

And that’s what this beautiful, charming seaside labyrinth is really all about. From the fisherman, to the seagulls, to the day visitor, in Kalk Bay, everyone has a story.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Skirting stereotypes, embracing the music.

Engrained in the soul of Rock ‘n Roll is the power of passion, passion for life in a world where music is one’s life. The universe spins around vectors of frequency, as tempos alternate and sound resonates, bouncing off the buildings and the faces of the subcultures that roam our streets. Chasing dreams and showing us we can catch them is a band that that needs no introduction; The Dirty Skirts.

The Skirts capture the raw, pure sound of the 90s and have infused it with technical manipulation and present it with an electrifying stage presence. The Dirty Skirts is “Jeremy de Tolly on lead vocals, guitar and synths, David Moffatt on guitar and vocals, Markie De Menezes on drums and vocals, and Passion Paliaga on bass and vocals.”

It’s 11am and it’s time to catch up with Jeremy. I’ve been awake since 6 and Jeremy, just arrived in JHB, has been up since 4 30. His telephone demeanor paints a different picture however. He sounds acute, enigmatic and humble. His candid wit and humble enthusiasm puts me at ease immediately. It’s as if I have just phoned a mate to talk about a gig we got terribly drunk at on the weekend.

Conversation flows with ease, and the long distance ambience is one of mutual respect. There is no ‘head in the clouds’ type of hedonism that one might expect from a band with such a rising celeb status. It’s refreshing and intriguing.

How do you ‘keep it real?’
“Experience has played a large role. We realize there’s a distinct parallel that exists when you enter this industry and really embrace it. I mean just look at Coldplay. With success comes criticism.”

How did you guys meet?
“Well, I met Dave at a braai in 2004 and it just all started to roll from there.”

Always finding moments of rare honesty in the small details, I enquire about the food they ate that day. Indulgence of beetroot salad gave way to conversations on speed, enthusiasm about future projects. And the enthusiasm keeps building.

In 2010 the frequencies will be maxed, tweaked and remaining as dirty as ever. “Our sound has evolved and at the moment we are a cocoon continuously metamorphosing”.

They have remained fresh by employing this attitude of curiosity; their inquisitive sound embraces avenues that have yet to be explored. “It all comes down to loving what you do. Without this passion success, in whatever form, will never flow”.

2010 is going to be a year of surprises, for them and us. The expression you see on your younger sibling who opens a brand new box of crayons. There is a feeling of stimulation on the horizon, and it’s a feeling that we are all a part of.

What has been the most significant learning curve since your inception?
“Well, it’s all learning curve. Each day there is something new to learn. We’re in the woods, howling at the moon”

Shooting stars, howling at the moon and hitting the high notes, Jeremy and the rest of the band approach the elements assigned to Indi-Electro-Rock with an open mind. The wind is blowing for the Dirty Skirts, and with their new album coming out and festivals lined up, there will be plenty of love being spread. Love and music. This is life. That’s all we really need, and now we have four people who are giving it to us.

7ft Amplified.

Where did it all start? Once upon a time, many lifetimes ago in a world ruled by integrity and love is where it all began. Going by the names of Yves Adler and Andrew Winer, 7ft Sound System is a catalyst to such a world. Their music is that which elevates the soul, opens up the mind and moves mountains. It unites and ignites the people.

Breathing, producing and exploring the always evolving avenues of sound, “the whole 7ft vibe first appeared during a during a 7th Son Gig when we used to run a track in between songs that we called The Never Ending dub. If we’re talking official though, Feb 09 is the month it all started going down, or up rather.

7ft’s sound comes in waves of bright nostalgia. I think of memories that do not belong to me. Borrowed memories…of long days under the hot Rio sun, a girl lost in a dream that changes each day. Although a word that is much thrown around, I believe that at the heart of creativity one finds raw passion and a lust to explore it, without hesitation or compromise. Listening to 7ft Sound System I’m acutely aware of the passion, the energy, and the creativity they have given. And I know they’ll keep on giving.

Taking inspiration from dub & reggae, through to hip-hop and electronic, the guys mention names like “Jahtari label in Germany, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Ott and The Nextrum”. With 7ft, collaboration extends beyond people, these guys collaborate with genres and styles too – keeping their work fresh and catching us off guard.

For Yves and Andrew life is a 360 degree collision of “good times and boom times”, and music is spinning with them thought it all. Music becomes a force that is a part of the good times, and helps get you through the bad times.
“We approach every track like a blank page” says Yves. “When the track is taking shape…we usually name it after the underlying feeling that is transmitted or after an event that aided in the tracks creation”.

In each track one discovers melodic contours that express passion as well as an acute grasp of academia of music. 7ft squirt rainbows of innovation, and as producers “are always looking to explore as man possibilities as [their] genres allows”.

Here’s a bit of my chat with Yves …

Any collaborations you have/are looking to been/be involved in?

Besides the featured artists on the album (Zolani , Denver Tunrer, Lithal Li , and Dave Ferguson). We have lots of hopefuls

Any favourite tracks on the album?

It changes on a regular basis, but I think Piped Piper stands out, I think we are more excited about the new tunes we are busy writing.

Music – what does it mean to you?

“What the art of painting cannot clearly suggest, poetry explains in words, but that, which even a poet finds difficult to express in poetry, is expressed in Music.” (The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Plans for 2010?

Working on throwing some parties to build up the Dub scene here a little. And there should be an new EP coming soon. And other then that, well its Get Rich or Die Trying … haha

Why do you love CT?

It’s just Ayoba!

What’s your dream project?

Quest Love on Drums
Bill Laswell on Bass
Ott on Production
Roots Manuva on vocals

What’s next for 7ft Sound System?

I don’t know…..Cosmic realization?

With Groove Armada’s Superstylin’ playing through my speakers and 7ft Sound System weaved through my thoughts I realize that this band will keep harmonizing, keep rising’ and keep amplifying’. With them around, so will we.

Breaking down the Media Whores

This is report of aesthetic nature, specifically an article about a young lady who is putting an indelible stamp of innovation on contemporary ideologies. Meet Larita Engelbrecht, a visual artists living and loving in Stellenbosch who has an obsession that’s currently in excess. Visual excess in overdrive.

The year of 2010….. Self-defeating innuendos from MNCs structure our lives and everything is in overload. “Consumer culture [engulfs] us…..we’re in an ‘Economy of Attention’…and I seek to ask this question: What is the space of the imagination in the digital era?”

A girl who will always beg to differ, Larita is an academic of the arts, “a social and cultural critic, entrepreneur, marketer, curator and collaborator all rolled into one”. Her choice of medium is an application of digital media in combination with multi-media, sculpture, drawing and installation. She’s an artisan that has embraced the digital age and yet in doing so challenges the intrusion of technology and its superfluous upkeep.

Who do you aspire to?

I find myself bouncing between opposite poles of the art world – academic and commercial. On the one side I aspire to the work strategies of someone like Kathryn Smith On the other hand I have respect someone like Takashi Murakami, who oversees the production of his highly collectable fine art and design products.

What artist – local and international – inspires you?

Locally, I love Minnette Vári’s video and print work. Internationally I draw inspiration for the Surrealists of the 1920’s, and many contemporary video and installation artists such as Matthew Barney, Tony Oursler, Nathalie Djurnberg and Steve McQueen.

The realm of aesthetics – art – how does it influence your life?

Art provides new ways of looking at the world, and new ways of looking is needed to understand the constantly shifting socio, political and cultural circumstances we find ourselves in.

How has your work evolved over the first few years? Where do you see it heading?

It is still very much in an embryo phase, I see it evolving into design projects, bigger installations, and projects beyond the limits of the gallery walls.

Your most recent exhibition at Salon91 “On the Uncanny and the Unconscious”– when and how did this concept/project take form?

Wessel Snyman and I wanted to exhibit together – he makes intricate kinetic sculptures and prints, and I made visually ‘excessive’ works by restaging old paintings. Together we both create works that are somewhat surrealist, that is uncanny in the familiarity of the images, but dream-like in the way that it is juxtaposed. My work developed form an obsession with Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.

You have mentioned before about your art as “a playful comment on contemporary society”. How did you connect Bosch with contemporary society? What as the underlying emphasis?

Well, I view society as raging in a chaotic battle for attention all the time. By restaging the classical painting by Bosch, I am saying that his concerns (of representing an ‘utopian’ view of a world untouched by the Fall) are still there, but has evidently shifted into a realm where we do what we want to anyway, but certain social constraints still remain. When will the overload of information thrown unto us reach a saturation point? My underlying question is to ask whether there will be a ‘digital turn’ as with the ‘photographic turn’?

The women figure – sexuality – is it something you explore in your work? Why?

I try to avoid a feminist approach to creating work, but sexuality is something that inevitably seems to surface. The female body has been a site for much contestation throughout the history of art, and being a female creating performance work, it is unavoidable that I also contribute to this tradition of the female represented a sexualized figure.

By restaging bodies dressed in fleshy coloured stockings I am trying to avoid eroticizing the figures, but because of our inherent knowledge of the classical nude figure in art, it is somewhat of a failed attempt, and the figures remain sexualized even in their attempted ‘cover-up’.

Let's leave it there, for now.

With her dream project involving “organic pigment, a number of helicopters, a team of photographers and the Victoria Falls”, this is the girl who will take South Africa’s creative industry outside the galleries. Repertoires of land art and installations. Bigger ideas and bigger budgets. Poking fun at mediated conventions and ad agency fucks, Larita’s work reflects her creative scope and her wonderfully brazened ideas. Miss E’s artistic thirst is engrained in her soul, becoming both a tool for expression and her indulgence of passion.

Joy, undivided

Growing up in the sun-drenched Karoo, amongst little cave crawlies and lanky desert birds that can't fly, Chris Slabber sees Cape Town as a place of wonder and surprise. Like a kid in a theme park, everything is a joyride. Aside from the “bergie” (homeless dude with a passion gap that is always drunk and shouting “Jou ma se POES” to his/her fellow bergies) waiting around each of Cape Town’s corner, is a world of opportunity and sensory indulgence. Each day comes wrapped in potential.

The challenge of breaking down long engrained stereotypes is Chris’ creative muse. “I think now is the time for us to make people smile again, because the reality is we are in a bit of a depression. I mean this was the reason for cartoons and comics to come about with The Great Depression – people were sad and needed to laugh, or need a hero or a role model”.

For Chris, art is an aesthetic record of mankind, a documentation of oneself and those around one. “[Art is] a means of personal debate… [art] allows one to enter a state of meditation, which I think just enhances one’s perspective on life and such”. He isn’t a hippie, just honest and self-aware.

Infusing the elements of the city into his work, Chris’s heart is where his home is. South Africa. Chris finds much of his inspiration is locally rooted and considers that the globalization of trends "just enables everyone to draw inspiration from each other, and reinterpret a NEW style with fresh, local flavour'

What’s your style? What medium do you prefer working in? Why?

"I’d say Surrealism is my biggest trademark. I like lots of mediums all thrown together like a bunny chow. I can still hear my art teacher’s voice while explaining the technique of adding texture too your work. And then I usually tie it all together in a digital format in order to take it one step further."


The most insane art you have ever seen would be?

"The Crucifix carved out of hundreds of glued together Bibles at the one Sasol Exhibit – It was intense. – Oh and obviously the famous Butcher Boys by Jane Alexander"

What decorates your room?

"My Mac Book Pro"

What’s the first thing you do after completing something?

"Watch an episode of South Park."

What’s one thing you would like to tell all those ambitious young artists out there?

"Admit when you do crap work."

[Stoned interlude]....Art comes as precious moments that one should respect and not take liberties with, or use to enhance selfish hedonistic ideals. In a world with a façade for praising individuality, it seems there isn’t much room for one to be just Be. No room and no time. It’s all about the future; the “now” always seems to be too behind.

Thank God for creative’s like Mr. Slabber who is giving Cape Town fresh ideas that are not stolen from the past or predicted for the future. ‘Cause the thing is, for all of us everyday heroes the Now is what makes our tomorrow.

What’s next for Chris?

"Maybe my own creative studios/agency in like 7 years, but for now I’d like too that someone special and just hang out."

Peace out

.......Peace out Chris x

Meet Alistair Palmer – a man of substance… a kid who engages with Cape Town, both the city and her people

Meet Alistair Palmer – a man of substance… a kid who engages with Cape Town, both the city and her people. Just like a kid making a mess with finger paints, Al embraces the innocent joy of creating art. It’s about leaving behind all that hedonistic talk of trying to make sense of everything and is instead about looking at something and getting an honest, happy feeling out of it.

An entrepreneur who is off to the Okavango in Botswana next year, Palmer is hungry for success and loves to pitch himself in the deeper end of things. In a world segregated and fuelled by monotone dialogues, I’m backing Al in his belief that “colour [can] bring the world together”.

Tell me a bit about yourself…

A young man with lots to learn. I like making stuff I can see and hold. I freelance doing graphic design and illustraition.

What inspires you?

Objects and colours. Travelling any distance and seeing what I come across on the way. Picking things off the floor

What decorates your room?

Lots of plants, a tide chart and Paul, a blow-up moose head.

What’s the first thing you do after completing something?

Stand up.

Why do you love Cape Town?

I am just lovin’ the quality of life. I love doing things all day without spending a cent.

So we know your weak point is nicotine, what else is there?

Umm, driving drunk in CT is not as fun as it used to be.

Well, Arrive Alive tell us it is speed that kills, so just keep it slow my friend.
Tell me something I can share with others….

Do it with love.

Any projects you are involved / looking to get involved in at present?

I just finished a project for Niharika Hariharan, its called Wandering Geography and its about exploring your city and illustrating this onto Bokkie boots, its her graduate project for Central Saint Martins.

So, what comes next?


I always cringe when asking an artist for some form of structural breakdown & the ‘deeper meaning’, but some part of me always gives in. It depends on the artist and his/her work I guess. I think some work needs to be explained, or at least should be if one asks kindly. Al’s reply has to be my all time favourite thus far though. What a humble kid. His reply: “I just try to make people feel good and make them smile”.

Al’s work will keep taking us by the balls, making us smile completely absent from any arrogant bourgeois bullshit. Check out his flickr stuff, and get in touch.

Words of Art, for the people, by the people.

In a world that whets to confirmations and calculated speculations, there isn’t much room these days for investing in creative pursuits that have the potential to crumble ‘n fall. Concepts that stand no assurance are, so it seems, fleeting If Onlys.

But, not all the time, and not with everyone. Cape Town’s kids seem to be pushin’ out some insane ideas that shout a loud FUCK YOU to all the commercial prossies whoring themselves off to credit & the masses. Below the line and off the wall, ideas are being oxidized with new direction. Creatives in CT are making The Them question everything The They like to think they know the best.

Such type peeps are our lovely friends from Word of Art – a non profit initiative that is fuelling creative growth in SA. It’s all about challenging, embracing and encouraging change. From agent to curator to manager to the producer, when it comes to art Word of Art is getting in left and right and all around, full of smiles as they turn things upside down. Some of South Africa’s most prolific illustrators and urban artists are now being managed by Word of Art, together forming a creative collaborative that colours in projects with freedom of expression. With Shani Judes and Ricky Lee Gordon the force behind it all, aesthetic vignettes are transforming into resourceful, inventive below the line marketing strategies.

Fuck speedy profitable Good Enoughs, those are just used to get the best for yourself quickly! We all like to bargain, up or down. Bargains mean speedy self-benefitting conclusions. Society invades us with expectations and synonyms of success. We get given graphs of Progress and told Where We Went Wrong, and warned not It again.

Yet it seems that the fear of success surpasses the fear of failure. It’s easier to deal with it than to risk the pseudo-comfort and actually reach that full potential They love to tell us we have. Well, Word of Art is an initiative that is showing no hesitation, not one little speck of mediocre settlement.

Embarking on a Peter Pan philosophy, Word of Art is turning inspiration into ingenuity…ingenuity that arrests mainstream thought and permeates inspiration back into society. Just like Wendy, Word of Art is reminding us how to fly high.

Dub Steppin with Cape Town’s beat dropping belle, Funafuji

Girls. All I really want is Girls. So, the Beastie Boys shouted it, and we’re all feeling it. Or her, rather. Meet Safiyya Bryce AKA Funafuji….Cape Town’s little lass whose doing big things. Things that make us sweat and smile. Dropping it like the boys and throwing in some extra cheeky feminine flare, she teases us with her dirty mixes

It started with Dance Hall and Reggae four yrs ago, and after a short interlude dedicated to midnight oil and highlighters, Safiyya is back to juggling a hybrid mix of beats n books. That’s my vibe on her, but she probably says it better…. “I'm a fourth year medical student who also plays bass heavy, phat, wobbley dubstep muuuusak.”

SCP: Being a female in thus male dominated industry – what’s it been like?

SB: It has its pros and cons. Of course people love seeing a girl DJ but they always expect you to be crap so in some ways I think girls have to work harder. Being around guys all the time though makes you forget you’re a girl at times!

SCP: The ideal crowd for you is….?

SB: Sunday morning at an outdoor festival dancing on the remains of their MDMA trip who just want to be massaged by slow, fat, ambient tunes.

SCP: What’s your ALL time favourite track?

SB: “Wanna be” - the spice girls. I really really really wanna zigga zig-ah

SCP: Satirical sister oh how we love style!!! Tell us about Step Up and what’s that shit’s all about?

SB: Step Up is a collective group project that brought the first Dubstep parties to Cape Town. We have nights once a month at Fiction on Long Street.

SCP: And besides you, who else is involved in throwing wobbly dub parties Cape Town way?

SB: The other local residents Binary, Fletcher and Ish, with our ever faithful hype man MC Blotchy Worker Boy.

SCP: What turns you on?

SB: Bass physically turns me on.

SCP: What turns you off?

SB: requests of "music my friends can dance to" Idiots.

SCP: If you could play alongside someone – anyone – who would he/she be?

SB: Sizzla, I think.

SCP: What does music mean to you?

SB: What would the world be with out music?

And for those of you haven’t yet….well it’s time to stop blanking and start livin’ n wubbin’ the realm of Dub. Safiyya’s a girl from Norwich whose energy is shuffling through Cape Town. Where as most of us are freaking and fighting to Get the Fuck Out Of Here, Safiyya’s full of smiles, spreading the love with her beats and humble, beautiful heart.

Oh…one last thing….

SCP: Where is the CT Music industry headed?

SB: Out into the world. It's time the world discovered Cape Town.

Born to be wild. The many faces of Jean Rene Onyangunga

Meet Jean Rene Onyangunga; a jester on the streets and a kinetic spectacle of colour and sound. He breaks into your world primary coloured and fucking loud. Gallant and off the wall, he was born in Kinshasa, and, yeah, you can take the kid of the jungle but can’t take the jungle out of the kid.

It’s hard to catch him as he hop-scotches through life, hollering fully charged boom-box dialogues. But try to catch him if you can. And if by some chance you do, please tell him to answer his fucking phone.

He’s always around but impossible to get hold of…the guy who probably DOES hang with the 7-whatever-100 facebook friends people seem to have.

The marbles he lost we hope he never finds, ‘cause he’s the kind of person we Love to Love. Sporting an outfit that probably totals to about R40, his mad energy fuels his passions. Aesthetic Passions of colour, texture, style, form and function.

The world of Aesthetics is funked up, mismatched, creased and unfolded by JR.

JR! My Friend. The Devil on my shoulder. Tell us who the hell you are?

I’m JR Onyangunga. I was born in DRC and cultivated in the cities of our beautiful Mzanzi “South Africa”.

What have you discovered in SA?

Here I learned how to walk, talk or even chalk my skills and passion for fashion on a platform of undisclosed creativity.

The many faces of JR…a little elaboration please?

As an artist I have several personas and skills that I have accumulated, which have grown out of me like a Jacaranda tree gone berserk.

NICE. Such as?

Kid Congo, DR Pachanga, Element of Surprise, Chuck Inglish, Jean Ron, ED Hardon, Busta, J Reezy etc.

What does DR Pachanga do?

DR Pachanga is a stylist, hype man, DJ, party photographer. He brings on his game with a little touch of Gonzo tactics with his partner in crime MR Magoo AKA Justin Mcgee AKA Kid Yetty.

I’ve heard he’s also been taken on the title as the Last King of Tibet?

Indeed. When he is out in the east coast town called Durban, he rides his Red Micro bus full of so called models, amped to dress them in ridiculous outfits that one would wear in “Never Land”.

Where has DR Pachanga been showing his face lately?

His latest appearance was spot in the street of Hillbrow, amongst taxi ranks lecturing trend forecasting to the SDO (Sliding door operator). He also was seen on June 16th at the Zoo lake playing a tribute to our famous Max the Gorilla, with his partner in crime taking photo’s of the crowd…telling them how amazing they are, strange and mange.

Let’s talk about your endeavours in the world of Fashion…What’s your style, what’s your aim?

My style is left upon your judgment or interpretation. I enjoy more street fashion and more art played stuff, basically taking the piss of the current trends or just going overboard.

Consisting of…?

Vintage (thrift) clothing that have bombarded my room for the last 3 years which mom thinks they are whack. Due to the fact that I wear her blouses to her sisters dinner party. I have just realised that I bring out a lot of androgyny with a touch of Vivienne W. in my styling.

Your aim/s?

My aim is to join Terry Richardson at the top of his thrown and to demolish the supreme to make new platform for the uprising.

Please take photos of that. JR the DeeeeJay…I’m imaging some crazy nights. Give me clarity please.

You will find me cracking out all those lame vinyl your mom and dad listen to before they thought of having you (sexy 60’s,80’s 90’s). Yeah its deffently played to you at a buy one get one free bar ‘cause its so whack. With Lionel Ritchie bellowing out, you will need that extra drink before you break a limb.

Let’s give thanks….you go first.

Thanks goes to Tina Turner 69 not out, she inspired me to collect all these vinyl. I even named my blow up doll after her.

Right. Thanks JR. You’re a gem.

Hands on and eyes wide open, JR is wonderfully unsettling in his eccentrics. And for those who don’t approve, well, Boo fucking Hoo, JR wouldn’t give a fuck. In fact, PLEASE disapprove. Wrinkle your face and Tsk Tsk away. JR will love it, as will the bystanders. Actually….yeah…no…they probably won’t. Whatever, it doesn’t matter ‘cause he doesn’t give a fuck.

In the loud words of JR and in the quiet words of Virgin Mary “come again”!

Electro Expressions, doubled and reversed, we’re digging GRAVE DANGER.

Two brothers tearing up Cape Town’s dance floors one bass line at a time. Say hello to GRAVE DANGER - Cape Town’s renegades of noise who are raging with machines. Finger licks and hi-top kicks, hello GRAVE DANGER, goodbye pleasantries.

The GD brothers - Malcolm (Magnum hi-fi) and Ian Skene (Kid Colt) - are finely tuned…crude, loose canons of electronic groove. Fuck Cool, they’re two cheeky kids, using high-tech toys and making crazy noise. 1995. A decade after Knights of The Turntable was when it began for the Skenes. Their first album, POP Shop, found a home and we found the dance floor.

Technology & mass consumption; the 21st Century plague. So much NEW. But certain elements remain constant, like purified timeless equations. Specifically keepin’ things fresh, “striving to amalgamate most dissonant, strange & harsh sounds” (ART OF NOISE - Luigi Russolo)

Noise can be ruthless or syrupy, wrenching or alluring. But whatever it is…it is always Real. Right here, right now. The present. You hear it, you move to it, you taste it and you witness its revolutionarily power.


Absolute sensory indulgence. Guilty only for the glorious way you lose yourself in the moment. The dance floor is a flashing melodic prism; a kaleidoscope of motion and a soundscape where humans meet to rendezvous with technology.

For GRAVE DANGER it’s all about finger brushes, syncopated mediums and a dance floor canvass shredded in glitchy interludes and colored with an infectious lust for the Beat to Go On.

Names like Hütter and Schneider. Post-war Germany welcomes Kraftwerk. The world welcomes an industrial German sound. These guys were part of all that the 1960s represented: change, uncertainty, freedom, experience and love.

Energetic and Alive. Hello Noise.

1977’s “Trans Europe Express” and 1978’s “Man Machine”…..a musical discourse, novel and slightly disturbing, begins to take form. The titles of songs scream of speed and technology.

By 1980 music is the back-beat to a world full-speed ahead. A time of deranged, textured aesthetics and sounds. Acid house, water bottles and Naughty Nibbles. Artificial Intelligence & Warp Records. The Detroit scene, the German scene and 303 drum machines.

The 1990s. Think of the Burden Brother’s and Africa Bambatata’s electro sliced remake of the 1982 track “Planet Rock”. Think of the track “Bantha Trax” and the 808. “Nothing sounds quite like the 808." Beastie Boys, "Super Disco Breakin"

……. Seesaw sounds, reversed and tossed…electro rippled through the 90s to teeter-totter, shilly-shally and yo-yo into the 21st Century. Kids, young and old, from across the globe bent and oscillated old sounds, galvanizing the scene with new banging pulses and kinetic audio concepts. Electronic sound remains the proof….progressive proof of a world evolving through electronic experimentation.

Toffler talks about The Techno Rebels back in 1980, and as we enter 2010 everyone’s talking about GRAVE DANGER…Cape Town’s Techno Rebels; a little deranged both in music and self. GD is “Trying the Trick and Spinning It”.

So from the Jedi Knights, myself and GRAVE DANGER, “May the Funk be With You”. See you on the dance floor.

And fuck keeping it tidy, its summer, let’s get messy.

Slip 'n Slide, Dip 'n Dive. My little off-shore adventure

“Sunday morning and I'm falling
I've got a feeling I don't want to know
Early dawning, sunday morning
It's all the streets you crossed, not so long ago”

Velvet Underground turned Sunday into whimsical melodies that send me into nostalgic melancholy. A wish-wash of memories of old friends and good times. PJ Harvery and Postal Service. Bittersweet; a day of reckoning, slightly jaded by the 9-5 reality of things to come. This is Sunday, for me, at least. To a working girl in a flurry of Who Knows What, this is her Sunday. But today, this Sunday, this gusty day cross-hatched in sunlight, would be different. A topia of sensory delight, I’d be venturing into a world inhabited by a recklessly driven subculture; the surfers.

Around me, ‘they’ seem to share something I know I am not a part of, humbled in a way that only nature can employ. Majestic and omniscient, the ocean makes no allowances for anyone. The ocean sees no worldly status, no colour, no gender and no bank balance. Its beauty lies in its absence of prejudice and arrogance, human traits we all indulge in at times. The ocean taps into one’s most primitive emotion; curiosity. We gaze upon the white horses, not asked to venture closer. This is what catches us. Just like the fresh hot cookies just out of the oven that you’re told not to touch. You can’t help it. The temptation is far too overwhelming.

The night before was a hazy rendezvous, flavoured with hints of Fear & Loathing’s first highway scene. No bats, but generous doses of glitchy dub, tequila, taxis and then strippers. Let’s not get too involved in the details, these type of memories should be left to do their thing. To join the others my other, that will, in time, merge to capture this reckless, precious, wonderfully determined time of m life.

The night before welcomed a day that began with 2 miprodol and a glass of water. Possibly, no, rather more than likely, my intense sense of restless anticipation to get in the water was the outcome of my still slightly intoxicated state. Probably a good thing though. Once again my warped state of mind overpowers my state of being. This is how my first experience of surfing began. For the explosive ever-prevalent subculture of today, the beginning, well it was somewhat different. Where’d it all begin? Who really knows? It’s all here-say and possible maybes. Anyway, I’m a research slut. Rather an ambassador for Actual-Work-Procrastination Syndrome. You know the one. Like highlighting and underlining. To Do lists and countless coffee breaks.

Childhood bedtime stories of pirates and rust-knifed fisherman. Ocean monsters and the Secret Seven. This is the history, the research – of magical tales and far away places – that I lose myself in. There is always a little enchantment embedded in even the most tedious of subjects, you just have to look hard enough.

Like me, and you perhaps, another character who was fuelled by the question of What Else is Out There, an adventurer and explorer, was Captain James Cook. Cook, his crew and their “Discovery & Resolution” entered Kealakekua Bay on the Kona coast of the Big Island around 1778. Despite Cooks death - a murder of misinterpretation perhaps? - Lieutenant James King completed Cooks journals, recording, for the first time in writing, an account of surfing.

A few sentences I found interesting in King’s account….” But a diversion the most common is upon the Water, where there is a very great Sea” and “these men may be said to be almost amphibious” and lastly ” they seem to feel a great pleasure in the motion which this exercise gives.”

But surfing had been deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture much before the travels of Cook, and in a culture void of a written language, surfing existed elusively and without greed. The ocean was found in song and dance, myths and prayers to the Gods. I am not a surfer, nor do I pretend to know what I’m really talking about. But the idea of this century old lifestyle, to me, is one that is wrapped in ethereal beauty, humbleness and passion – as it is today.

Whilst writing this, I cannot help but picture that typical stereotype image of a surfer in my mind. White-washed hair, sun-kissed skin, shorts and no shoes…..the Drop Out…the Stoner. This is a common one, yes, indeed. The kids with No Real Ambition, who are Not Really Going Anywhere.

Yes. Stereotyping is something Surfing is very much familiar with. Sticky ‘n sneaky, prejudices creep in like a vine, the mind’s weed. Smoking a spliff, catch a wave, grab a beer…..I still fail to understand people’s disapproval of this? Let’s rather sit in an office - all day, then sweat in a bright lighted mirrored gym, then drink wine over pseudo-conversations hushed by the latest TV show. Or, even better, let’s sit in an office- all day, go get pissed at a bar, drive home drunk, crash into a pole. Yes. Or a person. Or a Car. And kill a person, or two.

Now, please tell me which deserves more approval? Hmm. The lifestyle of the surfer in no way signifies a lack of intelligence or drive, nor a specific position in society or wallet size. Some of the most ambitious individuals I know are surfers. They are 9-5ers that have found a thriling interlude of bliss. Anyway, I’ve never been one for judging, and if anything, I’m way more off the track than the surfers are.

I feel strange in this new material clinging to my skin, exposing my form.

I begin to become aware of how, albeit the surfers entering the sea alone, they appear together in the ocean. I get the feeling that whether you know the other guys and girls around you or not, in the water everyone’s together.

Together, and all bonded by a passion and a shared mentality of an uncompromised respect for nature. My friend, your pride will go crashing against the reef, arrogance and lack of respect become your downfall. Over and over again you will be reminded that you are, in the greater perspective of things, really nothing. But, you see, when you are stripped down to nothing you feel most alive. ALIVE ALIVE ALIVE! Fuck yes. Rushing through your body and shining out your eyes.

As I enter the water my fear of sharks invisible to me dissipate rapidly, and after my first attempt of standing these fears become every-day mindless whispers. My first stand comes as a surprise. I am all smiles and wobbly legs, and only slightly aware of the voiced support from the others behind me. It all happens so swiftly, then crash, fall. Swallowed by the wave. A Laundromat of salt and flesh. It is just in that brief moment that grabs me, mind, body and soul, and will never let go. As They say, only a moment can change your life for ever.

Ever-powerful and never intrusive; the tide will rise and fall; a consistency that is weaved with change. Like thumbprints, each wave is unique and intricate. Surfing is a drug. A drug where every hit is as good, if not better, than the first. And it cannot be bought.

Droplets of sunlight and electrifying salty freshness of the ocean seems to stay with one long after the sand has been washed off. Back in the office, back to school, off for a beer, off to pick up the kids or get some milk and bread. Fuck the stereotype. The stereotypes are cultivated by green voyeurs, ignorant and insecure in their chosen exclusion. It’s easier for one to judge and generate reason for remaining on the side, instead of humbling oneself and letting it all go.

I am sitting at Rafikis with three surfers, but they’re not just that. They’re three friends, three individuals who inspire me and make me smile every day of my life. This is rare. The scene in Garden State …. I am in it right now. Not sure how, or if I want to, get out.

The contemporary surfing subculture might be one that speaks of Money, Sponsors, and Status….but these are the tools that allow the guys and girls to surf the spots they’ve dreamed about since they had first stood on a board. And from what I can see, is that even if all the money and fame was thrown to the more sponsors or magazine double spreads…. that these guys and girls wouldn’t give a fuck.

It was never about the money, and never will be.

Surfing, and all the magic it encompasses, becomes a part of you, living in your veins and in your mind. In your smile and in your life. In song, in dance, in stories and in prayers. As it did centuries ago in Kealakekua Bay, and will continue for centuries to come.

Alphonse Karr quoted “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." (1849)

….The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Macabre Interludes with Mary-Jane

My friend, my collaborator, my partner-in-crime, my inspiration; Miss Mary-Jane is a muse who plays happy-hearted trickery with those around her.

Her bright eyes shine cross-hatched with mischievous secrets; one’s she unravels onto canvas with humble tenacity and conceptual valor.

She personifies the feel-good vibe of a Friday afternoon and the energy you feel when blasting Crystal Castles from your car with the windows down.

Hey dark thoughts and even more twisted dreams take on aesthetic form with her various tools, transforming into visual vignettes as hauntingly macabre as they are comical and quirky.

Here’s a slice of Mary and her world…

Tell me about that mish mash of an exhibition you put on a while back….

Mish mash that it was. The idea came over a late night and exhibition came three days later. Pooled together resources between myself and Jene Rene, from advertising to liquor license, from sound equipment and DJs to venue, and of course art and fashion. Took place about 3 years ago, it was an unconventional exhibition but an exhibition in each detail.

Any uncontrollable urges?

Juicy question you ask.... the obvious to draw paint and create, the not so obvious may be a tad inappropriate.

Background vibes & Childhood memories….what can you recall?

I recall my brother telling me that i had a penis but i had broken it of whilst playing with it... i recall having a string of minks tails i took everywhere and called "my precious little dead ones"... and i recall drawing on every surface i could get to, on walls, behind curtains, underneath tables, where ever i could get away with.

What is art to you?

Art to me is an expression of the mood and mindstate that occupies my subconscious

Who are you?

Mary Jane

Life – give me three words.

What the hell

Art – give me one word.


Tell me something you have never told anyone before.

Really? i prefer swimming in cold water than warm, think it stems from when i was a kid and i knew the other ppl were peeing in the pool

Your little gem " In Insomnia, Entries of an Early Hour Obsession". Is it a late night inspired memoir of some sort? What can we find hidden inside ?

It could be put that way... its a little book of indulgence where i let my emotions loose write in rhyme and draw what appears on the page.

She’s a bit of this and a bit of that, neither here nor there…and In an All or Nothing world, MJs rocking the All.

So Miss Jane, I wanna shout this out loud to you!

“Don't wanna live a life
In a world that's all the same
The crazy little things
That you do are magical
This crazy life
This crazy world
We're living in is

--- Goldfrapp “Fly Me Away”

Natural-causes making waves around the globe

Cape Town has done it again.

The record, previously held by Brazil, for getting the most surfers on one wave at the same time has been broken. The 4th October shined bright for the people of Cape Town, where over 400 surfers came together in the attempt to break the 2007 record for Earthwave.

This Green global event is geared to promote the awareness for sustainable living; it’s for the people, by the people. And the guy behind it all is Dene Botha, who, despite his local celeb status (like, er, winning a few major modeling comps.), is really just one of the guys. He is managing to do what he loves every single day, and is inspiring us to do the same.

In an epic saturation of nature, a colourful human wall began to move, building momentum and breaking the 100 people record, bringing it to 104. Small and big, tall and short, young and old… and all that lies in-between, Cape Town rocked it, as we did in 2006.

With a slight off-shore breeze waltzing in-between the crowd and the fractured sun, the day captured the essence of surfing, expressing it in an aesthetic flurry of boards and bodies.

The vibe was a fluid combination of youth-like enthusiasm and uncanny camaraderie. The crowd resonated with an energy that personified Summer, turning Muizenberg into a stadium and the ocean the stage.

Check out and to get your head around the ins and out of what Earthwave is all about.

Living in a time of gross excess and a Culture of Mass, Earthwave is really all about paying humble respect to the Earth, and all its glory.

Peace, love and respect.